Capitol Reef to Chimney Rock

Southern Utah Wanderings 2010 | Day 1
Saturday, October 2, 2010

On Saturday morning I left Grand Junction and headed into Utah. I made my way through Green River and Hanksville before reaching Capitol Reef. My destination was Escalante, but I would be getting off of the pavement for a little bit on the way. I took the Scenic Drive past Capitol Gorge where the pavement turned to dirt. With all the storms Southern Utah had seen this year, I wasn’t sure if the road was going to be washed out or not, but I got lucky and it wasn’t too bad. There were a few rough sections, but nothing a high clearance vehicle couldn’t handle.

I was treated to a great display of colors on Boulder Mountain in the distance

Soon I reached the pavement again and headed south through Boulder and then on to Escalante. I met my friend Jared at the BLM visitor center where we got our camping permits for the next few nights, bought a few books and then transferred his gear into my Jeep. We grabbed some lunch at the Golden Loop and then dropped off his car at the Boulder Mail Trailhead. I gassed up the Jeep before heading down the Cedar Wash Road.

Our first stop along this road was a short hike to the Covered Wagon Natural Bridge.

A large alcove we walked through on the way

Covered Wagon Natural Bridge

From there we traveled a few more miles down the road and stopped to see Cedar Wash Arch.

Cedar Wash Arch

Continuing on our way towards the Hole-in-the-Rock Road we encountered a Subaru parked in the middle of this one lane road, with no one around. I got out of the Jeep to investigate and see if anyone was near, but as I approached the vehicle I started to hear gunshots down in the wash below me. I decided to get back in the Jeep and we found a way to get around the vehicle. When we reached the Hole-in-the-Rock Road we took a right turn and headed south to the Dry Fork turnoff. We went past the trailhead and found some nice campsites. We setup camp which would be our home base for the next couple of nights.

Once camp was setup we got back in the Jeep and made our way over to Chimney Rock for sunset.

Chimney Rock

Jared checking out some of the older inscriptions carved into the saandstone

After the sun was down we headed back to camp and sat out under the only star-filled night we would have on this trip!

Sunday, to be continued….


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