Cave Spring Trail
ElevationAscent: 64' 20 m
Descent: -70' -21 m
High: 4,977' 1,517 m
Low: 4,913' 1,497 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (3°)
Max Grade: 11% (7°)
Current trail conditions
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Family Friendly A spring emerges from a cave in a sandstone bluff once visited by ancient Puebloans, and more recently used by cattle ranchers. Two easy ladders of 7 and 11 rungs. Views of The Needles.
Immediately after is a ladder with seven rungs that leads you to a slickrock path. Follow the cairns as the trail bears to the right. You'll soon see the famous Needles formation far off to the south. Continue on to see flowers and prickly pear cactus shaded by the pine trees. Continue on the slickrock and be sure to follow the cairns. At the halfway point, you can look back at the trailhead from atop the sandstone bluff. Although the loose soil may look like an easier path, stay on the path to preserve the cryptobiotic soil.
Begin a gradual descent as the trail switches back. Be sure of foot as part of the slickrock track is at an 18° slope. You'll soon ascend off the slickrock into a sandy singletrack trail that is bordered by Alyssum and scrub brush. The trail follows under a sandstone ledge. You'll return where you started, but come back changed.
Land Manager: National Park Service - Canyonlands