Lower Calf Creek Falls

This afternoon we hiked up the Lower Calf Creek trail under a beautiful blue sky, following the canyon floor. At the end of the canyon we were delighted by the cool mists of the 126 foot falls that feeds the perennial creek. As a result of the creek providing water year round, the canyon is lush with vegetation. Pictured directly below is the creek from above, and below that the falls from the trail.

Lower Calf Creek

Lower Calf Creek Falls

Lower Calf Creek Falls Hiking Map

Hells Backbone Road Scenic Backway

Today we attempted to drive the Hells Backbone Rd.  We knew that it was unlikely we could make it through but wanted to see if we could make it to the Hells Backbone Bridge which spans Sand Creek. The Bridge is 109 feet long and 14 feet wide. The drop is 1500 feet on both sides! Unfortunately due to a late winter storm the road is closed just short of the bridge. We spoke with another traveler who proceeded past the road closure sign but turned back when he saw a vehicle ahead of him stuck in the snow.

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Not Today!

Rim Overlook to Navajo Knobs

On Saturday we climbed to the Rim Overlook which provides great views to the east, west and south as well as the park directly below the rim. After a break at the rim we ventured further down the Navajo Knobs trail and then ventured up a side canyon before turning back and retracing our route back to the trailhead.

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Rim Overlook
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Fruita District CRNP

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Hickman Bridge

Hickman Bridge is a natural bridge  (not arch – bridge caused by water erosion) that sits at an elevation of apx 5700 ft above sea level. A short hike of 2.2 miles albeit the trip out is all climb to reach the bridge. The bridge is 133 feet across and 125 feet above the ground. A nice bridge to visit because you can travel under the bridge as well as climb above for a view from the top of the bridge.

 

Cathedral Valley Drive

On Thursday road conditions allowed us to venture into the remote Cathedral Valley district of CRNP. The terrain in this area consists largely of Bentonite which when wet is virtually impassable for any vehicle. So with several days of dry weather behind us we set out to reach the Sun and Moon Temples. Our average speed was only about 15 MPH due the significant washboarding present along with the many washes that need to be carefully negotiated. We again had many hours of solitude and beauty in this very unique portion of the San Rafael Swell.

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Caineville Rd
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Badlands
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Bentonite Hills
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Lower Cathedral Valley
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Sun Temple

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Sun and Moon Temples
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Bison

Notom Rd – Burr Trail Loop

Sunday’s weather provided a beautiful backdrop for our drive and hike within the Waterpocket Fold District within CRNP. Our drive began with a thirty mile trek down the sandy and occassionally muddy Notom Road which provided spectacular views of the Reef and the Henry Mountains. We turned east at the junction with the Burr Trail to drive the incredible switchbacks to the top of the Reef. We then left the Burr Trail to journey up the 4WD track to the Strike Valley Overlook trailhead. After hiking up to see the impressive view of the full length of the valley we hiked back down and then hiked the Upper Muley Twist Canyon stopping  at the Saddle Arch before returning to the jeep and back down the wash to the Burr Trail. The Burr Trail becomes paved after several miles and winds its way through numerous canyons ending at Rte 12 in Boulder. Boulder is an impossibly small town 40 miles from any other town but fortunately is the improbable home to a highly rated Zagat restaurant – Hell’s Backbone Grill. We had a great dinner and bottle of wine before heading north over the 9600 ft elevation of Deer Mountain within Dixie National Forest. A great way to celebrate Stephen’s birthday with a beautiful day and a wonderful dinner.

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Henry Mountains viewed from Notom-Bullfrog Rd
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Oyster Shell Reef
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Burr Switchbacks

Stike Valley-Waterpocket Fold

Strike Valley and Burr Trail

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Upper Muley Twist and Saddle Arch

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Elk on Burr Trail

Upper Muley Twist Hiking Map

Cohab Canyon and Frying Pan Trails

Today we hiked the Cohab Canyon to the North Overlook and a portion of the Frying Pan Trail. After a challenging initial climb consisting of 22 switchbacks and a 20% grade over a quarter of a mile we explored the canyon which included multiple slot spurs and a further climb to the North Overlook. We then made another climb up Frying Pan Trail which is completely on the Kayenta Formation. From there we retraced our steps back to the trailhead.

 

 

 

 

CohabCyn Hiking Map