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Fremont Gorge Overlook - Capitol Reef, UT
mini location map2016-09-29
15 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Fremont Gorge Overlook - Capitol Reef, UT 
Fremont Gorge Overlook - Capitol Reef, UT
Hiking avatar Sep 29 2016
Hiking4.30 Miles 1,017 AEG
Hiking4.30 Miles   2 Hrs   6 Mns   2.13 mph
1,017 ft AEG      5 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Last of three hikes today in Capitol Reef NP.
Changing skies AGAIN... the skies were clearing and the sun was coming out so we figured on taking a longer hike.
But for more energy for the hike we stopped by the Gifford House for a peach pie. Tracey and I consumed a 6" pie within minutes and headed for the trailhead.
(I suppose I should have added in the .7 miles round-trip to this triplog. Oh well.)

At the trailhead there was an old garage with equipment from years ago. The main feature was the first tractor brought into Fruita in 1947, I believe. It had four-wheel drive with steering like a Bobcat and was steered with reins... like a horse, and thus a Power Horse.

The hike started off with an immediate steep climb, first up an old road then steeper up the ridge to a long wide grassy mesa. Although the trail was very flat for the first mile-plus, it was still a hazard as the trail was a narrow dip with plenty of rocks... easy to twist an ankle, and not wanting to aggravate my weak left ankle, I was overly attentive.

Eventually the trail began to climb, first a small amount, then steeper and steeper until finally the gorge comes into view. Unfortunately, here come the back clouds again so we had to cut the hike a bit short. On the return trip we met two other couples heading out, neither of whom seemed concerned with the incoming gray clouds. Oh well, at least we called their attention to the clouds.

Then on last descent to the trailhead we met another couple who asked what the trail was like and where it went. We provided the information, along with the warning of the by-now closer dark clouds. We continued back to the trailhead while they went on their merry way.

Back at the Jeep we were both thinking about the great-tasting peach pies, so we took another trip back to the Gifford House and this time we each had our own pie. For the second time today we wolfed down the peach pies. Can't have enough of a good thing, you know.

Even so, we barely had time to finish off the pies before the massive deluge hit. The first thing we thought of were the three couples on the Fremont Gorge hike as all three of their vehicles were still at the trailhead. We made a quick stop at the NP information center to take a glance at the weather forecast over the next few days. Rain, rain & rain was the theme... ok, so it was only 40%, 50% and 40% but it had been only 30% for today so as we headed back to our campsite.

On the 15-mile drive to our camp 6 miles south of UT 24 and just off Notom Bullfrog Road the rain came down so hard that even on wide flat areas along the highway we were driving through 4-6" of water. It continued so hard water was pouring through the base of the windshield and we had water running down on our feet across the dash. Enough that weird stuff was going on with the electrical system... later (back home) it appeared water was dripping directly onto connector C-201, which on a Jeep Cherokee is the largest connector, with 74 connections. So water was causing short circuits.
** Spoiler alert ** (This problem will come back to haunt us over the next few days.)

Anyway, this meant by time we reached our camp we were already thinking about bailing out on Capitol Reef. We'd see how it went overnight before making the final decision in the morning.

Yes, it would rain off-and-on almost all night, so when we bailed, we had wet tents and tarps to deal with... not fun.

And so the decision was made to head back to the Paradise we had in the Orange Cliffs area of Glen Canyon NRA.
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