Sunrise Out My Front Door

Sunrise Out My Front Door
Sunrise Out My Front Door

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Capitol Reef: My Favorite Hike

September 22, 2018

I wanted to do the Hickman Bridge Hike in the early morning after the trail was sunlit, but before it got too hot to want to be out on rocks in the sun.   I was slow to get out of camp, so it was about eight before I got going. 

The trail starts between the Freemont River, east of where I was camping, and a rock mountain. Almost immediately it switchbacks up a mountain with a view into a side canyon. Volcanic rock has been rounded into black balls by floods and tumble down the mountain from the black band of volcanic rock. The Civilian Conservation Corp built the trail  so it has a lot of steps, making it easier to climb..  After you get to the top, you soon have to climb down again before gradually climbing to the loop part of the trail.  You get to walk through the natural bridge before heading back. 

The trail gives long view from the loop past the bridge and  goes through sandy areas with lots of fairly close views of  of the formations. 

The trailhead for this hike is just past the petroglyphs and just after the Freemont River  crosses the road. 

View of the Freemont River at the trailhead

View as trail turns and climbs up and behind the parking lot

There are volcanic "balls" dotting the landscape  made by action of floods over millennium 

A sharp turn in the trail

This formation reminded me of a building

There was a lot of diversity in the views

The beautiful work of the CCC

I was interested to see the range of the cochineal beetle  - this scale insect lives on prickly pear and 
is used to make carmine dye

Could only find three fingers of this "hand"

The landscape ranges from close to further

This was a mini bridge about half way along the trail

More cliff detail

This area was very sandy

Struggle to survive

The next pictures are from the part of the trail that loops through the bridge

The trail turns right and goes through another canyon

I never got tired of looking closer at the formations

These people are going under the bridge

Here is a longer view of it

And a view from the far side looking back at the rock formations

Another visitor and I traded pictures

One last look back

The trail continued

I got longer and longer views as I looped  back to the straight part of the trail 

All this beauty happened in less than two miles on a trail described as moderate. If you like to hike longer, you can connect to the Rim Overlook and Bald Knob trails for a total of 9.5 miles and reportedly stupendous views looking down on the orchards. Those trails range from moderate to strenuous.

This is the last blog on the adventures I had over the last month as I migrated to Texas. I'm finally in Galveston for about a week.  Today I voted, took my bike to be fixed, and started to get my car legal for next year. I'll try to remember to take my camera on a paddle this week. Otherwise, it may be a while before I'm blogging again.

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