On a typical Memorial Day weekend we plan to not do anything because we know that the places we like to go will be crowded. This year Alene has not had much of a chance to do any camping (due to Bailey's bad sleeping) so we didn't care and planned a trip to Capitol Reef. We figured that Capitol Reef is so far off the map that it had a better chance of not being over-populated.
Since I could not get any time off work, Alene took Bailey and headed down on Thursday morning in the truck to try to find a campsite in the park. All the sites were taken, so she called Bill (who was on his way down with April) and he directed her to another campsite area outside the park along the Fremont River.
Once Alene got there and set up, she and Bailey played around the river and saw a snake. During the rest of the trip whenever Bailey saw a stream or river she would say "Snake, SSSSSSSS".
Bill and April arrived later that evening (check out Bill's photo blog to see some SICK evening pictures) and Bailey slept surprisingly good for Alene.
On Friday they all did some hikes around Capitol Reef while I worked. Caiden and I headed down Friday evening and did not arrive to the Park area until 8pm. I saw their cars parked at the Hickman Bridge trailhead, so we started heading up the trail to meet them about half way.
Bailey hiking bare-foot up the hickman bridge trail
We got back to camp, had a little fire, then went to bed. It was a WINDY day that day through all of Utah as the gusts were crazy even on the freeway ride down. That evening was a bit hard to sleep because of the wind, but Bailey slept good again (2 for 2).
On Saturday we got up and headed down to the petroglyph trail, then over to the visitor center. From there we decided to hike the Cohab Canyon trail, which heads east out of the park from the Big barn area.
Going up all the switch backs
Looking down on the Fruita park/campground area
Cohab canyon was beautiful with lots of fun little side canyons to explore.
(Bill's sister Whitney)
I tried to do some wall walking, but didn't get very far
After getting about halfway through the canyon, April and Bill offered to hike back to the cars and meet us on the other side of the canyon exit (at the Hickman Bridge trail head), so Alene, Caiden, Bailey, Whitney and I kept going through. We took a side trail up to the North overlook.
Once we met up at the other side, Bill offered to drop Alene and I off at the Sulphur Creek trailhead and watch our kids while we hiked the river back down to the Fruita visitor center. It was a 5 mile hike and we weren't quite sure what to expect. We were blown away by how beautiful and amazing this hike was. Definitely one of the best hikes I've done in terms of terrain, and scenery with water flowing, lots of greenery, and LOTS of waterfalls. Keep in mind that we just did Coyote gulch a couple of weeks ago and while this hike didn't feature the huge alcove cut-outs, it was very comparable.
The beginning of the un-marked trail starts across from the Chimney Rock parking area. The wash looks like this for about a mile until you reach Sulphur Creek
We enter the river area
A small alcove
More pictures of the river as we hiked down
We ran into Bill, April, Whitney and the kids at this waterfall about 3/4 of a mile from the end.
Alene stayed back with Caiden, Bailey, and Lanik (April and Bill's son), while I took Bowen (April and Bill's other son), Bill, April, and Whitney in my truck up to drop them off so they could do the hike too. (see Bill's blog for their pictures)
While we waited at the Fruita park, the deer were all over the place, not really caring that we were 15' away
After they got back, we were all pooped. We headed into Torrey and grabbed a bit to eat, then headed back to camp for the night. Bill took this AWESOME photo of our campsite
We stuck around the campfire as long as we could before it was bed time. Bailey slept well again (3 for 3) so we were stoked that we knew she was warming up to camping. We think the warmer weather had something to do with it.
On Friday morning Caiden and I did the full hike up to Hickman Bridge while Alene and Bailey hung around Fruita for a bit.
Caiden on a little bridge on the way up to Hickman
Hickman Bridge (someday I'd like to hike on top of it)
After that we headed back home for the long drive. We snapped a picture of this local sheriff in Loa taking a nap
It was a great trip and I can't wait to get back to see more of Capitol Reef. The only major issue with this park is that if you want to get out and see more of it (it covers a lot of area) you have to drive for a while to really get out and see more. We pretty much saw most of the major local stuff off the highway.
I'm going to end this blog with pictures of all the various desert flowers in full bloom while we were there.