Grant’s trusty truck took us from Boulder, UT along the beautiful Barr Trail (hats off to the Long Canyon) and into the southern spur of Capitol Reef National Park. There we bounced a couple miles to the 4WD parking and set off for our second hike of the day – the Upper Muley Twist Trail.
Cool temps and wind pushed us along the dry wash. While not as bad as the deeper sands going into and out of Coyote Gulch, we were both missing a firm trail surface by this point.
The drive in had shown us a couple arches and now the hike through the wash was delivering 5 more. Still, at this point in our trip we’d seen enough arches that we were left wanting something a little more.
We partially explored a side-canyon or two but didn’t dally much as the weather had been looking unstable all day.
Following the cairns we left the canyon bottom for some slickrock hiking on a bench above the valley floor.
After hiking around the pour-off that the trail avoided we returned to the creek bed for only a short time before heading up to climb the white rocks above.
Hiking on the white rim of rock above the wash quickly became our favorite part of the trail. The views of both the Waterpocket Fold to the east and the Muley Twist canyon to the west were stunning and I only wish we could come back and hike this trail in the early morning when sunlight would pour onto the red rocks.
A few sections of the trail were very close to some exposed cliff edges and had a bit of scrambling that I hadn’t expected from this hike. I also hadn’t expected to get snowed on, but never discount a Friday the 13th for some strange weather – even in the desert.
Eventually the fun had to end and we returned to the valley floor to retrace some of earlier wash-walking back to the truck. The rest of the drive out through the Waterpocket Fold in late evening light was spectacular as the storm had moved on.