View from inside the Canyon before it narrows

Link to detailed route page and map click on route title 

Sulphur Creek

  • Distance 11.16 km
  • Time 0 s
  • Speed 0.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 1672 m
  • Peak 1889 m
  • Climb 1279 m
  • Descent 1279 m
June 26, 2018 11:58 pm
This trail is often done as a point to point hike, from Chimney Rock trail head to the Visitor Centre at Fruita with a shuttle. However with only 1 vehicle and not wanting to rely on picking up a lift to avoid a 3 mile hike down the road we decided to start at the Visitor Centre and hike up to where we could see the Gooseneck viewing platform far above us and then turn round to hike back the way we had come. link to Utah site for hike

Decided on an earlier start than yesterday, even though it was a cool enough morning to enjoy a bowl of porridge before we started. One of the challenges round changing our plans due to the variable weather conditions we have faced is that I got and dried enough food at the start of our trip for two  longish backpacking trips (eg 5 and 6 days). Some of the dried meals we will take back to Europe with us, however that still leaves a lot of porridge! At least we also have lots of maple syrup.

Looking back, first waterfall

Today’s hike was a total contrast to yesterday’s walk down the Grand Wash. The stream is perennial and the geology is different to what we walked through yesterday. The canyon cuts through the two oldest visible rock layers in the Park. The Kaibab a dolomitic limestone (which is the Rim rock of the Grand Canyon ie the youngest rock layer there) lines the floor of the canyon, and made it very pleasant and smooth to hike through whereas the gorge slices through White Rim Sandstone which was made from wind blown sand dunes.

Anyway back to the beginning, we messed around a bit at the start looking for where the path started behind the visitor centre. We soon came to an old limestone kiln built by the Mormon settlers to the valley. Very interesting. Used to make a wash for the trees to reduce insect infestation on their fruit trees as well as provide a fertiliser for their soils and to provide mortar for their buildings. We have both commented on how hard it was for the settlers in this area, far from any conveniences, to make a living and be self sufficient. Is it good the Parks service is maintaining the historical architecture of this valley.

Shortly after we came to the first waterfall where we decided to transfer into our new water shoes (a great buy) and climbed up the side of the waterfall (much easier on the way down when we both just at slid down the chute after giving our bags to a very friendly school group of LDS  to keep the contents dry). This was very slippery rock and my initial though was Oh  dear these shoes don’t have any traction. However, it was just that section of rock. We had a delightful walk up the river, with no one else around, just enjoying our environment.

Came to a small set of rapids, which we initially thought was the second waterfall! Before we got to the second waterfall. Slightly challenging climb up round it but by taking our time had no problems before shortly after reaching the third and most dramatic waterfall. This time there was an easier route up round the fall. Only a short way further and we spied the fence of the overlook in a section of the valley floor dominated by a huge cottonwood tree. Got a great photo of Mike sitting on its branch, alas he got bitten on the bum by some marauding ants! Time to move.

The hike back down the canyon was warmer, even the water had warmed up, but equally enjoyable. Shortly after turning round we saw behind us the church group and decided to stay ahead of them until some rock overhangs which we had earmarked for our lunch spot (humus, salami and egg very tasty). Fun watching the lads make their way through, some trying to keep their feet dry for a dare and others climbing like monkeys over the rocks, we had a nice chat before they carried on and we finished our lunch and gave them space. The great thing was that when we caught up with them back at the first waterfall they were really kind by taking our bags and also delighted that I also slid down the slide and drenched myself. Very happy moments.<

Nearly dried off by the time we got back to the RV even though it was a short distance and now enjoying a very pleasant afternoon /evening looking forward to my BBQ chicken in a secret mango marinade!

See below a video of our hike followed by a compilation of our photos

Compilation of photos, press play to view