United States
Haymaker Bench

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    • Day 146

      U-U-U-Utah Saints!

      October 9, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Another hour or so on the stupendous Highway 12, after passing many amazing overlooks of sandstone canyons and undulating rock formations, we found ourselves at Lower Calf Creek Falls, where we planned a hike. As there was space in the gorgeous campsite at the beginning of the trail and it was the last day of the Columbus holiday weekend we set up camp right next to the gurgling brook. The trail wound its way lush and colourful along a wide sandy-bottomed canyon, and passed some life sized pictographs before culminating at the 130 ft falls pouring over the smooth sandstone walls.

      The road up out of the campsite gorge and over the mountains was incredible. It is called the Hogsback Highway and its somehow navigated its way over this crazy, almost Mars-like, landscape. We visited Anasazi SP which has some great ruins and reconstructions of ancient pueblos. We treated ourselves some fancy nosh (e.g. sage potato cakes) at the well known Devil's Backbone Grill.

      Next stunning stop was Capital Reef NP, the largest waterpocket fold in northern America. In other words a 100 mile long scrunching of land resulting in big cliffs and amazing canyons. The scenic drive was pleasant but not awe inspiring, that was until the road turned to gravel and it wound its way through a slot canyon with huge sheer walls. The road stopped and turned into a trail which continued on down. The graffiti on the walls from the 1880s was pretty amazing ($300 fine now!) and they used this as an early route west. At the end of a short walk we scrambled up the cliffs to some water tanks, where the water had eroded natural pools and small arches.

      A small Mormon community set up life here and planted large orchards that are still producing today. In fact they dominated life so much the town was renamed to Fruita, and we picked up an incredible berry pie for pudding, and cinnamon roll for breakfast :)

      We're amazed how busy everything is around here, but we are in 2 week roadtrip territory and the huge mass of nomadic retirees will have been pushed south by the weather. We drove on out of the park, taking in some pretty impressive petroglyphs (they sure do like their long horn sheep!), and camped at a BLM spot a few miles on with stunning vistas over the park and surrounds.
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    • Day 75

      Lower Calf Creek Falls

      October 16, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 48 °F

      We wanted to get to the trailhead early but didn't factor in the canyon walls blocking the morning sun, so warm oatmeal cooked with apples, bananas, and golden raisins with peanut butter blended in at the end and topped with hazelnut chocolate granola. Yum! We were on the trail by 9:40 am, in between the first and second waves of people. It was absolutely stunning with autumn colored plants, prickly pear fruits, and multicolored cliffs and then there's a 126' waterfall with swimming hole at the end of the 3 miles. It was too cold to get in today but warm enough to enjoy the mist of the falls on the beach. Duncan even became a cowboy since we didn't let him in the water due to potential cyanobacterial contamination.Read more

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    Haymaker Bench

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