Capitol Reef an explorer’s challenge

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Capitol Reef an explorer’s challenge

Capitol Reef a true quest
Thomas Holt Ward walks toward the colorful and textured crack that leads to the lumpy crest of Dome 6,630.
Hickman Natural Bridge, a short side trip, is 133 feet long and 125 feet high.
Dome 6,821, Stegosaur Fin, resembling a standard normal distribution curve, is impossible to climb but aesthetically captivating.
Trail basics

Travel: The quickest and shortest route from Durango to Capitol Reef: Mancos, Dove Creek, Monticello, Blanding, Fry Canyon, Hanksville, and west into the park on Utah State Route 24. It is about 290 miles and takes 5 hours, 30 minutes. The Hickman Bridge Trailhead is two miles east of the visitor center. The parking area is on the north side of the two-lane.
Fees: A seven-day pass is $10 per vehicle, or show your annual National Parks Pass. Park facilities are open year-round.
Fruita Campground: This idyllic, shady campground is adjacent to the Fremont River, tucked amongst historic fruit orchards. The 71 sites, available only on a first-come, first-served basis, fill by mid-morning in spring and fall. There are bathrooms, fire grates, picnic tables, and water. The fee is $20 per night.
Distance and Elevation Gain: 6.5 miles out-and-back to Rim Overlook and Dome 6,630 with 1,700 feet of climbing. Hickman Natural Bridge adds 1.4 miles roundtrip.
Total Time: 3½ to 5 hours.
Difficulty: Trail and off trail; navigation, moderate; mild exposure on the dome and friction pitches; Class 2+; carry all the water you will need.
Maps: Fruita, UT, 7.5 Quad; Hiking Map & Guide: Capitol Reef National Park; or Trails Illustrated: Capitol Reef No. 267, all available at the visitor center, open daily, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Capitol Reef an explorer’s challenge

Thomas Holt Ward walks toward the colorful and textured crack that leads to the lumpy crest of Dome 6,630.
Hickman Natural Bridge, a short side trip, is 133 feet long and 125 feet high.
Dome 6,821, Stegosaur Fin, resembling a standard normal distribution curve, is impossible to climb but aesthetically captivating.
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