Sunday, July 13, 2014

Capitol Reef Hiking

July 12-13 - Hiking in Capitol Reef

Spent the weekend in Capitol Reef with a big group of friends and did several of the hikes in the park.

SULPHUR CREEK (~6 miles): We dropped a car at the Visitor Center and drove up to the trailhead. All 13 of us followed the wash downstream into some slotty sections where the canyon narrows.
Taking care of business 
Waterfalls in Sulphur Creek
The Castle, Capitol Reef
Narrow section of Sulphur Creek

COTTONWOOD WASH (~4 miles): The whole group followed the Cottonwood Wash upstream from the Notum-Bullfrong Road to the west into the Waterpocket Fold where the canyon narrows within the resistant Navajo Sandstone.  Lots of stagnant and deep water.  Required some challenging stemming and/or swimming.  We turned around early due to time, didn't get very far up the slot section.
The beginning of the slot section in Cottonwood Wash
Hiking down Cottonwood Wash

HICKMAN BRIDGE (~2 miles): Nature hike to a large natural Arch near the Visitor's Center.  45 minutes.
Hickman Bridge

BURRO WASH (~6 miles): Much like Cottonwood, we started off the Notum-Bullfrog Road road and followed the Burro Wash up the dry stream bed until the canyon narrowed.  This canyon was the highlight of our hikes, with scrambling, boulder problems, stemming, wading, and squeezing.  We stopped at a large chamber with an impassable dry pour off and retraced our steps to the car. 2.5 hours RT.

Heading into the cold water in Burro Wash
Narrow slots in Burro Wash
Wading through the deep water
Stemming down into the deep canyon below
Squeezing through Burro Wash