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Thread: Keg Point

  1. #1

    Keg Point

    I did some exploring yesterday on Keg Point, which is basically directly west of Moab and directly south of Green River. I was looking for a cave listed on the USGS topo map, and although I found it, it was in the bottom of a canyon rather than at the canyon's rim like the topo map suggested, so I didn't get a chance to go inside.



    http://castlecountry.org/geo/KegPoint.kmz


    I was optimistic because the amount of snow on the ground gradually decreased as I drove south toward Green River, but after getting on the dirt road and heading south from Green River, snow levels gradually increased. There were deepish drifts while I hiked, but on the slickrock there were places where the snow had melted completely. I started my hike near the end of the road on Keg Point (the same place you'd begin the hike for Colonnade Arch) and hiked a couple of miles northwest to a point overlooking Keg Spring Canyon. Some places were a little dicey, with steep snow-covered sandstone slopes, but most of the hike was relatively flat. The sky was amazing for most of the hike, but some thick storm clouds moved in toward the end of the hike and it got cold very quickly. It was an amazing day, and when the days are longer I'm planning on going back to check out Colonnade Arch and Bowknot Bend.


    Very little snow closer to Green River


    Coyote heads near Chaffin Geyser


    Chaffin Geyser


    The road south of Saucer Basin


    The road to Keg Point


    View over Labyrinth Canyon toward the Needles


    My parking spot on Keg Point


    Incredible sky


    View toward my destination


    Rock formation along the way


    Yucca


    A fork in upper Keg Spring Canyon


    The cave I was looking for


    A small arch


    Keg Spring Canyon


    Closer view of the canyon


    Clouds moving in at the end of the hike


    The La Sals


    Sand dunes southwest of Middle Canyon


    Little Flat Top


    Factory Butte seen from Little Flat Top


    Back on the pavement at UT-24, with Temple Mountain in the distance


    There are a ton more photos here:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/Dennis.Udink/KegPoint#
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  3. #2
    Sweet pics! This is inspiring that it's not that unreasonable to get out there right now. I've been wanting to take another trip out to Colonnade.

  4. #3
    Bogley BigShot oldno7's Avatar
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    nice Tr Dennis,
    I need to get out to Colonnade also.

  5. #4
    In case you couldn't tell from the rim, "cave" is more a rock shelter/alcove than a cave. There are a few not-that-old signatures in it and there are three old trails leading down to the area to access the cave. I was last there Christmas 1996 looking for slot canyons. We were going to use ropes to access the west fork of the drainage containing the cave (next fork west of Keg Spring), but then we found this old sheep trail blasted into the side of the canyon to reach a waterhole.

    Next month I am headed back down there for a loop hike visiting Bowknot Bend, Colonnade Arch, Twomile Canyon and lower Horseshoe Canyon. I was hoping to do it this (3 day) weekend, but I'd rather do it when the snow melts.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ibenick View Post
    This is inspiring that it's not that unreasonable to get out there right now.
    I even managed to get to the trailhead (with only a little difficulty) in 2WD, but I used 4WD to get back up the hill on my way out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott P View Post
    In case you couldn't tell from the rim, "cave" is more a rock shelter/alcove than a cave.
    That's pretty much what I thought, but I couldn't see the back of the alcove from the canyon rim above. You just saved me another trip back out there to check it out.

    That sheep trail sounds interesting. Do you remember roughly where it is? I would someday like to find my way down into the main Keg Spring Canyon and follow it down-canyon for a few miles just to check things out.
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  7. #6
    That sheep trail sounds interesting. Do you remember roughly where it is? I would someday like to find my way down into the main Keg Spring Canyon and follow it down-canyon for a few miles just to check things out.
    Here is a map:

    Name:  690709..jpg
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    If you want to see the part of the canyon below the Water Tank Trail, it's actually best to come in the big side canyon coming in from the west (well below the Water Tank Trail and off this map). Just below the Watertank Trail, the canyon turns into a bushwhack, so the section of the canyon between the Water Tank Trail and the big side canyon is best avoided. Keg Springs Canyon is nice in it's upper end all the way down to the Watertank Trail and it is is nice again below the big side canyon all the way to the Colorado River.

    The upper end of the canyon is nice with lots of alcoves, springs, old sheep trails, and somewhat narrow canyons to explore.

    The lower end is deep, pretty and open with one alcove with some broken down ruins. If you look under some of the cairns there are old mining claims dating back to the 1950's.

    There is a short bushwhack right at the river, but the next canyon just up river makes a good route out. A very old mining trail (Wolverton's Trail from around 1903-1910) goes up the north side of this little canyon and makes a fairly easy route out, but years ago two of my two brothers and I found an interesting route going up the south side of the canyon. At one place we used our coats as a makeshift handline on one tough ledge. At the time my youngest brother was still small and we could boost him up on our shoulders where he could stand on my palms at which point he dropped the tied together coats to us to use as a handline. Someday I'll have to revisit the route we did when we were young, but I doubt I could do the route anymore (especially since my "little" brother has long since grown up and too heavy to stand on my palms!).
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  8. #7
    Thanks for all the info, Scott. I just browsed through all my photos from last weekend and I think I can see in one of them the sheep trail you found by mistake. I will have to revisit this area again either this spring or fall to check out the canyon.
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  9. #8
    I'm very late to this party but after doing a quick search on 'Chuchuru Sheep Trail' came across this interesting account in "Tales of Canyonland Cowboys"... Ch. 9 mentions the Chuchuru Sheep outfit in the account of Chad Moore.
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt4c...5f4800fb17624c

  10. #9
    Last month I returned to Keg Spring Canyon and hiked four different trails in a single day. I'm still a little confused on all the names, but the names I use here came from Kelsey and/or Allen. I descended the Andy Moore Trail (marked as the Chuchuru Sheep Trail on Scott's Map), visited the "cave," went up and back down the Wolverton Mining Trail (old mining trail on Scott's map), then up the "sheep trail found by mistake" (which neither Allen nor Kelsey mention, I don't think). Then I drove over to the Chuchuru Sheep Trail (water tank trail on Scott's map), but only descended the first portion without dropping into the canyon bottom. The next day I hiked the Wolverton Canyon Trail all the way to the Green River.

    I've got future plans (next year, maybe) to do a loop hike including the Chuchuru Sheep Trail and the Buck Canyon Trail (northwest tributary to Keg Spring Canyon).

    Here are a few photos of last month's trip. Once I get the trip report written up I'll post it here (I'm way behind on TRs).

    Andy Moore Trail
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    Wolverton Mining Trail
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    The "Cave"
    Name:  The Cave.JPG
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    Sheep trail found by mistake
    Name:  Sheep Trail Found by Mistake.JPG
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    Chuchuru Sheep Trail
    Name:  Chuchuru Sheep Trail.JPG
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    Upper Wolverton Canyon Trail
    Name:  Upper Wolverton Canyon Trail.JPG
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    Lower Wolverton Canyon Trail
    Name:  Lower Wolverton Canyon Trail.JPG
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