Bluejohn Spring and Millard Canyon Trail

Udink

Relax, slip away...
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,467
After my long weekend in southern Utah, I took a relaxing break at home for a weekend and then set out for another three-day weekend and did some tough but rewarding hikes in the southern Horseshoe Canyon area. Day one consisted of two hikes: Bluejohn Spring and the Millard Canyon Trail, for a combined total of seven miles. Alan rode with me in the Jeep and we were joined by Mike and Layne in a Land Rover for the drive from Price. We met Wade close to the start of the hike. We parked on the side of the road on Robbers Roost Flats and hiked east to Bluejohn Spring, where we were fairly certain we'd find some old cowboy names etched into the sandstone. It was about a mile across flat desert to the spring, which is in Bluejohn Canyon just above the start of the famous slot canyon. The spring itself was pretty weak with just a tiny trickle that dried up after a short distance.

Parked on Robber's Roost Flats for a hike to Bluejohn Spring


Hiking to Bluejohn Spring


My shadow along a horse/burro trail to Bluejohn Spring


Pine poles and a small trough


Bluejohn Spring


A smaller seep below Bluejohn Spring


Beautiful snow-capped Henry Mountains


We did find some inscriptions, including Jim Warner 1917, E.D. Leavitt, Joe Biddlecome, and one that I couldn't make out from the late 1800s. There was also a lot of Indian sign around. Unfortunately there was no rock art, but there was some lithic scatter all over and one spot with a huge concentration of chert flakes. On top of a cliff above the spring I found a deep, circular hole that looked man-made, and right next to the spring was a mano (used for grinding grain).

Worked piece of chert from a huge discard pile at Bluejohn Spring


Above Bluejohn Spring


Possibly man-made hole in the ledges above Bluejohn Spring


Mano at Bluejohn Spring


Jim Warner inscription from April 4, 1917


Faded inscriptions, including one from Joe Biddlecome


View down Bluejohn Canyon toward the start of the slot canyon


We hiked back to the vehicles then drove to our camp spot on the east side of Twin Corral Flats, near the rim of French Spring Fork. Paul had a lot farther to drive, coming from northern Utah, and he met us at camp before we set out for an afternoon hike. Our goal was to use the Millard Canyon Trail (also called Outlaw Trail) to drop below the Orange Cliffs (also referred to as "Under the Ledge"). There are relatively few breaks in the Orange Cliffs and most of them were used to get livestock from the high plateaus into the valleys and canyons of what is now Canyonlands National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The hike started out with a gentle descent until reaching a cliff band. Once below the cliff band our route turned south and followed a shelf between two very tall cliff bands. The shelf was narrow in places and wider in others, and we saw signs of a constructed stock trail in a few spots. Eventually we came to a spot where a steep, long, rocky talus slope penetrates the lower cliff band and leads down into Millard Canyon.

Near the start of the Millard Canyon Trail (aka Outlaw Trail) hike, with Cleopatra's Chair on the right


Part of a difficult-to-photograph Ned Chaffin inscription


Traversing around a dryfall


Above Millard Canyon


A large boulder below that was our destination


One of the easy parts of the trail


Cliffs looming above


Millard Canyon Trail


View back along the Millard Canyon Trail


Cleo's Chair


Thousands of small concretions


First glimpse of the steep, rocky descent into Millard Canyon


Inscriptions from 1953 and 1954


Constructed part of the trail below


Millard Canyon Trail


Millard Canyon


The La Sal Mountains over Millard Canyon


Upon seeing the talus slope, nobody except Wade wanted to venture lower into the canyon (I was saving my legs for the following day's hike). He'd read about a large boulder there with cowboy inscriptions on it, so he dropped his pack and scrambled down to check it out. Alan waited at the top of the slope for Wade while the rest of us made our way further along the shelf toward the southern exit point. I stopped a few times while climbing back up the ledges to look for Wade and saw him jogging down in the canyon. Paul and I hiked out together while Layne and Mike went ahead. We got back to the road and had to hike just over a mile back to the Jeep, and we met Layne and Mike as they were driving back toward camp. They offered us a ride to the Jeep but it was so close that we chose to keep walking. We hopped in the Jeep and drove back down the road, and only had to wait a few minutes before Wade and Alan appeared over the ridge leading up from Millard Canyon. From there we drove back to camp and hit the sack early so we could be rested for the next day's long hike.

Constructed steps


Natural arch


View of a portion of the trail between cliff bands that we traversed


Climb out of the south side of the Millard Canyon Trail


Paul taking in the view after the climb out


Millard Canyon


Our camp on the east side of Twin Corral Flats and near the rim of French Spring Fork


Wade's camp setup



Full photo gallery: https://picasaweb.google.com/Dennis.Udink/BluejohnSpringAndMillardCanyonTrail

[parsehtml]<iframe width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:%2F%2Fudink.org%2Fgeo%2FBluejohnSpringAndMillardCanyonTrail.kmz&amp;hl=en&amp;sspn=0.082137,0.169086&amp;t=h&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=38.305485,-110.221164&amp;spn=0.114259,0.156253&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:%2F%2Fudink.org%2Fgeo%2FBluejohnSpringAndMillardCanyonTrail.kmz&amp;hl=en&amp;sspn=0.082137,0.169086&amp;t=h&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=38.305485,-110.221164&amp;spn=0.114259,0.156253&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>[/parsehtml]http://udink.org/geo/BluejohnSpringAndMillardCanyonTrail.kmz
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
NorthwestWanderer 4 Days Backpacking Capitol Reef : Spring Canyon & Various side canyons Backpacking 5
kwc Adirondack Spring Hiking Continued Hiking & Camping 3
kwc Adirondack Spring Hike #? Hiking & Camping 1
danger02ward 2020 Spring Beatout traverse Winter Sports 18
J Mount Nutt Wilderness Cave Spring Area dayhike Nov 26, 2019 Hiking & Camping 0
M advice Grand Canyon backpacking Spring 2020 Trip Planning 16
wsp_scott Dolly Sods spring Backpacking 9
fossana CO Plateau backpacking suggestions for spring run-off season Trip Planning 14
canadug Spring Break in the Mojave Desert Hiking & Camping 4
I Zion-South Utah Spring Break - March 9th-March 14th Trip Planning 15
WasatchWill Spring Break Ideas for Vernal/Dino Quarry NM Trip Planning 3
S Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef-vehicle shuttle Sun, Mar 24. Meet Up (Members Only) 0
Jazzy Joe Looking for Escalante Area Short Backpacking Suggestions Early Spring Trip Planning 21
b.stark CO/UT Spring 2018 - A trip to get away Backpacking 10
fossana Spring Canyon/Sulphur Canyon loop (Capitol Reef) Hiking & Camping 20
Dave Hells Half and Honaker, Spring 2018 On The Water 9
Perry Spring Day Hike up Boulder Creek Hiking & Camping 2
Outdoors24 Overnight in Lower Spring Canyon Backpacking 5
Devin Ashby Nate’s Canyon/ Spring Canyon San Rafael Swell Trip Planning 2
Perry Leona Spring Trail to UHT - A New Personal Best Day Hike Hiking & Camping 2
Eugene Paria Canyon from White House to Big Spring Backpacking 3
kimbur96 Davis Meadows for a chilly spring overnighter, Duncan's first ! Backpacking 4
Kyle P Spring Hiking Pants Gear 2
TrektheWorld Spring Break in Moab Hiking & Camping 0
D Invite Dirty Devil - Burr to Poison Spring Packraft March 12-13 Meet Up (Members Only) 0
M Early Spring Backpacking in Utah? Trip Planning 2
Jackson Lower Spring Canyon in Winter Backpacking 14
Parma Druid Arch Trail Spring General Discussion 2
Kyle P Death Hollow In the Spring Trip Planning 22
Eugene Spring 2016 3 day backpack suggestions Trip Planning 6
Julia Spring Break Backpacking Trip Planning 1
Dave B. Spring Backpacking Trip Trip Planning 6
Mike K Red Baldy Spring Summit Hiking & Camping 10
Scott Chandler Spring at Toroweap Hiking & Camping 11
hatchcanyon Poison Spring Canyon (1998) Off Road 0
Blake Merrell Spring Canyon to Sulphur Canyon Trip Planning 7
hatchcanyon Trough Spring Ridge Off Road 4
Joey Capitol Reef's Spring Canyon and Sulphur Creek loop from Holt Draw Backpacking 12
Michael B Looking for Utah backpacking recommendation for early spring Trip Planning 11
hatchcanyon Caves Spring (2009) Off Road 0
HomerJ Tourist crashes drone into Grand Prismatic Spring General Discussion 17
pixie1339 Grand Gulch Spring Conditions Trip Planning 3
Udink San Rafael Spring 2014 Hiking & Camping 11
Scott Chandler Chimney Rock-Lower Spring Canyon, Cap Reef NP Hiking & Camping 6
baltocharlie Spring Fling turned Oktoberfest trip Hiking & Camping 11
astark15 Late spring backpacking recommendations? Noobs: Introduce yourself! 7
TIMP Grand Canyon Bill Hall Trailhead to Deer Creek Falls and Thunder Spring General Discussion 3
Scott Chandler A Spring Hurrah in Moab Hiking & Camping 5
Udink Lost Spring Mountain Hiking & Camping 1
Udink Colonnade, Keg Spring, Bull Bottom Hiking & Camping 11

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top