Capitol Reef National Park is a place of spectacular beauty; it has so many areas of special, natural wonder. Unfortunately, very few people get to visit these special places. In an effort to make these hidden treasures known to the public, we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have created this blog series to highlight the best-unknown places of Capitol Reef. Watch for new “Special Places” posts.
In this report we’ll be talking about Spring Canyon. Spring Canyon is a little known valley that lies behind Chimney Rock. Spring Canyon has been shaped by a tributary of Sulphur Creek. Water flows through it year-round, which makes it both an exciting canyon to explore and a beautiful place to experience. The erosive force of the water has exposed some of the oldest layers of rock found anywhere in the park. In some places the water has forced the canyon to become extremely narrow.
To get to Spring Canyon, park at the Chimney Rock trailhead. Hike past Chimney Rock; the path to Spring Canyon is indicated by a trail sign. While Capitol Reef does not maintain a proper trail in Spring Canyon, rock careens will lead you to the access point, from then on, you just need to follow the canyon. This hike is strenuous and should not be attempted by those who are unqualified. A backcountry permit should be filled out at the visitor center.
The trip into this unsung wonder is truly something that you will not forget. If you ever get the chance to explore Spring Canyon, we highly recommend that you do so.