The Best Hikes in Central

165 Triplog Reviews in the Central
Most recent of 33 deeper Triplog Reviews
8.5 mi • 827 ft aeg
this hike has been on my radar for a few years and i made sure it fit into the trip this time
drove from torrey to hanksville and then to the trailhead friday morning
both parking lots were almost full mid-morning, numbers enhanced by a group of students from utah state on a backpack trip
we got going ahead of them, fortunately
set out down a wash approaching canyon walls
the trail splits, with bell canyon to the left and little wild horse to the right
we chose to do the loop clockwise - as others have mentioned, saving the best for last
there were a few little obstacles, all manageable, as the canyon tightened up
fun going through here, and we saw very few people until emerging at the jeep road
the road walk was enjoyable - more like a trail than a road
the exit from bell and the entrance to little wild horse were signed
we started seeing more people once in little wild horse canyon
very scenic with a few little obstacles, then walls rose and the canyon became much narrower
there was one downclimb that we got help with after pointing out the bypass to a group
we ran into the backpacking group
then we started running into the people who did an out & back in little wild horse
estimating 95% of the crowd did just that
one annoying traffic jam due to a group of boy scouts that were taking photos at a dead stop
i stopped taking photos at that point
all those people are not my favorite thing
but, things started moving and traffic thinned out
lots of families, kid and dogs
we hit the intersection with bell canyon and exited
the way to do this would be to go early morning and go through little wild horse before it gets jammed up
the rest of the loop is well worth doing and is not nearly as busy
the hike lived up to the hype
this was sue's favorite of the trip
now i can put some of the escalante slot canyons on our list :)
6.25 mi • 1,000 ft aeg
Golden Throne & Capitol Gorge
relaxing start to the day, with coffee and breakfast outside our cabin in escalante
drove over boulder mountain to capitol reef
fantastic views from highway 12 with aspen at peak color on the mountain
once in the park, we had a little picnic in fruita, then drove down the scenic drive to capitol gorge trailhead
crowded but seemed most were hiking the capitol gorge trail
we hiked golden throne trail first, a four mile round trip through beautiful terrain to a great view of the golden throne - just a few people on this one
spent some time at the endpoint overlook
next walked down capitol gorge and climbed up to the tanks, which both held water
high canyon walls along what used to be an old road
i don't enjoy walking through a wash much, but nice to see what this hike was about
drove to torrey and checked into our cabin at the trading post
1.04 mi • 517 ft aeg
Mine Camp Peak (elevation of 10,222 feet and prominence of 3,039 feet) had been on my hike list for a while. I wanted to do the hike this summer, but the roads to the TH were closed due to a fire. However, the closure order expired on October 1, so I was able to do the hike afterall.

This is a short hike on a named trail that is actually more like a use trail. The trail petered out as I neared the summit, but it didn't matter -- I could see the summit and I was in open country, so a trail wasn't really needed.

There were nice views at the summit, and the aspen groves were exploding.

The drive in was a bit long -- 18 miles on dirt from the town of Richfield. So it was 36 miles of dirt road driving for a one mile hike. No wonder I hike solo most of the time!

I have now been to the highpoint of 26 of Utah's 29 counties.

Foliage
There were some really nice aspen groves along the drive and hike. It almost would get an "extreme" rating, but not quite.
5 mi • 600 ft aeg
There were so many people out memorial weekend. This place was quite busy but it was still enjoyable. We did this hike in reverse order. I think I like the better that way because we were climbing up the ropes versus down the ropes. There were a few swim tours and I was pretty fun. The water was quite cold but it felt good. The kids did good and loved the hike.
5.75 mi • 39 ft aeg
My wife dropped my daughter and me off near the Chimney Rock Trailhead. We crossed the road and followed several drainages into Sulphur Creek.

We followed the creek downstream where we met my wife at the last waterfall before the visitor's center. My wife had tried, unsuccessfully, to work her way around the waterfall. This last (or first from her point of view) waterfall was probably the hardest / scariest obstacle to negotiate on the entire hike. I was certainly nervous doing a traverse on a wet, water polished ledge over the water.

For my daughter and I, there were several other waterfalls to pass, along with stretches of wading in ankle deep water. I don't think it's possible to do this route without getting your feet wet.

My daughter and I both really liked this trail. It's scenic, has water, and a few technical problems to solve along the way. We did it last year too and liked it well enough to repeat it this year. This was one of my daughter's top three favorite hikes for this trip.
9.69 mi • 2,480 ft aeg
Rain was forecast for the day, so I ended up hiking first to the Rim Overlook and then to Navajo Knobs. (I had hoped to hike Lower Spring Canyon from the bottom, but was concerned about the possibility of a flash flood.)

This was a nice hike, very scenic, with a fair amount of elevation gain. I think it was a good choice for the weather conditions.

The way is well marked (with cairns) and is easy to follow. Due to its length, it's not quite as busy as some of the other hikes in the area. Even so, I saw quite a few other hikers while I was out.
9.95 mi • 1,194 ft aeg
On the morning of the 27th, my wife, daughter, and I hiked the Chimney Rock Trail. When we got to the intersection with the Spring Canyon Trail, I hiked into the canyon for a decent way while my wife and daughter sought out a shady spot to wait for me.

We had good views from the Chimney Rock Trail, though the light is probably better later in the day.

I really enjoyed Spring Canyon. I liked it so much that I made plans to hike it from the bottom on the following day. Due to a forecast of late morning & afternoon rain (and the accompanying flash flood danger), I ended up doing another hike instead. Hiking Lower Spring Canyon in its entirety is on my TODO list.
1 mi • 25 ft aeg
These panels are located in a visually pleasant valley amid comb-like rock formations. An area archeologist advised us that the rock writings are of Ute, Navajo, Fremont, and what he termed “formative” peoples (meaning a blending of Fremont and early “Anasazi”). It was interesting to see how far back the more modern rock “writings” went (1883). However we cannot for the life of us understand the motivation behind shooting up the panels.
9.29 mi • 2,486 ft aeg
Capitol Reef National Park
picked out a few trails in the park that looked like fun
a loop around a plateau, an arch and a natural bridge
first stop was chimney rock trail
got going around 0900
good warmup heading up to the top of mummy cliff
nice view of chimney rock, even though the hike doesn't really go anywhere near it
circled the top counterclockwise, hitting a high point with nice views of fruita
dropped toward chimney rock canyon and the intersection with spring canyon trail, through an area with huge boulders that have fallen from the canyon walls
an easy ascent west to close the loop along the base of another canyon wall
beautiful blue skies contrasting above it
saw only a few people on the loop, but more as we heading back to the trailhead
a good choice
stopped at the visitor center for a few minutes, then drove down to grand wash
very different terrain in this area, and the hike to cassidy arch was my favorite of the day and maybe the trip
quarter mile down the wash, then the actual cassidy arch trail ascends steeply up a break in the canyon wall and onto a bench
it gains a couple of benches and follows three drainages before splitting off to the south toward the arch
we didn't see the arch at first, gaining a high point with nice views before wandering around a bit
good footing after the initial ascent, much of it on slickrock
the opening to the arch is huge, and you can circle around it, getting on top of the arch
it's very wide - safety first :)
took some pics, had a snack and headed back down
another short one at just over three and a half miles, but very scenic and interesting
drove down the scenic drive a bit, then had a cup of coffee at gifford house
pie selection by that point was not my favorite
headed to the hickman bridge trailhead
only two miles on sand and slickrock and another fun one
trail loops under the bridge
we checked out another viewpoint before heading back
different terrain here, too, after starting out along the fremont river
made a stop at the petroglyph site, then headed back to torrey for dinner at capitol reef inn & café
stayed at torrey trading post cabins again
nice to have the whole day in the park without driving anywhere
think this was my favorite day of hiking and there is so much more to do in the park
unfinished business
posting more photos than usual as capitol reef seems a little underrepresented on haz
3.83 mi • 703 ft aeg
Fremont River Goosenecks & Sunset Point
arrived in torrey mid-afternoon and checked into our torrey trading post cabin
highly recommend staying here
torreytradingpost.com/
had time to do a couple things in the park
set out on the fremont river trail, passing by gifford house, the amphitheater and campground
cottonwoods were sporting brilliant yellow leaves
the hike goes along the river for about half a mile, then starts to climb up the side of a bluff
good views on the ascent of the fremont river and fruita area
a turn to the south and a more moderate grade to a high point overlooking a canyon
good trail, fun short hike, windy conditions, only a few people
all the other people were carrying around giant cameras in fruita valley
next drove to the goosenecks parking area and hit that trail along with sunset point
good views again, this time down into sulpher creek and of cliffs and domes to the east
nice intro to capitol reef
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