Posts Tagged ‘utah hiking trail’

Hemlock Meadows – Hiking Outside Capitol Reef

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Bicknell Utah Hiking Trail

Looking back on the hiking trail that leads into Hemlock Meadows

Capitol Reef National Park offers many great hiking trails, but there’s a short secret trail on the edge of Bicknell, Utah that is rarely accessed, and one that many people will enjoy for its serenity and seclusion.

A view of the meadow that extends up the canyon

On the eastern edge of Bicknell is a road that leads to a quiet campground called Sunglow.   Travel one half mile up the road to Sunglow and park your vehicle.  Look north and you’ll catch glimpses of a low canyon ahead.  The beginning does not offer a well detailed trail, but stay on the left hillside to avoid two washes that can be difficult to cross.

A summertime view of the lush meadow

As the canyon begins to open you’ll come across a long and lush meadow that sprawls across the middle floor of the canyon and continues all the way to the back of the canyon.

At the back of the canyon you’ll come to a fork that divides your path into two short box canyons.  These can be accessed by crossing the thick foliage of the meadow.  You’re creating your own path if you choose to explore these two areas.   This is not a long hike, and the elevation gain is minimal.  The trail surface is mostly hard packed but you’ll find a few areas where the trail is soft sand.

Looking up canyon from a view point along the trail

This is great secret trail to explore while visiting Bicknell, or while staying in nearby communities of Loa, Lyman, Teasdale, or Torrey.   Learn more about Hemlock Meadows – here.

Length: 1. 3 miles (each direction) 2.6 miles total.

Elevation: 7,152 fee.   Elevation gain is just 383 feet.

Don’t miss the opportunity to venture into the Sunglow Campground area, where there is a short hike that takes you further up a canyon at the back of the campground.  View more about the Sunglow Canyon Trail – here

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