Climbing Capitol Reef

This was something I wanted to do all summer, then it kind of happened by accident.   few of us set off down Burr with the intentions of hiking the Headquarters Canyon trail.  It started that way and then all of a sudden we were going up the reef instead of into a canyon.


Oh well.  We were up high enough where we figured it makes more sense to go to the top than to turn around and find the trail again then follow it.  We had limited daylight and wanted to use it all.


It was quite the trek to the top, but totally worth the view.  Of course that wasn’t the end though.  We started heading down a different way, almost into another canyon so the reef was all around us.  After wandering around down there, but still up way more than we needed to be, we decided it was time to head down.


The sun was a lot further down than I wanted it to be at this point so we backtracked the whole way and were right on track until we were on flat ground.  Even then we were following a wash, the best way out, and still got a little lost.  At this point it was totally dar, but the moon was out so we could still see enough.  Somehow we came across a sixish foot deep wash that we got into and followed for a bit before climbing out to right where we needed to be.


Looking around we had a few options: go back up the way we came and then down the same way or go down some other spot that looked like it would get us out.  We chose the second.  We chose wrong.  There was a huge cliff, perfect for tossing rocks, but not perfect for returning to the ground.


It all worked out in the end, but there were a few times I was getting pretty nervous up at the top.  I always get nervous, but I still climb up stuff and push myself more than I used to.  The views are always wonderful and it’s always an adventure.


Helpful things:

  • This is at the south end, closer to Bullfrog.
  • We got up following, the straying from, Headquarters canyon, but there are probably tons of spots you can climb the reef.
  • Wear shoes with grip if you can, it’ll make it a lot easier.
  • Bring Enough water if you go when it’s hot out, and wear sunscreen.

climbing hiking-in

Have you been to Capitol Reef?  What is your favorite thing to do there?  Do you want to go?

3 thoughts on “Climbing Capitol Reef

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