Ask Me: What Are the Can’t Miss, Uncrowded Hikes in Capitol Reef?
Just skimming some of your stuff on Capitol Reef National Park. My fiancee and I, along with her two girls (age 11 and 12), are planning a family trip to Capitol Reef. The girls are quite athletic. I’d love to take them on dayhikes to some of the less-traveled spots in and around the park. What would you regard as “don’t miss?” We may also bring ropes and harnesses. Thinking of the Stegosaur Canyon trip. Anything else like this with minor rappelling and ropework? I was thinking of calling your guide friend Steve Howe, as well.
Love your blog, Michael. Thanks in advance,
Check out my All National Parks Trips page and scroll down to Capitol Reef National Park—lots of ideas for you there. The most adventurous and gorgeous trip would be the first story on that list, hiring my friend Steve Howe, who owns Redrock Adventure Guides, to take you on his three-day, mostly off-trail Beehive Traverse (the section I write about in that story). I’d take my kids on it, or any kids who can handle really rugged terrain for 6-7 miles/day (but several hours/day), some exposure, and carrying extra water, but it’s not technical (no ropes needed).
For one-day trips with Steve, his Stegosaur Canyon descent is very cool, as is his partly off-trail loop hike, with two short, wild rappels, from The Tanks to the Great White Throne trailhead (both are described in this story). Forget about trying to find Steve’s hikes on your own, although you can hike off-trail for about a mile beyond the end of The Tanks Trail, and see some cool terrain, without any great navigational difficulties (and then just double back). Otherwise, Capitol Reef is a maze once you head off-trail.
On your own, hike Navajo Knobs Trail, Cohab Canyon, Upper and/or Lower Muley Twist (Upper is a dayhike but we once spent a night on the rim of Upper, amazing views and sunset, but you have to carry all your water), Golden Throne Trail, Burro Canyon for a fun slot canyon dayhike (ask rangers whether there’s deep, cold water in it, and if so, save it for another day). Sulphur Creek is a fun morning hike (hot in the afternoon). Hike the Frying Pan Trail near Cohab and just wander off-trail (but keep track of where you are, it’s very confusing); it’s where I took the photo below. Backpack Spring Canyon for two to three days, including the short side loop on the Chimney Rock Loop.
Got a trip coming up? See my reviews of the best gear duffles and luggage and 6 favorite daypacks.
Myriad possibilities, really. Great park, and only the really short hikes like Hickman Bridge are crowded, although it’s getting a little more popular. Still, you’ll want to go back again.
See all of my stories about Capitol Reef National Park.
Thanks for following my blog. I hope you subscribe (see box in left sidebar). Good luck.
This story took quite a while to write, so if you enjoyed it, please consider giving it a share using the buttons below. I’d really appreciate it.
NOTE: I can help you plan the best backpacking, hiking, or family adventure of your life. Got a question about any trip, gear, or topic I write about at The Big Outside? Send it to me at email@example.com. For $40, I’ll answer your questions via email to help ensure your outdoor experience is a success. I will also provide a telephone consult for $50. Write to me and I will tell you whether I can answer your question (I usually can). First scroll through my Ask Me page and All Trips page, skills stories, and gear reviews for answers to your questions before writing to me.
Do you like The Big Outside? I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by USA Today, a Trip Advisor site, and others. Get email updates about new stories and free gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this story, in the left sidebar, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
This blog and website is my full-time job and I rely on the support of readers. If you like what you see here, please help me continue producing The Big Outside by making a donation using the Support button at the top of the left sidebar or below. Thank you for your support.
The Big Outside is proud to partner with these sponsors. Please help support my blog by liking and following my sponsors on Facebook and other social media and telling them you appreciate their support for The Big Outside.
Subscribe to the Big Outside
Enter your e-mail address for updates about new stories, reviews, and gear giveaways!