The Battleships Trail
The Battleships trail was pioneered by local hiking enthusiasts and recommended to the BLM for designation through the Uintah Mountain Club (UMC) in 2010. The trail was designated that summer and now offers a sustainable hiking experience through some of Eastern Utah’s most picturesque scenery. Various working volunteers have contributed to trail construction, including the UMC, the Oakley School, and the Northeastern Utah Mountain Bike Association (NUMB). The trail has moderate to difficult sections with slick rock drop offs and several gently sloping, large slick rock faces with southern exposure that you can explore during your hike. Plan for about 2 hours + exploration time. You may see several different species of wildlife (please view from a distance) along the trail from nesting raptors to elk and deer, or predators such as mountain lions, bobcats, or coyotes that frequently show up in this area. The trail should not be hiked when wet as the desert soils that make up the trail become extremely slippery and muddy, causing trail tread damage from erosion. The trail shares a portion of it's track with mountain bikes from the southwest trailhead for about a mile and ½ before becoming a dedicated hiking trail.
Watch out for high speed bikers! Bring your camera, your video camera, sturdy hiking boots, and lots of water and as summer temperatures can be well above 100 degrees. The trail is best hiked in the mornings or late afternoon during the hot summer days. Make sure and take a map with you. There is a large rock cairn at a trail intersection where the mountain bike trail separates and heads to the north and the hiking trail continues to travel east.
Save the Battleships.GPX file and use your GPS to help keep you on track. Right-click on the Battleships.GPX link, choose "Save Target as" and save it on your hard drive. Using DNRGarmin or MapSource, send the .GPX file to your GPS device.
Driving Directions from Vernal, Utah (see map)
Travel north on Vernal Avenue (UT Hwy 191) for about 15 minutes. As you pass Red Fleet State Park and travel through a gap in a beautiful sandstone ridge.Just after the entrance to the Simplot mine there is a paved road heading east (Donkey Flats road). Turn onto this road and travel approximately two miles until you come to the restrooms and trailhead on the south side of the road. Park at the trailhead and look for the trail entrance across the paved road and slightly to the west. Follow the trail markers (stone cairns and white paint). This trail starts as Jboy and is a shared use trail with hiking and mountain biking. Follow the Jboy trail until you come to a hiking sticker and an arrow to the right, this takes you onto the Battleships hiking trail.
For more information contact the Recreation staff at the Vernal Field Office (435) 781-4400.