Halls Creek Narrows, 4/6/13


rope mule
Jan 17, 2012
We had our sites set on the Halls Creek Narrows for a quick yet robust overnighter full of Reef scampering. Not only would it be my first time strolling along the base of the Capitol Reef itself, but it'd also be my first time setting foot inside the Park, period. The last of the "Big 5" that I'd yet to visit since moving here a few years ago. Anticipation was up, and of course, I was not let down.

The Waterpocket Fold, at first light. A break in the cliff allows loose and steep access to the valley floor:


Heading down Halls Creek. We began to hit brief but clean shallow pools of water within only one mile or so of the trailhead.


With plenty of time to kill, we spent a lot of the day exploring the Reef and all of it's glorious, convoluted madness:


We set up camp on a nice, sandy bend under old Cottonwoods. But the day was not over. Time to visit the Narrows. Only minutes after first entering, the soaring walls of a grand alcove greeted us:


Continuing through the Narrows. At this point (and since approximately one mile before the Narrows started) water was a permanent companion:


While never slotting up too much, the canyon does narrow enough to the point where in several places you have no choice but to get at least a little bit wet. Things would get much deeper later on:


Soft, graceful curves beckoned:




The initial plan was to hike the entire Narrows and loop back around to camp via Halls Creek Divide. But about 2/3 of the way through a full-on swimmer kept us from proceeding further. With the weather cooling off as the daylight faded, we decided it was best for at least one of us to stay dry and head back to camp the way we had arrived.

Halls Creek provided a lush and enchanting introduction to the mesmerizing beauty of Capitol Reef. Can't wait to get back for more.

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Awesome! Capitol Reef is probably my favorite park in Utah. How many miles was it to the narrows portion?
We took the airstrip shortcut, probably less than 6 miles is my guess. Couple hours hiking.
Wonderful pictures and report!
I add it to my bucket list.
And I fully agree w/ ashergray, if I see here on BCP all your fantastic impressions.
How tough was the descent? Easy to spot going down and coming back?

- JG

Very easy to spot, from both directions. From the top, the road basically ends at the drop in (a faint 4-track continues south from here, but we didn't explore it). From the bottom (Halls Creek), the break in the cliff stands out as an obvious weakness. The route itself is fairly well cairned, but steep and loose in it's entirety. Probably want to put your hiking poles away--there are a few spots that require quadrupedalism.
This area of Capitol Reef is so cool. I've been thru bits and pieces of it, with us coming up short of Brimhall Bridge. (Swimming issue.) The narrows of Hall's Creek are definitely on the short list. Thanks for a beautiful report.