Hike-in Required
Yes
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Cave Spring Trail is a short hike that leads past a historic cowboy camp, as well as some areas with evidence of prehistoric inhabitation. While the majority of trail is easy hiking, note that there are two ladders located just past the spring that may be challenging for small children or the elderly.

The Cave Spring Trail is a loop that is recommended to be hiked in a clockwise direction. Doing so will lead you to the historic cowboy camp first. In the late 1800s cattlemen began settling in the area and operating successful cattle operations out of the desert. Cowboys needed to stay on the open range with their cattle and lived in isolated outdoor camps such as this one. These camps were used from the late 1800s through 1975, when cattle ranching was ended by the park. Many of the cowboy’s original items remain here in the camp today. Please do not touch or disturb the objects.

Carrying onward you’ll follow the trail as it passes underneath rock ledges and comes to the namesake Cave Spring. This spring is one of the few reliable water sources in the area. In addition to the cowboys, the area was also used by Native Americans some 6,000 to 700 years ago. Evidence of this can be seen by the soot-blackened ceilings in the alcove and the handprints found here.

The trail then climbs two stable ladders and transitions to slickrock. Cairns mark the way and fantastic views are to be had. After descending from the slickrock the trail then passes underneath another section of rock ledges before arriving back at the parking area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Short, scenic hike. Historic cowboy camp. Prehistoric rock art.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Historically significant
Wildlife
Family friendly
Big vistas
Cave
Native artifacts

Location

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