Posts Tagged ‘north caineville mesa’

North Caineville Mesa – Hiking

Friday, October 4th, 2013

A view to the east - mid-point on the hike up North Caineville Mesa

Recently we posted on this blog about South Caineville Mesa.   Both North and South Caineville Mesa Trails are near the Cathedral Valley of Capitol Reef National Park, just above the Fremont River flood plain.  When hiking this desolate landscape you’ll see some of the most remarkable terrain imaginable and quite possibly feel like you’ve walked to the ends of the earth.

Looking up from the bottom of North Caineville Mesa

Get started early on these remote trails for two reasons: One, the early morning shadows are incredible, and two, you don’t want to hike these strenuous trails in the heat of the day when there’s no escape from the sun (depending on weather conditions, a mid-day hike could be okay during the winter).

Looking west toward Boulder Mountain from North Caineville Mesa

North Caineville Mesa is fairly short, about a mile long, and has a 1,200 foot elevation gain. The trail is mostly rocky with some sandy parts, and steep all around. It’s a great year-round hike as long as the weather is good, and just like South Caineville Mesa, the early morning light casts the most dramatic shadows. Some people take the slightly easier route from the back side of the mesa but most people head up the face.  Please note this is a short route but quite steep.

A view through a rock gap toward South Caineville Mesa and the Henry Mountains

Park on the south side of Highway 24 near the old cement truck, cross the road, and find the trail-head at the base of the closest grey foothill.  The trail follows the face of the mesa and there are a few tight spaces to crawl through. When you reach the top, you’ve also reached the highest point in Caineville.  Prepare to be amazed at the view.  The hike should take about half an hour to an hour.

The formations around North Caineville Mesa are quite spectacular.

Caineville is just off Highway 24 on the east side of Capitol Reef NP. There is one motel and a campground.   Follow this link on Google Maps to the beginning point for this hike.   Here’s a complete PDF itinerary for the North Caineville Mesa hike.

Another view to South Caineville Mesa

South Caineville Mesa – Hiking

Friday, September 20th, 2013
south caineville mesa - utah

Early morning light and a moon overhead make South Caineville Mesa come alive.

One of the more unique views in all of Utah is found by hiking up and onto South Caineville Mesa.  This is a good and somewhat strenuous hike, but the views? Oh so worth it.  As the mountains have eroded falling debris has cut ravines that fan out dramatically at the base.  (View this print-able itinerary for South Caineville Mesa)

South Caineville Mesa Hiking Trail

Jack Peterson, a local hiking enthusiast, walks up the spine of a formation.

You may have seen alluvial fans before, but not quite like these. You’ll think you’ve landed on the surface of the moon.

Utah Rock Formations

Rock formations along the South Caineville Mesa hiking trail.

To reach the hiking trailhead, pass through a gate and park about 100 yards above the wash. The trail is 2.8 miles long, starting at 4,543 feet.  Be sure to check weather conditions before heading out on South Caineville Mesa trail–the steep incline requires a clear, dry forecast for this strenuous hike.

A view from South Caineville Mesa to the mesa to the north.

There is a 7-foot wash to the southwest that may flood; otherwise try the alternative route to the southeast. Cross the Fremont River and head southeast to the open valley. Follow the trail along the ridge lines at the base of the mesa, then ascend nearly 1,000 feet to the top.

Jack Peterson looks across the valley between the mesas.

The views from the top are simply breathtaking, with Boulder Mountain to the west, and Thousand Lakes Mountain, Factory Butte, and the Henry Mountains rising to the south. Be sure to sign your name at the registration box near the rim.

Another view of the remarkable landscape between the mesa.

South Caineville Mesa is located about 1.5 miles east of the Rodeway Inn in Caineville, Utah.   (View this print-able itinerary for South Caineville Mesa)