Ottos Bath TubDate: 6/6/2010
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Miles: About 8.5 miles round trip
Time: Appox. 4 hrs
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 39° 3’19.55″N, 108°44’13.10″W
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The Ottos Bath Tub trail shares the same trail head as the Liberty Cap upper trail head and the Black Ridge trail. From the visitors center the trail is not quite 6.5 miles on your left.
The trail starts out following an old road that was used up until the park service closed it in the early 1970’s. It makes you wonder what the road could have been used for. There are old wooded stands that look like hitching posts planted at various points along the trail.
As you continue down the trail, Monument Canyon will appear on your left (the North) side. There is a small rock cairn a little over three miles and a little past Monument Canyon that marks a trail that branches off to the left. This is where the trail leaves the Liberty Cap trail and becomes its own. It’s a pretty small cairn and the trail is not real defined so you have to pay attention or you can miss it.
The trail snakes its way through the juniper trees towards the rim of Monument Canyon. Once we reached this section the trail appeared to follow the slickrock and the trail became less defined. I found as long as you follow the rim of the canyon and keep an eye out on your right you will eventual pick up the trail again. Even if you don’t find the trail you will eventually end up at Ottos Bath Tub if you continue to follow the rim.
Once you reach Ottos Bath Tub, there is a narrow slickrock “bridge” with canyons on each side that you have to get past before you reach the actual formation. There are big “bowls” on each side of the “bridge” and Ottos Bath Tub is on the Monument Canyon side towards the North end of the “bridge”. I’ve head that Ottos Bath Tub is a natural arch that John Otto filled with rocks in an attempt to hold water. Rather or not it worked is unknown to me.
I believe that if you continue following the mesa top past this point you can eventually drop down into Goldstar Canyon. I’ve personally never been past Ottos Bath Tub.
The return trip is back the same way you came. This trail is a nice addition to the Liberty Cap trail. We made it a quick side trip on our way to Liberty Cap.
I rated this one 3 1/2 stars only because the trail is basically a road most of the way. I enjoy hiking on single track trails slightly more. The views are extraordinary and it can give you a good workout.