The Alcove Spring Trail leads from the mesa top, immediately east of Upheaval Dome, into Trail Canyon. The route descends through Trail Canyon for several miles to meet Taylor Canyon, then White Rim Road. There is no water available along this route. Hikers can expect heavy biking and vehicular traffic on White Rim Road. Permits are required for overnight camping. This route can be combined with White Rim Road and the Syncline Loop to form a loop hike.
Begin the Alcove Spring Trail along Upheaval Dome Road approximately four miles from Grand View/Upheaval Dome Road junction. The track leads northeastward from the road. It begins to descend less than one half mile from the trailhead. Descending steeply, the trail begins to switchback past Whale Rock and Alcove Spring immediately east of it. One mile from the trailhead the grade levels significantly as the tread nears the bottom of Trail Canyon.
A mile and a half from the trailhead the route reaches Trail Canyon bottom and 4,560 feet. From this point the track parallels the drainage toward the mouth of Trail Canyon. This canyon is wide but deep and the trail winds through its steep walls for several miles descending slowly toward Taylor Canyon.
Six miles from Alcove Spring Trailhead Trail Canyon empties into Taylor Canyon. At this junction the trail forks. The route leading to the right is a short spur trail to Zeus and Moses, two spires often used by rock climbers. This spur is worth the effort used to ascend out of the canyon bottom. Good viewpoints of both formations can be located along the route.
The trail leading to the left at the Taylor/Trail Canyon junction leads downstream through Taylor Canyon. The single track ends shortly past the junction as it meets Taylor Canyon Road. This road winds five miles through lower Taylor Canyon to meet the White Rim Road. The road parallels the southern bank of the drainage passing Taylor Camp less than a half mile from the end of the single track. Where Taylor Canyon Road and the White Rim Road meet is Labyrinth Camp. The elevation of the junction is 4,000 feet.
To reach the trail through Upheaval Canyon and Syncline Loop Trail turn southward (left) on to White Rim Road. In three-quarters of a mile the road crosses the drainage descending from Upheaval Dome. A trail leads eastward along the southern bank of this drainage. Using this trail and the southern side of the Syncline Loop Trail backpackers can create an 18-mile loop.
Directions: From Island in the Sky Visitor Center, Drive southward on Utah 313 approximately 6.25 miles to the junction of Main Island Road and Upheaval Dome Road. Bear right at this junction and drive 4 miles to the parking area for Alcove Spring Trail.
Elevation: 5,300 feet
Ending Elevation: 4,220 feet
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Canyonlands National Park, Utah
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