Pick up time: hotel 8am Drop off time: 7pm
Additional Single Occupancy Lodging Cost: $475
The vast expanse of the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument is daunting, to say the least and the inclusion of Capitol Reef National Park with its geographical proximity and geological affinity with the Grand Staircase, creates hiking and photography options without limits.
The 1996 creation of Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, has provided a partial cloak of protection (falling well short of wilderness designation protection) over some of our nation’s most precious remaining wildlands in an area that has been a fierce battleground between developers and environmentalists.
Our hiking tour assembles in Torrey, UT, at the western entrance to Capitol Reef, and we’ll provide van shuttle transportation from Salt Lake City early morning of Day 1. We’ll arrive at the Capitol Reef Resort early enough to visit the Visitors Center within the park and stretch our legs with a short hike along the Fremont Gorge Overlookl that rises above the river for an outstanding view of the Fruita orchards and several of the park’s prominent formations. If guests want more, we will hike up the Sulfur Creek river and explore.
Following our first of three overnights, on Day 2 we’ll hike to Cohab Canyon, climbing initially to a grand overlook of the area and then descending into the narrows of Cohab with its soaring sandstone walls. We’ll continue on to Cassidy Arch and through the Grand Wash. On Day 3, we'll hike Chimney Rock Canyon to the Fremont River.
The Rim Overlook Trail is our focus for Day 4. We’ll hike from the Fremont River, initially to Hickman Natural Bridge and then well beyond to Navajo Knobs, some 2,000 feet above the valley floor. The views from the Knobs, in a word, are incredible. We'll relax as we enjoy a van shuttle over Boulder Mountain and we'll overnight in Boulder, UT.
On Day 5, we'll either hike Lower Muley Twist Canyon or Phipps Arch. After the hike we'll van shuttle to the town of Escalante for two nights. On Day 6, we’ll travel west into the Escalante on a dirt road to experience the remarkable slot canyon hiking for which this region is famous. We’ll spend much of the day in the Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch, scrambling, and we do mean scrambling, through slots aptly named “Spooky” and “Peek a boo”. We’ll spend our final morning hiking to Calf Creek Falls on Day 7 prior to our return to Salt Lake. Don't miss this Capitol Reef and the Grand Staircase Hiking Tour.
|Day 1||Van shuttle from Salt Lake City in the morning, group assembles late afternoon at Capitol Reef Resort in Torrey; visit the Capitol Reef
National Park Visitors Center. Hike to Fremont Gorge Overlook add Sulphur Creek exploration if time permits
|5 - 7 miles|
|Day 2||Cohab Canyon Trail: Cassidy Arch, Grand Wash; elevation gain - 2,000’ (approx.)
|Day 3||Chimney Rock Canyon to the Fremont River||10 miles|
|Day 4||Rim Overlook Trail: Hickman Bridge view; Navaho Knobs: views of the Fremont River,
Fruita orchards, Water pocket Fold, La Sal and Henry Mountains; elevation gain - l,040’
|Day 5|| Lower Muley Twist Canyon, The Post Overlook and the Waterpocket Fold or Phipps Arch hike to Escalante River
|Day 6||Dry Fork of Coyote Creek: Spooky and Peek a Boo Slots
elevation gain - 700’
|Day 7||Lower Calf Creek Falls; elevation gain - 250’; van shuttle return
to Salt Lake City.
Total Hiking Mileage: 49 - 54 miles