Yesterday was quite a change from the day before and today. It got quite cold (single digit high) and instead of rain we got some snow.
And not quite hail but it looked like balls of snow.
Needless to say we stayed indoors.
Today was a bit cloudy and a high of 17C so a great day for hiking.
I think, as far as WOWs per minute, that today’s hike will rank right up there for this summers trip.
The Chimney Rock trail is a 5 km loop up to a set of viewpoints. You can optionally take a side trail down Chimney Rock Canyon. We only intended to go a short way down the canyon but it was so awe inspiring that we couldn’t stop. In total today we hiked just over 12 km.
The trail out to the start of the loop was initially flat.
Some more new to us flowers.
We had to climb to the top of the grey rock pile to the start of the loop. It looks small but it is not and it was steep.
We took left side of the loop which was a long gradual downhill to the start of the canyon trail.
The canyon trail follows the wash for the creek that created the canyon. It is wide and flat and sandy, which is a very good thing because we could just let our feet run in automatic as we stared up at the sheer walls with all the different shapes and colours.
One thing that made this canyon so great was that it was not one long straight wall. It was constantly curving so that you could never see what was around the next corner. There were also three large side canyons that produced even more impressive points to tower over us.
This shelf had broken off into the wash.
There are going to be a lot of pictures of tiny Jennie against giant walls.
Jennie is magic. Hand thru rock.
As I said the wash was usually very wide but there were a few tight spots.
But there was always a path through which seemed amazing given the size of the boulders.
I just can’t resist these pictures but they just don’t do justice to the size of the walls.
This is where we stopped for lunch. Jennie is sitting in the bottom right. At this point we had only gone about 3.5 km but we were staring so much we moved pretty slowly.
We continued on for another 1.5 km before turning around. At that point the trails continues for another 10 km.
This was near our turnaround point.
This rock looked like a skull with teeth. We were seeing faces and animals everywhere.
Heading back out.
When we got back to the loop we were tired but decided we had to complete the loop to see what was there. From the sign at the beginning of the trail the bottom section it didn’t look too much longer.
It turned out they didn’t show all the zigzags and especially all the climbing. You can see them on the GPS track picture at the start of this post.
While it was a tough bit of trail at the end of an already long hike, the views made it worthwhile.
Our first view was down along the length of Capital Reef.
Climbing higher. We eventually made it to the top of that mesa at the top right corner of the picture below.
A rest stop with a great view.
The next viewpoint was down on the much lower viewpoint to the gooseneck of Sulphur Creek.
Crossing the top of the mesa.
We finally got a look down on Chimney Rock. It looked like a long way down to the car.
Here is the reverse look up from the car that I took later, with an arrow to where we were.
An interesting bit of lichen.
Another view of the rock from farther down the trail.
Out of the loop and back on the trail to the parking lot.
We had left the parking lot at 11 am and got back at 4:30 pm.
We were not completely wiped out but we were tired enough that we went out to dinner. I had read that the burgers and fries at Slackers Burger Joint in Torrey were very good. They were.