Capitol Reef Birthday Weekend

Saturday & Sunday, February 13 – 14, 2010

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For the weekend following my birthday, I wanted to head back to Capitol Reef National Park. When I was there back in October, I noted a couple of hikes I wanted to check out and figured this would be a good time.

After driving through some thick fog early Saturday morning, we arrived at Capitol Reef and started on our first short hike up to Hickman Bridge.

After climbing above the Fremont River looking back at Capitol Dome with the road below.
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Hickman Bridge
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On our way back from the Hickman Bridge, we stopped at the Nels Johnson Bridge
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When we reached the Jeep, it had warmed up quite a bit since the morning and was over 50 degrees out. This was a perfect opportunity to take off my freedom panel for the first time since I bought the Jeep a few weeks ago. I left it off while we drove the two miles to our next hike in Grand Wash.
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Grand Wash was a cool hike in a pretty flat wash bottom with sheer walls on both sides.
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Amanda in this photo for scale.
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Amanda in the shadows.
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While in the Narrows, I came across this wind carved wall where people had placed rocks in each of the openings. The colors were pretty cool, too.
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After finishing our hike through Grand Wash, we made a quick stop at the Fruita Grade School.
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Since the Scenic Drive was closed due to snow and ice, our next stop was to grab some dinner from Taco Time in Torrey before we checked into our hotel for the night……we don’t do cold weather camping.

Sunday morning we loaded up the Jeep again and headed east through Capitol Reef to the beginning of the Cathedral Valley Loop trail. I wanted to check the river crossing of the Fremont River with the new JK
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Next we headed south on Notom Road towards the Burr Trail. When we started out on this trail, the temperature was still below freezing, so all the mud was pretty frozen, however as the sun came up further and the temperature rose, we encountered quite a bit of muddy sections before reaching the Burr Trail intersection.
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Luckily the Burr Trail had been plowed at some point, so I decided to head up it and see if Upper Muley Twist Canyon was passable.

Looking through the Waterpocket Fold above the Burr Trail at the Henry Mountains
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Headed up the Burr Trail
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Unfortunately no one had broken trail through Upper Muley Twist Canyon with about a foot of snow on the ground. I wasn’t about to attempt it it alone…
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Took a few photos before heading back down the Burr Trail.
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Peekaboo Arch in the background.
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I like this one.
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Headed back down.
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When we reached the intersection in Strike Valley again, we took a right and headed towards Bullfrog so we could circle around the Henry Mountains on our way back to Hanksville. This was a good choice as there was much less snow and mud. By the time we reached Bullfrog, there were no signs of snow and the roads were dry and dusty.

Headed towards the Henry Mountains on our way to Bullfrog.
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When we reached Bullfrog we headed north to Hanksville and grabbed some burgers from Stans Burger Shack before heading home. It was a good way to celebrate my birthday 🙂


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