Thursday, October 9, 2014

Capitol Reef: Surprise Canyon Trail

To break up the scenic drive, we thought we would torture ourselves a bit with a hike along the way.  Torture in that the temperature was in the mid to upper 90's while we were at Capitol Reef and Escalante.  We were still looking forward to the hike, just realistic that the temperatures were unseasonably extreme, and I tried to find us a trail that was shaded and nice and close to the road.

Hmmm, we are partway along the trail already and that nice shady canyon looks a little far than the guidebook said ...

The trail is not heavily travelled, this is the trail and it's still covered in mud that has dried and curled up into eggshell formations:

The trail passes over a wash that comes from the canyon.  Still some mud in this one:

Whew, are we getting closer to the canyon, or further away?

Looking back at the rest of my intrepid hiking party just after entering the canyon.  Don't be fooled by their smiles, it was HOT out.  There was more panting than smiling going on.

Finally!  Into the shade.  Instant relief, still hot, but so much better without the desert sun beating down directly onto us.

Looking back as we hike deeper into the canyon:

The trail ended at a wall that you'd have to climb to go further - the guidebook said it wasn't really worth it, and we didn't want to be out too long in the heat anyway, so we turned around here.

A look up at the mountains from our shade ... then back out into the sun and back to the car.

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