Hickman Bridge and Rim Trail Overlook Hikes

Capitol Reef NP

Thursday October 9, 2014 and Sunday October 12, 2014

The trail head for both hikes started at the same parking area off Route 12.

The Hickman Bridge trail was about 2 miles round trip. We got started at mid-morning, which we quickly realized was too late. The sun beat down on us and we started to swelter even though the air temperature was fairly cool. Where ever we could find shade – which wasn’t often – we’d stop to catch our breath, have a drink of water, and cool off.

It took us a good hour to reach Hickman Bridge but it was worth it. For perspective, Hickman Bridge is 133 feet wide at the base.

Hickman Bridge

Hickman Bridge

The Rim Overlook Trail (4.6 miles round trip) was part of a longer trail that could take us to Navajo Knobs (9.4 miles round trip). Given the intensity of the sun, we opted to stop at the Rim Overlook.

We tried to be a little smarter by starting several hours earlier but, given the longer distance we had to hike, the sun wilted us long before we got to the overlook.

What amazed me, and lots of things have amazed me, was how delicate some of the sandstone layers are, like a flaky pastry. I wish I knew how long it took to make each layer. Hundreds of years? Thousands?

Sandstone pastry

Sandstone pastry

When we got to the rim overlook, we were not disappointed.

We were graced with a spectacular view of Fruita nestled in the canyon and the masterful landscape of the Waterpocket Fold to the east.

Overlook of Fruita and Waterpocket Fold

Overlook of Fruita and Waterpocket Fold

The view westward was no less spectacular but was of a very different landscape.

Westward view from Rim Overlook

Westward view from Rim Overlook

The overlook was a good 1,100 feet above the road. I took this picture looking straight down. There was nothing but air between the rock I was perched on and the ground.

Fruita orchard from Rim Overlook

Fruita orchard from Rim Overlook

We found a relatively shady spot that was protected from the wind to eat our lunch and to rest for the hike down.

What more could you ask for? We had solitude, awesome views, and time to contemplate nature’s mysteries.

J

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