Slash Trail to Little Park Wash Cabin

I had hiked the Slash Trail twice, the latest time being with my two sons about three years ago. “Slash Trail” is actually a name given to it by Alan, just to help us differentiate between this and the Cove Trail. The name derivations should be obvious. ;) I hiked the Slash Trail a third time with Alan in early April, but this time we continued on into Little Park Wash and downstream to an old stone cabin. The cabin is shown on the USGS topo map of the area and was probably constructed by the same people who made the cabin near Trail Canyon. We got an early start and arrived at the trailhead before the sun rose, witnessing a colorful sunrise during the drive south on Highway 6.

Sunrise over the Book Cliffs
Sunrise over the Book Cliffs

Parked at the trailhead
Parked at the trailhead

We ascended the trail through the Book Cliffs while the cloudy weather kept the sun at bay. A few wildflowers were present, but not nearly as many as I expected with the heavy snowfall we experienced during the winter. A short distance up the trail I discovered a sledgehammer that I’d missed on my previous trips. It appeared that a chisel was buried near the hammer, but I pulled it out of the dirt and was astounded to find a pick. Alan found the nearly-disintegrated pick handle nearby. After some research at home, I found that the hammer was made by Yerkes & Plumb sometime between 1869 and 1888!

The Jeep with snow-covered Wasatch Plateau on the horizon
The Jeep with snow-covered Wasatch Plateau on the horizon

Cairn marking the route
Cairn marking the route

Climbing the trail
Climbing the trail

White wildflowers
White wildflowers

Tiny pink flower buds
Tiny pink flower buds

Muted sunlight on Cedar Mountain
Muted sunlight on Cedar Mountain

Sledgehammer and what I thought was a chisel
Sledgehammer and what I thought was a chisel

The chisel turned out to be a pick, and the handle was found nearby
The chisel turned out to be a pick, and the handle was found nearby

Yerkes & Plumb, Solid Cast Steel
Yerkes & Plumb, Solid Cast Steel

Continuing up the trail, we crossed a layer of clay and then a bouldery section before reaching the “notch,” where a fault has fortuitously broken the cliff bands and left a route up the Book Cliffs. Alan and I rested at the top of the trail before heading into a short drainage that leads into Little Park Wash.

Steep, rugged terrain that the trail passes through
Steep, rugged terrain that the trail passes through

Deer or bighorn tracks on the trail
Deer or bighorn tracks on the trail

At a saddle before beginning to climb again
At a saddle before beginning to climb again

Into the bouldery section
Into the bouldery section

Approaching the notch
Approaching the notch

A notch in the cliffs along a fault
A notch in the cliffs along a fault

Cribbing on the upper trail
Cribbing on the upper trail

Above the upper cliff band
Above the upper cliff band

Short drainage leading to Little Park Wash
Short drainage leading to Little Park Wash

Overlooking the valley
Overlooking the valley

Jeep at the end of the road
Jeep at the end of the road

Near Little Park Wash we found signs of a camp that included tobacco tins and broken glass. There was also a large cairn that marked the route’s departure from the watercourse toward the trail down the Book Cliffs. Downstream in the wash we discovered a rudimentary corral and old cans, bottles, and even a stovepipe but no stove. Farther down the wash there were several cairns marking old mining claims.

Heading toward Little Park Wash
Heading toward Little Park Wash

Tobacco can
Tobacco can

View downstream in Little Park Wash
View downstream in Little Park Wash

Purple and blue glass
Purple and blue glass

Cairn marking the exit from Little Park Wash to the Slash Trail
Cairn marking the exit from Little Park Wash to the Slash Trail

Stovepipe
Stovepipe

Alan inspecting a crude corral
Alan inspecting a crude corral

Old jar
Old jar

A huge boulder that recently detached from the cliffs
A huge boulder that recently detached from the cliffs

Cairn atop a cliff
Cairn atop a cliff

Bird on a cairn
Bird on a cairn

Just beyond a major confluence where a large wash joined Little Park Wash was the cabin. A lot of old junk was left near the cabin that hinted at the lifestyle of those who used the trail. A boot heel, tobacco tins, broken jars, and rusty cans littered the area. The cabin’s broken door laid nearby, and the roof was partially caved in. A broken shovel sat near the cabin door along with a short piece of rail that appeared to have been used as an anvil. I was fascinated by all of it, imagining the isolation the stockmen must have felt and the self-reliance they employed.

Dirt bike tracks in Little Park Wash
Dirt bike tracks in Little Park Wash

Boot heel
Boot heel

Little Park Wash cabin
Little Park Wash cabin

Broken door
Broken door

Shovel and rail at the door of the cabin
Shovel and rail at the door of the cabin

Little Park Wash cabin
Little Park Wash cabin

View inside the cabin window
View inside the cabin window

View out the cabin window
View out the cabin window

Shelf and collapsed roof
Shelf and collapsed roof

Hammer marks on the rail
Hammer marks on the rail

Broken cast iron pan and other rusty metal bits
Broken cast iron pan and other rusty metal bits

Ball Perfect Mason
Ball Perfect Mason

Tobacco tins
Tobacco tins

Broken saw blade?
Broken saw blade?

Cabin and the break in the cliffs (right) where the trail continues to Joe Spring
Cabin and the break in the cliffs (right) where the trail continues to Joe Spring

It had been overcast all day during the hike to the cabin. On the way out, however, the sun made its presence known. I shed my long sleeves and took more rest breaks than on our way in. We briefly explored a side canyon that looked promising for a cowboy or even Indian camp, but all I found was a large coal seam. Our return route followed much the same route as the hike in, though we made some interesting finds that we’d missed on the way in, such as a bottle fragment from Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root. We clocked in a little over nine miles round-trip. I enjoyed the long hike in rugged country that’s rarely seen.

Hiking back up Little Park Wash
Hiking back up Little Park Wash

Exploring a side canyon
Exploring a side canyon

Coal seam
Coal seam

Indian paintbrush
Indian paintbrush

Bottle fragment from Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root
Bottle fragment from Dr. Kilmer's Swamp Root

Faint cow trail
Faint cow trail

Down the Slash Trail
Down the Slash Trail

Jeep and Book Cliffs
Jeep and Book Cliffs


Photo Gallery: Slash Trail to Little Park Wash Cabin
GPS Track and Photo Waypoints:
[Google Earth KMZ] [Gmap4 Satellite] [Gmap4 Topo]