Capitol Reef, Upper Muley Twist Day Hike

Parma

@parma26
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April 14-15, 2017

I finally made it to Capitol Reef NP! After looking thru this website and asking around I decided that Upper Muley Twist was the way to go for a full day hike. I went with a friend of mine and his 11 year old daughter really wanted to come too, so it was the three of us to make our way to Capitol Reef.

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This is the visitors center in Fruita. AFter watching the video, buying my sticker for the ole garage fridge we went back to Torrey for dinner. We decided on Slackers, who doesn't love a burger?!

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After dinner we headed to the Cedar Mesa campground for the night. I was hoping for an open campsite, but we had no luck, they were all taken...we kinda expected it though.

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We did find a great spot not too far outside of the park boundaries though. Honestly, this was probably better than Cedar Mesa anyway.

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Got up bright and early and made our way to the trailhead. This is looking down on the fun switchbacks on Burr Trail Road.

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Arrived at the trailhead, and I was glad we used my friend's Xterra instead of my Outback. I'm sure I would have made it, but I would have had some dings and scrapes where the Xterra did it easily.

Here are some photos of the hike, one thing I didn't realize beforehand was that there isn't a trail. You just follow the wash on the Canyon Route, and on the Rim Route you follow cairns.We made a few wrong turns but the area was so cool they were all well worth the extra time exploring.

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Once again using the proper photo posing position

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I decided to hold this rock so the others could pass.

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These Swiss Cheese slot canyons were the highlight. They are amazing! We missed the turn off to go up to the Rim Route and wandered thru these as far as we could. Realized we missed the turn off and went back to where I thought it was. It's marked by some cairns. If we would have started on the rim and then came down to the canyon we would have probably missed this whole section.

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There is a sign at the top telling you where to turn to go down though.

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The waterpocket fold

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This is what most of the Rim Route looks like.

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Finally made it back down to the canyon floor!

The whole trip we did about 12 miles. It was one of my favorite day hikes in Utah. Great scenery and very few people.
We made our way out and headed home. We ate in Torrey again at a cafe, good not great food. But it was still a great trip I highly recommend.
 

Absarokanaut

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Sep 17, 2014
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I need to get down there so bad, maybe next year. thanks for an awesome vicarious thrill.
 

Mike K

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Good stuff, looks like you guys had a great time. Thanks for posting the TR and pics.

EDIT: I was down there the same weekend and it's crazy to see how much more popular Capitol Reef seems to have become in the last five years or so.
 
Last edited:

Perry

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Dang! I may have to take the wife in the fifth wheel down there for a working vacation. Would the weather still be nice in the middle of May?


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Reef&Ruins

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Have to do that hike now. Been out to the trailhead several times but always done the Strike Valley overlook due to lateness of the hour.
 

gnwatts

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Great shots.
I must admit I really like the visitors center also.
 

Perry

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Is one direction, clockwise vs counter clockwise, better?


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Parma

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Is one direction, clockwise vs counter clockwise, better?


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If you are doing it as a day hike I would say hiking the upper/Rim Route first is easier. You tackle the climb and decent when you are fresh vs. doing it later you are more tired and sore.
 

Perry

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If you are doing it as a day hike I would say hiking the upper/Rim Route first is easier. You tackle the climb and decent when you are fresh vs. doing it later you are more tired and sore.

Ah good point!


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WasatchWill

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Ahhh!! I've got to take a day to get down there and do this one on one of the many visits to Torrey we make each year. Great photos! And looks like a great campsite too. Spring Break has got to be the only time of year that Cedar Mesa campground fills up. Then again...as @Mike K says:

[QUOTE="Mike K, post: 79963, member: 325"...I was down there the same weekend and it's crazy to see how much more popular Capitol Reef seems to have become in the last five years or so.[/QUOTE]

So true!!! Fortunately, it seems as if the bulk of the crowds still stay near highway 24 and the Fruita area. Hopefully it stays that way because it's so nice to get out in the more remote backcountry areas of the park and feel like you have it all to yourself. Of course...this is coming from a guy who's been working on getting familiar with the areas nearest to Torrey and still working his way outward.
 

Perry

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The CRNP website describes three places along the loop that have steep exposure...

Upper Muley Twist PDF.JPG


What should I expect in those areas?
 

Ugly

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The CRNP website describes three places along the loop that have steep exposure...

View attachment 54277

What should I expect in those areas?

There is a bit of scrambling both ways getting up onto the rim or getting down, and along the rim at a couple of places you are making your way along a rim... nothing that was very hairy to me. There is this ramp on the slickrock that was steep and a calf burner going clockwise and would be fun to go down going counterclockwise.

So something like this:

 

Perry

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There is a bit of scrambling both ways getting up onto the rim or getting down, and along the rim at a couple of places you are making your way along a rim... nothing that was very hairy to me. There is this ramp on the slickrock that was steep and a calf burner going clockwise and would be fun to go down going counterclockwise.

So something like this:

Ah... so nothing too precipitous? When I read "steep exposure" I tend to think cliff walking kind of conditions.
 

piper01

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Oct 27, 2013
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I could just sit and look at the view of the strike valley all day long. In an amazing area, this truly is one of the best hikes around.

Thank you for using the proper photo posing position. However, you neglected to make the duck face. Please rectify this error in the future.
 
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