4 Days Backpacking Capitol Reef : Spring Canyon & Various side canyons

May 3, 2018

Lacey and I were fortunate enough to visit Utah again a few weeks ago and backpack a bit in Capitol Reef National Park which was absolutely amazing and lonely.

Day 1:

We got our permits and started at the Chimney Rock TH where we went up Chimney Rock Canyon and then up Upper Spring Canyon where we found a high up bench to camp on. The color displays blew us away, utah was flexing hard. There is so much beauty per square mile in utah that it's jaw dropping to say the least. The temps were low 50s during the day and upper 20s at night. We finally got new sleeping bag gear and were very comfy (our front country CG in La Grande Oregon a day before snowed while we were in the tent sleeping and we had no idea until we looked outside. Super happy to finally have good not 10 year old sleeping gear. There was some snow still near our bench in Upper Spring Canyon which had melted a bit forming some drinking water.

Day 2:

We packed up and headed back toward The Chimney Rock / Upper Spring and Spring Canyon junction where we took off down Spring Canyon. We walked a majority it until we got to what lacey and I called the "Amphitheatre" which was a bench above the main route that was surrounded by canyon walls. It looked like it was a more popular area as there were a few flat previous camp spots to choose from. Exploring up there was pretty hard because there was so much crust that we didn't want to break but it added to the experience it was like walking through a maze. Our favorite part of the day was in the central location of the Spring Canyon route when the walls started to turn white from the red of upper spring canyon. Amazing day. In the evening it graupel'd a bit but it passed quickly. Without are packs before sunset we went back into the wash to walk the rest of the route so we could see all of Spring Canyon as we were going to backtrack and do some cross country exploring a side canyon.

Day 3:

We dropped down from the camp area and back tracked about 2.5 miles to an opening of a bigger basin/canyon where we started our cross country leg. There was some minor scrambling but nothing too bad. It got very hot that day and there wasn't much water so we were thankful we filled up and topped off at the spring in the central location of Spring Canyon. After the boulder hopping we navigated through a few slot canyons before ascending up a ramp onto a flat shelf with an amazing view of our surroundings we were walking along the base of. It looked like THE HIGH SIERRA! I was stoked. Best moment of the trip. What an incredible park!

Day 4:

We tried a side canyon off of Chimney Rock Canyon to get up onto Meeks mesa for another night but it was a sheer cliff which looking at the topo it was a 50/50, so since we were so close to the truck we ended up hiking out and visiting Bryce and Zion on our way out to Nevada for the long drive back.

Capitol Reef 10/10

Last edited:


Feb 23, 2017
Looks like an awesome time. Spent a few hours in Spring a few winters ago. Look forward to getting back.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
You really got creative with that last night didn't you? (DM coming your way about that one) Good job navigating that landscape. Indeed, you'd be amazed at the surprises you can find between the contours of a topo map when you're in canyon country like that.


Apr 11, 2021
I've day hiked from Chimney to Spring Canyon and have wanted to backpack here. Did you filter any from the Spring Canyon water flow? It seemed a bit silty when I hiked it in May a few years ago.
May 3, 2018
I've day hiked from Chimney to Spring Canyon and have wanted to backpack here. Did you filter any from the Spring Canyon water flow? It seemed a bit silty when I hiked it in May a few years ago.
yes I always filter my water not matter what. I work with Water Department guys and I won't hear the end of it if I get sick drinking water lol


Apr 11, 2021
yes I always filter my water not matter what. I work with Water Department guys and I won't hear the end of it if I get sick drinking water lol
Agreed. I just wasn't sure if you only used the snow piles you found for water or whether you used some of Upper Spring Creek - filtered of course.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
norwegianxplorer 7 days backpacking Breheimen/Glacier Home National Park in Norway Backpacking 2
Mikjik86 4 Days Backpacking Grand Teton Wilderness/Teton Crest Trail - Wyoming, July, 2021 Backpacking 0
norwegianxplorer Finding Hidden Glacier, 9 days backpacking Jotunheimen National Park Pt3, Norway. Trip Reports 0
norwegianxplorer 5 days Backpacking Rondane National Park, Norway Backpacking 3
norwegianxplorer 10 days Backpacking Femundsmarka National Park and Rogen Nature Reserve, Norway and Sweden Backpacking 8
norwegianxplorer Backpacking Norway, Lysefjorden/Kjerag/Kjerag Waterfall/Kjeragbolten, 4 days Solo Hiking high above the Norwegian Fjords Trip Reports 2
norwegianxplorer Summiting Mount Whitney from Guitar Lake, 6 Days backpacking the Sierra before the Creek Fire closed everything down. Backpacking 5
JBPHXAZ Suggestions for 4-5 days Backpacking in the Southwest Trip Planning 2
Mikjik86 8 Days Backpacking Dark Canyon Wilderness Backpacking 2
NorthwestWanderer 6 Day backpacking trip in Glacier Peak Wilderness (3 days of off trail route) Backpacking 9
Born to Hike Backpacking Northern Windriver Range, solo 60+ miles, 5 days, mid September 2018 Backpacking 17
Mikjik86 Backpacking Coyote Gulch, 3 Days, 2 Nights- October 2018 Backpacking 2
George_Washington_Hayduke Twilight Canyon- Cottonwood Gulch- Llewellyn Gulch- 8 Days Backpacking/Packrafting Backpacking 15
J Paria-Hackberry 10 Days backpacking April 23-May 2, 2017 Asay, Paria, Sheep, BVG, Willis Part 2 Backpacking 0
J In Grand Staircase (GSENM), Paria-Hackberry 10 Days backpacking April 23-May 2, 2017 Part 1 Backpacking 0
M 7 days in Southern Utah - Multi day backpacking trips? Trip Planning 6
Desertratgal 5 Days Solo Packrafting Canyonlands On The Water 4
Bob Slickhorn Canyon System - 6 days Backpacking 22
J Death Valley Natl. Pk. 6 Days hiking. Nov 14-19, 2021 Hiking & Camping 1
napatony13 1100 Miles, 43 Days, Summits All 58 14ers in Colorado General Discussion 4
Titans Reflections in ponds: 4 days in The Adirondacks, Sept 1-4, 2021 Hiking & Camping 5
Janice 7 Breathtaking Days in the Winds Trip Reports 15
2eez4life 4 days 3 nights in the Uintas Trip Planning 9
Bob Bob Marshall - 7 days Backpacking 7
Laura V. Four Days in Salt Creek Canyon, April 2021 Backpacking 31
norwegianxplorer Ski Dogs, Norway, fun days off piste ski touring amazing conditions Winter Sports 0
WasatchWill The High Uintas 4-4-4: Four Basins, Four Passes, Four Days Backpacking 18
J A few days in Mojave National Preserve Dec. 5-7, 2020 Hiking & Camping 9
J N. Mojave Desert Rambles and Scrambles (start of 40 desert days) Nov. 14-20, 2020 Hiking & Camping 4
LarryBoy Five Days on Boulder Mountain Backpacking 5
Hiker Seth A few days in Baxter SP Backpacking 5
W 9 Days Solo Escalante Loop in October (water advice) - Stevens Canyon, Baker Route over Waterpocket fold, Halls Narrows to Moody Canyons Trip Planning 11
Happyidiot 4 Days In The Winds Backpacking 10
M 5 days Green > Elk Wind River route advice August 17th Trip Planning 9
balzaccom Five days in Yosemite Backpacking 2
TrailScot 10 days in The Maze - April 2019 Backpacking 22
NorthwestWanderer 3 days in Idaho/Oregon's Hells Canyon: Pittsburgh Landing to Willow Creek Backpacking 2
pstm13 HELP NEEDED- Idaho in Early June for 2-3 Days Trip Planning 6
U Any recommendations for 5 days hiking in Wyoming, Idaho or MT? This is around July 15-20. Not counting on Glacier being open Trip Planning 9
C Days of Old General Discussion 14
fossana A taste of the GR11: 6 Days on the Travesía Pirenaica (High Pyrenees, Spain) Backpacking 18
TeamJenkins17 Few days in Glacier August 2019 Hiking & Camping 0
TractorDoc Three Days at Mount Rainier in late July. Hiking & Camping 10
2eez4life 4 days in the Sawtooths Backpacking 6
misSOULa Six days in the Bob Marshall Wilderness: The Chinese Wall and White River Backpacking 15
Dreamer Wind River Dreaming | Summer 2014 the first few days July 9 - 14 Backpacking 5
RyanP Kane to Bullet in 4 days? Trip Planning 8
J Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, UT-AZ Backpack: April 26-29, 2019: Days 2-4 Paria River Backpacking 3
balzaccom Rainy days in Death Valley Hiking & Camping 3
Mikjik86 Halls Creek Loop. 2 Days, or 3? General Discussion 6

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.