Trail Report: Chimney Rock and Spring Canyon

capitol reef photogenic tree
Desert Textures:  Dead Tree and Badlands
In Capitol Reef there are many trails to choose from.  The chimney rock trail is popular on the west side of the park.  There is a pull out with adequate parking.  After a short level lock, the trail ascends switchbacks high above the chimney rock.  In fact you are on the top of the mesa.  There are several wonderful views of chimney rock as you climb up.  You will need to stop anyways to catch your breath.  The total ascent takes about half an hour.  Several children were going up the trail on the day I went.  It is not too difficult.

Most people turn around after they see chimney rock.  However you can continue along the edge of the mesa for more than a mile and then reached the beginning of Spring Canyon.  Traveling along the mesa, the view to the south includes distant Fruita and much closer gray and red badlands.  These are pictured in my feature photograph along with a photogenic dead tree.
capitol reef chimney rock trail
Gray and Red Cliffs
Spring Canyon is dry.  You go down the wash in a connector canyon until you reach Spring Canyon itself.  It goes to the north and south.  Along the way, beautiful desert vegetation, red rocks and tall cliffs are yours to enjoy.  An incredible Cottonwood tree grows in the middle of this canyon.  It is a spectacular thing to see.

Overall, this is a good hike.  Photographically I tried to focus on some details in the landscape.  I did not find a really broad view that appealed to me.  I liked the smaller scenes.

Spring Canyon Capitol Reef
Desert Garden
Spring Canyon capitol reef cliffs
Deep in Spring Canyon's Tall Cliffs
Cottonwood tree capitol reef
Cottonwood in Spring Canyon
Cottonwood Tree Beautiful Capitol Reef
Cottonwood Heights