Length: 0.6 miles round trip
Description: This short, easy hike provides great scenery plus glimpses into the past, as you view a historic cowboy camp and also prehistoric Native American rock art. The trail is wide and easy, but you do have to climb 2 wooden ladders placed to make it easy to get up cliffs.
This hike is in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. To find the trailhead follow the main road (Route 211) into the Needles area. As you enter the park, just past the visitors center, the road forks. Stay left and follow the signs to the trailhead.
In the early 1900s, this area was a popular range for sheep and cattle. A large camp was established here, next to a reliable spring, to accommodate the cowboys. Cooking and most activities were performed outside and many relics remain, including Dutch ovens, fry pans, tables and other implements. The camp is set against a rock, which alcoves where cowboys slept. The spring bubbles from the ground in the last alcove. Ancient pictographs can be seen on a blackened wall in this alcove.
If you hike in a clockwise direction, the cowboy camp is just a few hundred feet from the trailhead. From the camp, you can continue a loop hike back to the trailhead. Wooden ladders allow easy access to the slickrock above the camp. From there you will have extraordinary views out over the surrounding countryside.