Victory at Capitol Reef

Spring Canyon Snow - Capitol Reef

We emerged from Spring Canyon at Capitol Reef victorious; we had successfully thru-hiked the entire canyon over the weekend. But this was no average weekend, this was a weekend in the dead of winter.

Three days earlier the park ranger thought we were crazy when we told her what we wanted to do. Turns out that no one else had hiked the entire canyon since November. That made me and my buddy Jim the only ones to have backpacked the entire canyon all winter. Victory was ours.

Moderator’s Note:

From the National Park Website: The canyon route is divided into Upper and Lower Spring Canyon sections. It can be accessed midway via Chimney Rock Canyon. The entire canyon is best done as a 3 to 4 day trip. Upper Spring Canyon is a good 2 to 3 day trip, while Lower Spring Canyon can be done as an overnight or long day hike. Backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor center.

Upper Spring Canyon is a strenuous hike of approximately 18 miles (29.0 km) from Holt Draw to Chimney Rock.  Lower Spring Canyon is a strenuous 9 mile (14.5 km) hike from the Chimney Rock parking area to the Fremont River.  The full stretch is no light hiking and should only be attempted by well prepared, experienced backpackers.

Upper and Lower Spring Canyon from Holt Draw to the Fremont River and Hwy 24: 22 miles (35.4 km)


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