Cohab Canyon, Capitol Reef

Discussion about places West of the Rockies
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bluegreen kayak
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Cohab Canyon, Capitol Reef

Post by bluegreen kayak » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:16 pm

I was hoping to post a trip report about hiking Telescope Peak with my son this month, but the road was too washed out for us to reach the kilns, let along the trail head up further. Drat.

As a consolation prize, I spent a couple of days at Capitol Reef National Park. I managed to get one of their first-come sites by being there before 8:30. I then hiked up to Cohab Canyon, which had always sounded interesting to me, using the trail head nearest the campground.

It's an odd feeling to hike up a quarter mile, through twenty-some switchbacks, to get to the start of the canyon. The canyon is not narrow, and it is filled with trees and bushes, as well as large fallen boulders. The path was easy to follow, the red colors were on great display, and I enjoyed being there.

I really liked the three side canyons I ran across on the left/south side. The first one was so narrow that I would classify it beyond a slot canyon - maybe a sliver. Without my pack, I was able to push my way through it, feeling the walls against me front and back. At the end, it opened up into a small room, made of dark rock like the sliver itself. The second one was wider and no trouble, but it was memorable for the vibrant red and gold colors in the grotto that ended it. The third one was a basic slot canyon, but with a tall tree at the end, bravely growing. All three were memorable and distinct.

I didn't take the canyon trail all the way to the exit on Highway 24; instead I hiked up to the north vista, amazed at how high it was, and made my way back to camp. I have to mention one item about the campground: the mule deer are so used to people, that they munched their way through the camp every morning about 6:30-7 am. It was fun to watch them, and to watch the children of campers looking at the deer. It seemed to make everyone whisper and tiptoe around, so as not to spook them. Oh, and the orchards were offering pick your own apples and peaches, still in season. Nice place.

Sparky of SoCal
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Re: Cohab Canyon, Capitol Reef

Post by Sparky of SoCal » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:57 am

I have not been up Cohab but explored a lot of area in Capitol Reef maybe 5 or 6 seperate trips genrally in the fall. For some reason most folks just drive through and never stop.

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Re: Cohab Canyon, Capitol Reef

Post by Kauri » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:12 pm

Very nice! I've been planning to eventually check out some of the canyons in Capitol Reef, and this adds another one to my list---thank you!
My trip reports, from Death Valley and beyond: http://kaurijacobphotography.yolasite.c ... eports.php

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Re: Cohab Canyon, Capitol Reef

Post by MojaveGeek » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:22 pm

My favorite in the area is Chimney Rock Canyon. The red walls of Wingate sandstone are etched in my memory. I should go back.

What I recall in the campground was the large skunks. As in, sitting at a picnic table in camp at dusk and feeling something brush against my leg, and looking down to see a skunk there. I just sat pretty still. Later I saw some kids chasing a skunk with a stick. I told them I could not think of a much more stupid thing to do. That stopped them, but only for about five minutes. The skunk did not spray, though.

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Re: Cohab Canyon, Capitol Reef

Post by kkrtrek » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:31 am

I was going to post awhile back, but thought interest was waning, so...I deferred. With MojaveGeek's post, I am now reinspired.

I have done almost all the day hikes in the main part of Capitol Reef. Cohab Canyon--I couldn't even count the times. We tend to go down the canyon (or is it up??), across the highway, visit the petroglyphs and wind our way back through fields, park, and orchards. Not necessarily any "better" a hike than out and back in Cohab, just different.

I'll be unabashed in my endorsement of Chimney Rock, though. There are many beautiful hikes in the area, but I think Chimney Rock is, perhaps, the most lovely--and it is my favorite, I think. As MG mentioned, the walls of sandstone and the size of the sandstone boulders in the canyon are awesome. Despite Chimney Rock's ease of access, there are often just a couple cars parked there (at least when I go) and fewer, if any, people up doing the loop trail. A ringing endorsement from me.

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