Alcove Spring

Round Trip Distance: 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5207 - 5665 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Alcove Spring
Fee: $25/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic geology

The Alcove Spring trail is located in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah. The trail descends a little over 450 feet from the Upheaval Dome Road to the area of a large alcove with a natural seep that gives rise to native grasses and plants. The trail is one of the easiest places in the Island in the Sky District to experience the area below the rim.

The Alcove Spring trailhead is about 9.9 miles from the Island in the Sky Visitor Center on the Upheaval Dome Road. This same trailhead is used for the Taylor Canyon trail and the trail to the False Kiva. The trail to the False Kiva is on the other side of the road and about 2 tenths of a mile south.

The entire trail to Alcove Spring is easy to follow. This type of terrain is subject to erosion so if it is necessary to leave the trail try to do so only in rocky or slickrock areas.

After the trails breaks over the edge it begins a gradual descent.

The less distinct sections of trail have cairns marking the route.

The trail continues descending down the inward slope of the uplifted rock.

As the alcove comes into view the slope of the trail seems to increase.

When the trail transitions back to the rock near the cliff if levels off considerably.

There are no obvious trails that actually enter into the alcove so this became the turnaround point.

The alcove itself is not all that interesting but scenery makes the hike worthwhile all by itself. We did see some bighorn tracks and scat in this area that appeared to only be a few days old.

For a 450 foot drop in elevation the climb out doesn't seem bad at all. The incredible scenery may prove to be a beneficial distraction.

For us the Alcove Spring trail was partially a scouting trip. We knew we didn't have enough time to hike all the way down to Taylor Canyon so we hiked the initial stage down to the alcove to get a better look at the trail. For anyone that wants to get away from the crowds that are on some of the other trails the Alcove Spring trail has some nice views. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.