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Backpacker Magazine – June 2011

National Parks: Capitol Reef

Discover a private paradise by crossing the park’s convoluted Waterpocket Fold.

by: Steve Howe

Slickrock traverse in Capitol Reef National Park (Kim Phillips)
Slickrock traverse in Capitol Reef National Park (Kim Phillips)
Waterpocket Fold's sliced up sandstone (Kim Phillips)
Waterpocket Fold's sliced up sandstone (Kim Phillips)
View of the Henry Mountains (Kim Phillips)
View of the Henry Mountains (Kim Phillips)
Slickrock bowl in Capitol Reef (Kim Phillips)
Slickrock bowl in Capitol Reef (Kim Phillips)
Henry Mountains form the backdrop to this route (Kim Phillips)
Henry Mountains form the backdrop to this route (Kim Phillips)



BEST DAYHIKE: SPRING CANYON

You don’t need to tackle Capitol Reef’s hardest terrain to see some of its best scenery. This 10-mile, cathedral-like hallway combines easy canyon hiking and foolproof routefinding (there’s only one way to go) with life-list sights, like lush cottonwoods backdropped by massive sandstone amphitheaters. From the Chimney Rock trailhead, good trail leads into the deep cleft of Chimney Rock Canyon. At mile 2.9 you intersect Spring Canyon and hang a right, leaving the maintained path behind. In a mile, the wash drops through a slot canyon. Explore it until an abrupt, sketchy downclimb; detour around on a trail along the left/north rim of the narrows. The wash-bottom route continues past overhanging cliffs to a spring with good water at mile 6.5. Continue beneath towering cottonwoods until you ford the Fremont River (usually knee to thigh deep) and pop out on UT 24. Leave a shuttle car here, or you can hitch or bike the seven-mile return west to the trailhead (but cyclists must finish with a steep, three-mile hill climb). Trip ID 1073088



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READERS COMMENTS

Derick
May 04, 2012

Link is not working, it is saying link is private.

BP Web Producer
Mar 09, 2012

The link is working now. Thanks.

Drew Doty
Feb 25, 2012

Yup the gps link would be nice!

Nalaw
Feb 23, 2012

The link to the GPS tracklog is bad. Any ideas I really wanted to do this hike!

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