Lower Muley Twist vs. Upper Muley Twist

Nick

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I had a nice intro to backpacking Capitol Reef on my Halls Creek trip last weekend and now I'm thinking I need some more. Curious what people think about Lower Muley vs. Upper Muley Twist and preferred routes. I don't know much about either except that Upper Muley is typically dry(?) and Lower Muley might have more reliable water sources. Sound right? I'm trying not to do a lot of dry camp backpacking right now to keep the load off my knee so I think that means Lower Muley might be the ticket. It looks like there are 3 trailheads for Lower Muley, what is the best route?
 

slc_dan

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I'll have my TR for my overnighter in LMT this last weekend today or tomorrow.

I've done both as backpacking routes, and I have to admit UMT is more scenic. Lower is still quite amazing, but the strike valley overlook is just so mesmerizing, I don't think there is anything quite like it. You can do UMT as a day hike-9miles real easy with a HC/4WD.

I've started LMT twice, via the post, and I think that's the best way for loops, unless you have a shuttle of two cars. This time I was on the trail about 10:30am, and out the next day at 9am. I could have added an extra 2 miles and hit the Hamburger Rocks, but I found water already, and I'd already seen them once before.

I think one of the best highlights of the Waterpocket Fold in general is the solitude. A ranger told me the most permits she could remember giving out for LMT was 6 groups. When I was there this last weekend in April, on a Saturday, there was one other group.

TLDR-LMT for backpacking, UMT for an incredible day hike.
 

Jammer

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My two cents is that they are similar in name alone! LMT is more about deep alcoves whereas UMT is more about arches and the incredible views from the Rim Route. Though the Post Cut-Off would give you a small arch and some incredible views as well on LMT. In fact, I really only recommend the lower LMT as the upper section didn't do too much for me.

As for water -- I found plenty of water in both, but it might have been perfect timing (spring). To be safe I'd carry in extra for either trip. Depending on how you do a loop, you might be able to cache some water as well.

I saw one group of 2 backpackers while on the LMT and 3 groups of 2-4 dayhikers on UMT.

- Jamal
 

powderglut

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Like em both!! Day hiked the Upper from Strike Valley, in a loop . Day hiked the Lower one way, over the fold to the Post.
Saddle Arch in upper
IMGP1510.JPG


Up on top north of Strike Valley overlook
IMGP1513.JPG


Lower Muley
IMG_1236.jpg


Well above the Post on the way down
corral and carpark.jpg
 

Cody

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They are both nice. I found water in Upper Muley at the top of the section of slot that requires the bypass.

If you loop UMT down the ridge of the Waterpocket Fold you get great views all along the way.

In LMT the alcoves are impressive as Jammer mentioned and a detour down to the Hamburger Rocks below is nice. Gets you close to some big potholes for water. (Called "tanks" on the map).

I looped HC Overlook to LMT to Deer Point to Red Slide to HC Narrows a few months back. I should write that TR.
 

Artemus

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A very easy question. They are BOTH must do's! Different but both are totally cool IMHO. These are even repeaters!
 

Dave

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I'd day trip UMT, unless you want to camp on the rim. Backpacking would seem to better suit LMT.
 

Nick

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Think I'm going to go do Lower Muley loop via The Post this weekend. Anyone been in there this spring that might want to share what the water situation was like? I seem to remember reading there was some nearby the cowboy camp in another trip report but I can't find where. Was that from you slc_dan? And how far in is the cowboy camp?
 

slc_dan

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Think I'm going to go do Lower Muley loop via The Post this weekend. Anyone been in there this spring that might want to share what the water situation was like? I seem to remember reading there was some nearby the cowboy camp in another trip report but I can't find where. Was that from you slc_dan? And how far in is the cowboy camp?


The rangers often say that water is unreliable.
I've personally had luck a few times at the Muley tanks, near the Hamburger rocks. This is very reliable IMO. When I hiked the loop via the post, I was also able to get water near the Cowboy camp. I didn't go to the Hamburger rocks that time, because I had plenty of water.

The camp is at one of the last large cutaways in the canyon. It has a few Cowboy Glyphs as well.


LMT Cowboy Glyphs by slc_dan, on Flickr


LMT Water refil by slc_dan, on Flickr


And the Tank(s)-I'd stay out of this one, there is just too little water in these parts of the WaterPocket Fold.


Muley Tank by slc_dan, on Flickr


NateGeesaman was there just last week. You have input here Nate?
 

NateGeesaman

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I saw water at a few scattered places with one big pool about half way down LMT. I got mine from Muley Tanks though.
 

Nick

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Nice. Thanks, guys. So for a Lower Muley overnight loop, would it be a pretty good itinerary to go over the Post cutoff first thing, go down canyon and maybe camp near the Hamburger rocks before hiking back up Halls Creek to the post in the AM?
 

NateGeesaman

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I camped right on top of hamburger rocks here during a full moon. It was sick! You CAN traverse above Muley Tanks to Hamburger Rocks; you don't have to go down to the wash to connect the two. Here is my camp.
Capitol Camp 2 by NateGeesaman, on Flickr

I wandered the canyon to the south of Hamburger Rocks for a bit and still made it to my car at The Post not too late on day 2. Spent my 2nd night out on Strike Valley Overlook :twothumbs:
 

NateGeesaman

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Oh yeah. I advise going counter clockwise for the loop. It is nice to get the big sexy curvy section out of the way on day 1 and have the easy path home I think. That climb over The Waterpocket Fold and into LMT is sooo nice. Way fun section to take it slow and take lots of pics.
 

Cody

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When I did it a few years back, I parked at the TH on top of the switchbacks and hiked all the way down LMT to Halls Creek and camped not too far from the tanks. Next day hiked back via Halls Creek and The Post and road walked back up the switchbacks.

Adds a few miles, but the sections above the post cutoff are nice although it may not be worth it without a shuttle.
 

Artemus

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Oh yeah. I advise going counter clockwise for the loop. It is nice to get the big sexy curvy section out of the way on day 1 and have the easy path home I think. That climb over The Waterpocket Fold and into LMT is sooo nice. Way fun section to take it slow and take lots of pics.
And don't forget to keep an eye out for that arch on the way over from the Post. Keen-eyed Jammer missed it.....

Hints here.
 

Artemus

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Sweet! Thanks for the tips guys! That camp near Hamburger looks amazing, Nate. That's where you'll find me Saturday night, with a guy named Nate, coincidentally. :)
Keep an eye out for Jammer he is due to walk the Waterpocket Fold road switchbacks on 5/5 on his crossing from Boulder Mtn to Moab. That be Sunday.
 

slc_dan

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And don't forget to keep an eye out for that arch on the way over from the Post. Keen-eyed Jammer missed it.....

Hints here.

When you are walking towards it, it's real easy to spot. I just didn't take the time to walk over towards it. The fold is so beautiful and scenic that I didn't bother. Now that it's past though, I wish that I would have taken the 5-10 minutes to get a good pic.
 
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