Capitol Reef National Park

Pioneer Register and Tanks Hike – Capitol Reef National Park

GPS Coordinates: Trailhead: 38.20951, -111.1687 Tanks: 38.21395, -111.15816 Arch: 38.21379, -111.15734 Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: The title of this Trek may sound odd: "Tanks? Military tanks? What kinds of tanks?"  Think back to when the Mormon pioneers were settling this area.  Why would they call a landmark tanks? Well, the tanks refer to deep sandstone pot holes that would hold lots of water - water tanks!  The tanks are situated in a wash that would funnel all of the rain and snow melt into the tanks, thus successfully storing water.  The trail to the tanks and Pioneer Register through the Petroglyph Narrows is easy and won't take you more than an hour or two. This is a worthwhile stop and one I would recommend doing if you are visiting Capitol Reef National Park. At the trailhead you will find a nice picnic area, outhouses and some informational kiosks.  The drive ...
Read More

Rim Trail – Capitol Reef National Park

GPS Coordinates: Trailhead: 38.28872, -111.22758 Rim Overlook: 38.29108, -111.24931 Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: The Rim Trail is rated as moderate as it steadily gains elevation to an overlook to Fruita and the Capitol Reef entrance area.  This was a very fun hike and offers incredible views of Hickman Bridge and the rest of the reef.  As someone who was new to Capitol Reef I got some hiking recommendations from a few rangers and both of them said the Rim Trail was a "good introduction" to the park - I couldn't agree more! This trail starts at the same trailhead as Hickman Bridge and you follow it for a little bit until you see a sign that points you up to the rim. The trail really doesn't have any steep areas; it just slowly gains in elevation.  You will see lots of cairns guiding you to the top, however, there ...
Read More

Hickman Bridge – Capitol Reef National Park

GPS Coordinates: Hickman Bridge: 38.29146, -111.23434 Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: Hickman Bridge Trail is very well maintained all the way to the bridge itself.  You won't gain too much in elevation and the whole thing could easily be done in less than an hour. The first part of the trail stays near Fremont River but then suddenly changes directions and goes up a hundred feet or so in elevation and then you will come to a sign and a fork in the trail.  Stay left to go to Hickman Bridge. The right trail is the Rim Trail which is also a great hike! After this sign, the trail will lead you into a small ravine.  Follow the cairns until you come to another sign which tells you about the loop trail that goes under Hickman Bridge. When I saw this sign, I turned left and came around the backside of ...
Read More

Fruita Campground – Capitol Reef National Park Utah

GPS Coordinates: Fruita Campground: 38.28252, -111.24702 Campground Map Driving Directions The Trail: Fruit Campground is a great place to stay while you are visiting Capitol Reef.  I was happy to see very tall cottonwood trees at almost every site.  Fruit and nut trees are in the surrounding orchards and you are free to pick the fruit with some exceptions and rules.  Please check with the Visitor Center on current fruit picking rules before you start filling up sacks of apples and pears.  The Visitor Center gift shop had an assortment of jams and salsas all made from produce here in Fruita. The campground is first come, first served so you simply pull up to the campground fee station.  Fill out the envelope with your information, insert the money in the envelope, tear off the receipt side (write how many days you are staying on the receipt) and then put the receipt ...
Read More

Oyler Uranium Mines – Capitol Reef National Park Utah

GPS Coordinates: Parking Area:38.25818, -111.23161 Miner's Cabin or Shed: 38.25864, -111.23195 Mine 1: 38.25904, -111.23157 Mine 2: 38.25906, -111.23165 Mine 3: 38.2595, -111.23296 Mine 4: 38.25955, -111.23318 Mine 5: 38.25941, -111.23337 Trail Map Driving Directions The Trail: I found a very interesting article on the history of the Oyler Mine located at the mouth of Grand Wash Canyon in Capitol Reef National Park.  Claims were filed in 1901 by Thomas Pritchett and H.J. McLellan as the Nightingale Claim.  They were looking for gold and silver even though gold wasn't found at all in the sandstone rock.  In 1904 John Sumner and Thomas Nixon claimed the site.  They dug two adits which were just under 110 ft long.  These two adits are the two lower ones you can see just above the wash.  John Sumner died in 1907 and Thomas Nixon kept the mine claim until 1911 when he sold it to ...
Read More