Capitol Reef backcountry recommendations?

msa6

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Mar 1, 2017
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My wife and I will visit CR for the first time in early May. We are looking for a two night backcountry hike, not terribly ambitious (her knees are iffy), but something that will give us a good flavor for the park. We will be ready to hit the trail mid-afternoon the first day, so we won't be doing more than a couple of miles on day one. We'd probably be up for 8-12 on day two, and would hope to be off the trail by late morning on day three.

I guess the other proviso is that her knees won't be happy with excessive up and down!

Suggestions? Thanks!
 

slc_dan

Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
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Jun 7, 2012
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Upper Muley Twist is fantastic, but no water. Dry camp only. Worth it to me.

Lower Muley Twist is great as well, take a side trip to see the beautiful Hamburger Rocks. Water Available.
 

canadug

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Nov 26, 2015
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I concur with slc_dan......Both those hikes are awesome. Lower Muley Twist is easier to get to with a normal car and it does have a few natural water tanks. The water needs to be filtered for sure.
 

msa6

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Mar 1, 2017
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Thanks for the replies.

One thing I forgot to add about my wife...she's not big on heights either! The park pdfs on both hikes speaks about steep exposures, sliprock. Are these particularly "challenging"? Any way to avoid, or use some webbing to secure?

If "it is what it is", ideas on other routes to consider?
 

Jackson

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May 31, 2015
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Take a look at Lower Spring Canyon if you're worried about exposure. The only exposed section is a very short pour-off bypass that could be tricky if it were REALLY wet, but it's very short. Trekking poles would get you through just fine if it were slick. The only real difficulties would be working it out as a shuttle and fording the Fremont at the end.

As far as steepness, there is a short steep section of trail at the very beginning before you ever get to the canyon, but the rest should be downhill as you're just following a watercourse.

Chimney Rock TH to the end of Lower Spring Canyon is only 9ish miles total, I believe, so making it be a two night stay would require creativity. You could hike in, head up Upper Spring at the junction and spend the night somewhere in there, then head down into Lower Spring the next day and check out the narrows and pour-offs.
 

canadug

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Nov 26, 2015
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Upper Muley is not so great if exposure is an issue. Lower Muley has the little section if you hike in from the cut-off trail and it was not a big deal. My wife is not a fun of exposure and she was okay. We took all our own water as it is a long way to the first water tank (Muley Tanks I believe) and they are not all that reliable.
 

msa6

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Mar 1, 2017
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Thanks again for the replies. I think I'd prefer to do Lower Muley. Looks like the "severe exposure" is a short ways from the Post trailhead, so if it didn't work for my wife, we could turn around and head south down the Halls Creek Drainage, and do the hike as an out and back.
 

LarryBoy

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Jan 4, 2015
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Lower Muley is right up your alley. If she's not big on the Post cutoff, you can always walk up the Burr Trail switchbacks instead.
 
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