Tag Archives: Navajo sandstone

Halls Creek Narrows via “airport route” (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

Hundreds of thousands flock to southwestern Utah’s Zion National Park each year to witness the famed Zion Narrows, where the majestic Virgin River has sculpted a 16-mile stretch of cavernous bends and twists seemingly unique in their beauty. Midway across … Continue reading

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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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Cottonwood Wash (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

Of Capitol Reef National Park’s three strenuous slot canyons off the Notom-Bullfrog Road (Sheets Gulch and Burro Wash being the others), Cottonwood Wash is, to many, the most frustrating. The culprit is a deep, chilly pool—frequently over head high—encountered just … Continue reading

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Lower Spring Canyon (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

Spring Canyon—a popular overnight destination in Capitol Reef National Park—is often considered in two separate parts: a lengthy upper canyon that begins outside the park’s western boundary and a roughly 7-mile lower portion. Chimney Rock Canyon, accessed by way of … Continue reading

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Red Canyon Trail (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

One of a half-dozen hikes taking off from Capitol Reef National Park’s north-south Notom-Bullfrog Road, the Red Canyon Trail leads to an impressive amphitheater of scarlet-colored Wingate sandstone walls. Rocky promontories in the Wingate, similar in appearance to the celebrated … Continue reading

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Upper Muley Twist Canyon (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

A long day hike or 2-day backpacking trip, the 9-mile lasso-loop at Upper Muley Twist Canyon in Capitol Reef National Park has it all: colorful, striated cliffs; sinuous slots; a half-dozen impressive arches; and spectacular views atop a beautiful section … Continue reading

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Lower Maidenwater Canyon (North Lake Powell area, UT)

The remote Trachyte Creek drainage system—just east of Utah’s Henry Mountains and north of Lake Powell—comprises a flurry of narrow canyons, many thin enough to form slender slots. One of the area’s best day hikes is Lower Maidenwater Canyon, easily … 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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Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon (San Rafael Swell, UT)

As far as non-technical slot canyons go, Little Wild Horse Canyon in Utah’s San Rafael Swell is among the best of the best. Tight, picturesque narrows, sweeping sandstone domes, and honeycombed walls make Little Wild Horse the most popular hike … Continue reading

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Pleasant Creek slot canyon (Capitol Reef National Park, UT)

Most desert rats in Utah’s canyon country will know of Capitol Reef National Park’s three most prominent slot canyons: Burro Wash, Cottonwood Wash, and Sheets Gulch. They will also be familiar with the short, family-friendly narrows in nearby Headquarters Canyon. … Continue reading

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