Upper Muley Twist - Capital Reef NP 3.10.18


Expedition Leader
Made yet another trip down to Capital Reef National Park on Friday/Saturday to start doing some hikes in the southern end of the park. I had planned to hike Upper Muley Twist then to get some road biking in on the Notom-Bullfrog road with the goal of biking out to Halls Crossing Overlook (which I didn't quite make) then head on back home.

Friday night I just hotel'd it in Salina to try and cut down on some of the drive time.


View from one of the overlooks in the Dixie National Forest (times like this I wish I still had my MR2 with the top off just cruising along).

Heading down the Burr Trail

Upper Muley Twist trail. You can either park at the car parking lot and hike the 3 miles back to the trail-head or drove the 4x4 road back. I choose the later of course.

There's not a whole lot of parking at the trail-head and since I was the first one there I picked a good spot and backed in. Started off with the short hike to the Strike Valley Overlook before head back on Upper Muley with the main point being to see the 5 arches along the way.

Follow the trail to the right at this point. I believe you can go left as well and it just loops around but I just followed the foot prints and map.

Arch 1

Arch 2 - 'Saddle Arch' this is the arch at the split on the trail to either continue down the trail or to take the Rim Overlook (didn't hike this section)

Arch 3

Arch 4

Arch 5


Expedition Leader
Towards the end of the trail before you get to the narrows there are cairns marking the location of the by-pass trail that takes you up to Rim Overlook trail in lieu of hiking the narrow trail around. From what I read the cairns for the by-pass trail can be easily missed as well as the trail. Well, I missed them and hiked back to first blockage/end of the narrows. You can continue on passed this point by doing some scrambling up the sandstone in some old foot holds but I wasn't going to attempt it (still don't trust my right shoulder) plus I accomplished my main goal to view the arches.

The old water tank wrap around the tree is almost a better marked than the cairns.

How the heck did I miss this three cairns? I didn't venture up, though I tried to follow where the trail went

The ending point for me.

You can scramble up past this point using the old foot holds for help to get around the one point.

The hike back I was able to do in a faction of the time and past a few other groups either on the trail. Grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading down the Burr trail switchbacks before starting the road bike portion of my trip.



Expedition Leader
The plan for road biking was to park at the Lower Muley Twist trail-head (equestrian area) then bike back to the Halls Crossing Overlook along the Notrom-Bullfrog road and just to get a different perspective of the area.

View from Lower Muley Twist trail-head

Views from along the road - saw more cows than people on this road.

At this point I called it quit due to my own stupid doing. I have this bad habit I found of eating very little while I'm out hiking and/or biking and just drinking water (I just don't get really hungry) and the only things I had eaten all day was two granola bars and an energy drink for breakfast then a bag of dehydrated cherries after hiking. Well, that caught up with me at this point and I had to eat something, so I downed another two granola bars and started back to my car. The last time this happened I wound up with the shakes and sweating really bad but that's a story for another time

The quitting point. I don't see it as a failure but just something to look forward to on another trip.

The long road back. Ran into the owner of the cattle and chatted with him for a bit. He was kind of surprised to see a biker out there.

Got back to my car and actually ate the food I bought with me before heading home - down it like someone who hadn't eaten in along time.

Parting photo on my way out (crappy cell phone photo).

After this trip if/when I make a trip back down I got more areas to explore and look forward to.
Nice report! You, DesertRat and BackCountryExploration have moved Capital Reef from "maybe next year" to "As soon as I have time, I'm down there!"

Great photos! And I can't wait until I can get down and add to everyone's reports.