Cathedral Valley - Middle Desert Wash

Dave

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I'm thinking about running down to Capitol Reef this weekend and staying overnight in Cathedral Valley. I know established trails are few in the area but I'm wondering if anyone has explored much in the Middle Desert Wash area (north of the campground). Looking at satellite imagery I can see a few little canyons, including one with what appears to be a massive dry fall. Anyone have input about the area or other nearby secrets?
 

Dave

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i'll warn you that Capitol Reef has been getting a lot of rain lately so definitely check on road conditions.

Yeah, I'll be making a call to the park before setting out. Obviously the trip is weather and conditions-dependent.
 

intuitive cat

Jurassic Dust in my Bones
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Yeah, I'll be making a call to the park before setting out. Obviously the trip is weather and conditions-dependent.
only mentioned it because we had nearly an inch of rain within a half hour here in boulder the other day (with about twenty minutes of dime sized hail mixed in) and i know that the fremont river gorge & central section of the park has been getting hit two or three times as hard as we have & that grand & capitol washes have been closed most of the time over the last month. not sure how much the upper desert has been getting though
 

Dave

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only mentioned it because we had nearly an inch of rain within a half hour here in boulder the other day (with about twenty minutes of dime sized hail mixed in) and i know that the fremont river gorge & central section of the park has been getting hit two or three times as hard as we have & that grand & capitol washes have been closed most of the time over the last month. not sure how much the upper desert has been getting though

I appreciate it... never hurts to get an idea of conditions from the locals.
 

Bob Palin

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I know Bob Palin spend a lot of time out there guiding folks.
I go to Cathedral Valley a lot but we don't get off the dirt road. I've looked at that area many times and thought I should get out there, but I haven't done it yet. You can ask the park about conditions but they won't have very accurate information, they often get road conditions from me and I haven't been out there in a while. The BLM biologist may have been reporting back to them, the national park rangers don't seem to go out that way often. There has a been a lot of rain in the area so I expect it will be rough but unless it's rained in the previous 24 hours you should be OK with a high clearance 4WD. Stay off the bentonite! I'm not scheduled to go out there again until October so won't be able to update you. The park also has a phone number for road conditions but it's the same information.
 

Dave

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Thanks Bob. If the weather's dry the next few days I'll probably chance it. If worse comes to worse, I can play around in the Fruita area instead. I can handle that.
 

Dave

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FYI, the roads are in decent condition... with a few exceptions. A culvert on the Caineville road is partially washed out. Another wash crossing had some tricky entry/exit lines. Some of the stretches on both Caineville and Harnett have pretty good ruts. The majority of the washes were dry, though some still had damp spots.

I'll have a full trip report up in a day or so.
 

Bob Palin

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FYI, the roads are in decent condition... with a few exceptions. A culvert on the Caineville road is partially washed out. Another wash crossing had some tricky entry/exit lines. Some of the stretches on both Caineville and Harnett have pretty good ruts. The majority of the washes were dry, though some still had damp spots.

I'll have a full trip report up in a day or so.
Looks like the area is going to get hammered today! Looking forward to your full report.
 
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