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Questions on hikes in Capitol Reef

PA
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Questions on hikes in Capitol Reef

We have one full day to enjoy the park in early May (staying 2 nights in Torrey). Will have done Goblin Valley S.P. & LWHC (I hope) the day before & heading down Route 12 the day after so staying in the park all day. Plan to do scenic drive & hike Capitol Gorge, check out Fruita area & Visitor Center, school house & buy baked goods!

My hiking questions:

1. Grand Wash: If we hike in 1 way & turn around after awhile, which END would be better: off Rte 24 OR going in from scenic drive?

2. If we do one other (moderate level) hike, would you suggest Fremont River OR

Cohab canyon? Would Cohab have more views...?

3. I've seen, on forums, a Sulphur creek hike but don't see it on the nps website under list of hikes. Is this a trail or hiking in creek? Is it easy-ish? How far to go & turn around?

4. We will have been to Arches. Is Hickman Bridge a great hike? The falling rock warnings make me put it low on my list of possibilities right now.

THANKS for you opinions & input!

Edited: 23 March 2014, 20:00
Salt Lake City, UT
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1. Re: Questions on hikes in Capitol Reef

I've done Grand Wash from both directions and don't recall much difference. It's fairly easy going and short enough you could do the whole thing. The advantage to starting on the UT24 end is that you'd be gaining elevation on the way in and losing on the way out, the way I prefer to hike at least, though the gradient is not steep at all.

Sulphur Creek is a hiking route, not a maintained trail per se, but I haven't done it. Kbec has and will probably chime in. It's strange that it doesn't seem to be documented on the nps website for Capitol Reef.

Most all the hikes in the Fruita in the area are superb and have great views, though Cohab has fewer views than some. If I had to to recommend just one, tough call, but I'd probably pick the Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail over the Fremont River Trail. Chimney Rock is also a favorite of ours.

Hickman Bridge is a nice, easy hike, and does give you more of a marquee attraction to aim for. I wouldn't worry too much about rockfalls. I'd be quite confident that the nps is on top of things, and those things would be far more likely if there has been abundant recent precipitation than during dry spells.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Questions on hikes in Capitol Reef

Not sure there is a big difference on which direction to travel in the Grand Wash. It's fairly flat and easy going. Seems like starting from the Highway 24 side is a littler more narrow and gradually opens wider, the further you travel.

2. There are a couple of Freemont River overlooks from Cohab Canyon. The East one is better and well worth the short diversion from the main trail. I like hiking in Cohab because the walls are fairly narrow and interesting and there are lots of side canyons you could explore if wanted.

3. Sulphur Creek starts across the street from Chimney Rock. Parts of it are through the actual creek and you climb down a couple of small waterfalls, if they could even be called that. The trail winds down to the Visitors Center, where you would bum a ride back up to the Chimney Rock parking lot. Would be best with sport sandals or extra shoes that can get wet.

4. Hickman Bridge is spectacular in its own right. The trail is short and fairly easy, maybe a mile one- way. If you've been to Arches I might skip it too. I wouldn't worry to much about falling rocks anymore than any other area in the park. Much of the hike is quite open and away from steep rock faces. Obviously the park rangers know much more than I do about the geology and current conditions, but I also think they have to act with the utmost caution and conservative protocol for liability reasons.

Edited: 24 March 2014, 04:35
Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Questions on hikes in Capitol Reef

Argh, my answer was eaten. Okay, so trying this for the third time.

1) I've found the best part of Grand Wash is near the middle. And either end was fairly similar. If you start near the Scenic route then you could add in Cassidys Arch if you felt like it.

2) I wonder if I've ever done the Fremont River?? And Cohab Canyon didn't offer views that I remember, but still enjoyed the hike. I definitely feel a need to do these hikes again, its been too long.

3) Sulphur Creek was a great hike. I loved it. We started at the Chimney Rock trailhead (parked there) then walked across the street to follow the obvious but unmarked trail down the wash. It is about 6 miles one way. Level except for the waterfalls and easy except for scrambling around the waterfalls. Yes, you are mostly walking in the creek, but for the most part it is only ankle deep, except for the parts where it is more like thigh deep. So very nice on a hot summer day. Not sure it would be good on a cool spring day. You can go the other direction starting right behind the Visitors Center. It is about a mile to the first waterfall- no stream walking needed there- If you wanted to climb the waterfall and continue up for a ways that would work- but do plan on getting wet.

4) Hickman Bridge is slightly different geologically from the arches you'll have seen in Arches and it is technically a bridge so created differently. So it is interesting that way, though not absolutely necessary. There are some nice views of the Valley though if you follow the trail around to that side.

Enjoy your visit to this less appreciated but great park.

PA
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4. Re: Questions on hikes in Capitol Reef

Thanks for the good info. & ideas on hikes - you folks are the best!

5. Re: Questions on hikes in Capitol Reef

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