The only thing wrong with the perfection of Neck Spring trail run is that it isn’t twice the distance. This is just plain fun. 5.8 miles of views, history, beauty and more of all of those things over again, this trail will not disappoint. 32 miles from Moab, it starts at The Neck, the natural bridge that allows access to Island in the Sky. The trail travels along the canyon rim west of The Neck. It would be best to do in fall, winter, spring or in early morning in the heat of summer.
What Makes It Great
Neck Spring is a fun, rolling trail, never too much up or down. It could be run or hiked, either way; it’s lots of fun. The trailhead is at The Neck, more specifically at the Shafer Canyon Viewpoint. This is a gorgeous pull out worthy of exploring looking down the Shafer Trail, a marvel of engineering with a1,400 foot drop to the valley floor. The trailhead is on the west side of the parking lot.
After crossing the road, the trail, well marked trail with cairns (stacked piles of rocks.) There is an alcove 1.4 miles into the trail,after a drop of 300 feet, home to Neck Spring, cultivated by ranchers to water their cows. At 3.4 miles the trail crosses Cabin Spring. At this point, make sure you go straight up towards the Nipple rock and do not continue down the path of the stream. Ascend 300 feet following Cairns to a trail that takes loops around to give you an overview of the trail below. The last mile of the trail is on the other side of route 313, and crosses over the Neck.
Who is Going to Love It
This is a great 5.8-mile run for anyone in shape to run 6 miles at about 6000 feet above sea level. Do not underestimate the altitude or the heat.In the summer it will be in the triple digits. There are points of shade on this trail and springs, but it will be brutally hot. In the summer months go early in the morning or wait until spring, summer or fall. Remember to carry a substantial amount of water, use sunscreen and be realistic with your abilities.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From Moab head north on route 191 and turn left on route 313 following signs to Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.The trailhead is at the Shafer Canyon Viewpoint and is 32 miles from Moab.
Entrance fee to Canyonlands National Park is $5 for an individual, $10 for a vehicle or $25 for an annual pass.
No dogs are allowed on this trail or allowed to be left in the car during this venture.