Tag Archives: Carmel formation

Lower Muley Twist Canyon and Hamburger Rocks (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

The circuitous hike through Capitol Reef National Park’s Lower Muley Twist Canyon extends for close to 12 miles from the Burr Trail Road to its southern mouth at the Halls Creek drainage. Highlights along the backcountry route include 1,000-foot cliffs … Continue reading

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Strike Valley Overlook (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

Capitol Reef National Park features 17 distinct layers of sedimentary rock, a total that greatly surpasses a majority of parks in the American southwest. To enjoy the splendor of more than half of them, consider the short but remote hike … Continue reading

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Pleasant Creek (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

According to historical accounts, it was Almon Harris Thompson’s central Utah expedition in 1872 that gave the name to Pleasant Creek, a beautiful perennial stream now running through 242,000-acre Capitol Reef National Park. Upon discovering the rivulet on a trek … Continue reading

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Surprise Canyon (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

Surprise Canyon and Headquarters Canyon (see my previous post)—Surprise’s nearby, more-frequented cousin—share a number of common traits. For one, they both cut deeply through the Waterpocket Fold, the 100-mile uplift in the earth’s crust that is the signature feature of … Continue reading

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Headquarters Canyon (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

If I were to guess, I’d say upwards of 90-95 percent of visitors at Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park spend their entire stay along the main arteries running through the central district—Highway 24 and the Scenic Drive. But the southern … Continue reading

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Shakespeare Arch and the Sentinel Trail (Kodachrome Basin State Park, UT)

Amid a landscape of wrinkling badlands and mysterious spires, Shakespeare Arch is the only significant natural arch in Utah’s Kodachrome Basin State Park. The loop hike described here offers a short, pleasant walk out to the hidden arch, accented by … Continue reading

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Golden Throne Trail and Golden Throne Canyon (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

The purpose of the Golden Throne Trail is to provide fine views of the trail’s namesake, a 7,042-foot sandstone dome that shines a deep yellow in the sun. However, visitors hoping to summit Golden Throne—or even to touch it—are likely … Continue reading

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