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Hike Liberty Cap trail- scramble up "The Shield" or hike part way; or to the Cap

Hike & Scramble

Liberty Cap

"The Shield"

is the gray rock slab seen in some of the photos on this page. It lays against the base of the Monument cliffs. Ascent of this feature will involve some hand & foot holds but mostly just walking along or near the rocky crest of an angled rock slab. Some might say there is a little bit of 'exposure' (to danger) on this outing.

Anyone who wants to do the Monument Traverse 4 hikes on Tuesday starting April 9th &/ or anyone planning to join Beth on The Palisade climb needs to go on this event. This is a good opportunity to see if you 'have what it is going to take' for those future events. So, if you plan to go on either of those, please plan to be here tonight (&/or on the Mt. Garfield hike tomorrow night).


Meet at 5:45 PM/ leave trailhead at 6. Plan on 2-2.5 hours out. If you want to go all the way to the Cap of Liberty Cap it may take a little longer round trip and you are welcome to do that after the shield or as an alternative to the shield. If you are not comfortable with exposure (requiring careful footing, good balance and occasional handholds) you can join Mary Hertert on a hike straight to the Cap.

Some of the Shield crowd will go to Liberty Cap after the Shield, as well.

If you know you cannot make the trailhead before 6 PM, or a little later, please call to let us know:[masked]

Liberty Cap is that little blip on the skyline.There are many very interesting hike options from this trailhead.

Do the Shield with us or do hikes as short as 2 miles or as long as 6 this evening.

You can also go into the Ute Canyon from here and maybe be graced with a chorus of singing Frogs.


  • sturdy hiking/ running type shoes or light weight hiking boots
  • water & maybe a quick energy snack (banana, fig bars, PB&J, or . . .)
  • clothing appropriate for the weather - sun wind sprinkles warm cool . . .
  • Tough gloves (optional but the rock can be abbrasive. Use leather or fake-leather; or the cotton backed- rubber faced gloves from Home Depot for <$12, maybe as little as $4?)
  • 15' or 30' or 60' webbing or 7-9mm rope (for short handlines in a place or 2 that people may want it to feel more secure. This is optional and those who have this gear already know to bring it and how to use it. If you do not have it, don't worry about that - we have it covered.)
  • headlamp or flashlight (even though we may be back before sunset ... have 1 or more of these in your pack. Buy headlamps for good price at Wal Mart or Home Depot).
  • trekking/ hiking/ ski poles (optional; some people like them for up as as well as down. If you are coming on the Shield you will need a way to fasten these to your pack to get them well out of the way since they will not be useful there.)


This trail is in the Monument so dogs are not allowed.


The parking lot is outside the Monument proper so there is no charge for admission or parking. I suggest though that you get an annual pass for the Monument or for all national parks.


Doug Van Etten[masked]

We are open to ideas for hike and other outings.

Come on this hike, join the discussion about more activities to come.

Among other ideas, a bunch of our hikers are planning to do some 14'ers this spring & summer. There are a couple of outings planned for the UT desert and Elizabeth will  be posting backpacking trips to Cedar Mesa and Dark Canyon Primitive Area, both in southeast UT as well as other backpacking. We may want to do a Black Canyon of the Gunnison backpack trip before the weather gets too warm.

Day hikes, evening hikes, peak climbs that are not 14ers; photography outings, plant ID or birding events; hikes to scenic lakes just for fun or for the wiley trout.

Rafts, canoes and other water craft are heavy on our calendar and there is plenty of room for more lots more boating. We have permits for the Salt, Green (Deso-Gray) and San Juan plus hope to boat in various craft on many non-permit controlled rivers.

Oh and let's be getting in some cycling - on and off road.

This is a member-driven group so we appreciate trip or event ideas from ALL members. Please speak up and let the group organizers know where you want to go, especially if you will initiate an event.

And, more and other events . . . . it is all driven by what our members want to do themselves and offer to share with fellow WSA members.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    My first hike with all you, it was a blast! Had a great time doing the grand slam and I feel like I will be doing that more and more. Looking forward to more hikes and meeting more of everyone who participates in these adventures.

    1 · April 5, 2013

    • Doug Van E.

      Great photos. Notice that one of your pics is the 'group photo' at upper left of the web page. Sometimes that pic stays the same for 2 or 3 days; other times if we have a lot of recent pics to choose from, a photo may only stay there for a few hours or 1/2 a day. Look forward to you coming out for more events real soon.

      1 · April 5, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I am honored to have one of my photos featured!!

      April 5, 2013

  • Mike W.

    Wow, what a great hike! I moved up the shield with all the grace of a hippopotamus on a tricycle and will add "ninja like climbing skills" to the long list of qualities that I don't possess. Kudos to Andy, Josh and Mike for completing the Liberty Cap Grand Slam and for pushing the pace up the trail. Thanks to Doug for organizing this hike!!

    April 5, 2013

  • daniel lee w.

    I can never say enough. better'n sitting at home wathcing reruns of hee haw.

    1 · April 5, 2013

  • Wes

    Met some new folks and had a great time checking out the trails. Next time we will have to bring some rope and get some rappels in. Thanks for setting this up Doug.

    2 · April 5, 2013

  • Andrew K.

    Grand Slam! Just like many hikes, the large group came to be split into smaller groups of varying fitness levels. Tonight Mike, Josh Campbell and I completed the Shield with the group, and proceeded to summit the bench above the Cap. We dropped back down and summitted the Cap as well, and we hit Corkscrew to return to the trailhead. We think the mileage in all that equated to approximately 6.5 miles, and that's pretty much what it felt like.
    Thanks for hosting Doug, and thank you to everyone who showed up and made it the fun time it was!

    1 · April 4, 2013

  • Doug Van E.

    The Shield was it's usual interesting scramble with a few folks reaching the top who may have never thought they would - congratulations to them and to all. A few of us stolled into the Ute Canyon black rock defile looking/ listening for frogs but all was silent there. Mr. Adventurer Wes found us a little tunnel to squirm through while exiting the black rock mini-canyon: fun and thanks for that. Others will most likely post comments about what WSA will now know as the Liberty Cap Grand Slam: 1. the Shield 2.the 2nd bench (above the Cap). 3.the Cap itself and finally 4. descend via the Corkscrew.

    1 · April 4, 2013

  • Mary h.

    Joined late but glad to see the ants on the shield.

    1 · April 4, 2013

  • Jill W.

    Happy to know you miss me Doug :)
    I'll see you on Thursday. Looking forward to the shield, it's been calling my name for a long time. Come on home Maria and Beth!

    April 1, 2013

    • Beth

      I wish. I'll be in for the Palisade, though. I might have to do the Shield that following Sunday for funsies.

      April 3, 2013

    • Beth

      (PS, the sandstone here SUCKS)

      April 3, 2013

  • Maria A.

    I am with reckless angel, I will be there in spirit also. I remember the first time awe did the shield, so much fun.

    2 · March 19, 2013

    • Doug Van E.

      When do you expect to be back in GJ, Maria? We miss you and Beth. And, because you 2 are not here, we rarely see the Jill Angel.

      April 1, 2013

  • Beth

    I will be there in spirit...looking forward to lots of pictures!

    1 · March 19, 2013

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