Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
693.00 ft (211.23 m)
Trail type
5.85 mi (9.41 km)
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 Neck Spring Trail in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park is a lesser traveled trail that passes a few springs, some old ranching features, and offers scenic views.

The trail begins from the shared parking area with the Shafer Canyon Overlook. After crossing the park road the trail descends down from the canyon rim. Stay on trail during this stretch and avoid trampling the biological soil crusts that are just off trail.

Before long you’ll come to your first of several springs. Nearby you’ll also spot some fencing left behind from early ranchers. These year-round water sources were a blessing for ranchers in this otherwise dry environment and they used these springs to water their livestock. Further up the trail you’ll spot more evidence of past ranching.

At mile 1.5 you’ll reach the namesake Neck Spring. The shade and water here make this a good rest spot. The trail carries onward and soon comes to the rim of a canyon providing a good view. Keep an eye out for a semi-hidden arch that can also be seen from here.

At mile 3.2 is Cabin Spring. After crossing the shallow creek that flows from the spring the trail begins a steep climb. In what could almost be described as an easy scramble, the trail climbs steeply up a slickrock slope. There are cairns to mark the way.

Once on top you’ll have great views down to Cabin Spring. The remainder of the trail stays atop the canyon rim and travels across large flat stretches of slickrock. A fantastic view from above Neck Spring awaits before the trail crosses back over the park road.

The final stretch of trail then parallels the road as it heads back to the trailhead. Although walking close to the road isn’t the most enjoyable, the stunning views down into Shafer Canyon more than make up for it.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Scenic views. Less crowded than other trails.


First stretch isn't too exciting. Steep climb up from Cabin Spring.

Trailhead Elevation

5,807.00 ft (1,769.97 m)

Highest point

5,993.00 ft (1,826.67 m)


Family friendly
Big vistas
Historically significant
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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