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