Before we got to Utah we read all about the Pinhook Battle. It was a fight between ranchers and Native Americans where many people were killed from both sides. It happened in this valley, and it was the topic of conversation as we started down. We finished Miners Basin and drove across the pavement to start the trail.
It's a big descent into Pinhook Valley at the start. The highway is much higher than the bottom of the valley, so we had many feet to drop. The trail was well maintained, though, so it was a nice drive.
The trail was maintained all the way to the parking area at the battleground memorial -- it wasn't actually maintained once you drove past that spur. We headed to the memorial first and parked at the large, flat parking area. There were a couple signs there that detailed the battle, so we read those before using the footpath to go to the memorial itself.
The path wasn't long or strenuous. It looked like there may have been a structure there at one point, because there was a low stone wall that didn't contain anything. Or the wall may enclose graves. There was a marker near the wall that listed the people who died, noting that it was a "massacre" by Indians. To us, it seemed like it was simply a battle. If anyone was at fault, it was the cattlemen. Still, the marker was erected in 1940 so we excused the bit of ignorance.
We soon moved on, taking the path that wasn't maintained. That took us through brush and farther into the valley. Porcupine Rim was above and ahead of us, where we'd be later on Sand Flats Road. It would be cool to look down on where we'd been.
The trail intersected with Porcupine Ranch, the trail we'd do after Pinhook Valley. We passed that and headed up the hill the two trails share. Then we ended up on top of the mesa and heading back down the other side.
Though it was a fairly straight and mellow trail to the end, the scenery was awesome. We could see the rock formations in Castle Valley ahead of us, and they looked gorgeous under the blue sky. The trees were close in spots, so when we found a wide spot we broke for lunch. Mike played with an RC Jeep for a bit and we had a nice break in the sun.
After lunch, we kept going and found that we were nearly at the end of the trail. It was a pretty interesting trail, too. We popped out onto the pavement and drove a short distance to the trailhead for Porcupine Ranch so we could head back into the valley.