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Capital Reef on Thanksgiving weekend
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Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
Capitol Reef on Thanksgiving weekend on 11/12/2012 19:08:40 MST Print View

Hi everyone,

I'm planning on going to Capital Reef Nat. Park Thanksgiving weekend with a backpacking meetup in Denver. Anyway, we are taking off Wed. morning before Thanksgiving and car camping on Wed & Thurs night in the park. There will be a big potluck meal in camp on Thursday. Then we will backpack Fri. & Sat. night.

I'll be geeking out with my new light winter gear and would love to meet some other light packers that weekend. My carpooling car is already full, but let me know if you are interested.

Any suggestions for a good two night route in that area that won't require any canyoneering skills?

Edited by flutingaround on 11/12/2012 19:11:26 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Capital Reef on Thanksgiving weekend on 11/12/2012 19:44:19 MST Print View

Don't know about a 2 day, but you'll drive by Goblin State Park. If you turn right, right before you enter, you can follow a dirt road to Little Wild Horse Canyon, which is an awesome day hike.

Mark Montag
The Wonderment of Capital Reef on 11/18/2012 14:19:01 MST Print View

Hey Raquel,

Capital Reef is one of the most beautiful & best kept secrets in the Colorado Plateau. Just don't tell anyone, we need to keep it that way. Scenic overkill & photographic opportunities abound.

Though CR isn't known for long hiking trails & depending on what you like - try Upper/Lower Muley Twist. They are more of an out & back type of routes - one day/night going (north) into Upper Muley - there are a few scrambles that take you up onto the Waterpocket Fold Ridge/Strike Valley Overlook - beautiful place to spend the night, great place for sunrise/set & star watching. The second night going (south) down stream in the Lower Muley. There may be some waterflow but for the most part you can hike good distances without getting wet & can turn around at any time. Of course remember those type canyons can flash flood - usually not a problem this time of year though Mother Earth has been changing her mind lately - always sleep on high ground and with limited sun-strike, canyons are cold in November.

Another possibility if you like desert off-trail/route finding is to trek from the Upper Cathedral monoliths thru the basin to the Temples of the Sun & Moon (visa-versa)- you're never more than a mile (east-west) from the surrounding dirt roads that loop the area - this time of year almost no-one will be on those roads. Follow dry wash beds and slick rock to keep impact off of the desert soils. Sunrise/sunset and astro-photography with the Temples and Monoliths as a back drop can make for some very distinguished images.

Have fun - be safe!

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
*gack* and *sigh* on 11/18/2012 15:57:28 MST Print View

Mark- thank you so much for these insights. Unfortunately, my two hiking partners just flaked this weekend, so I made the difficult call to cancel my trip. I don't think going solo during a holiday weekend will be a good fit for me. I was planning on doing Lower Muley just like you suggested.

I'll make it there, someday soon.