The Hickman Bridge Trail

Capitol Reef National Park has a great deal to offer even though it is one of the smaller of the national parks in Utah but don’t let that deter you from visiting.  Here you can experience many beautiful hikes ranging from easy to quite strenuous going through a variety of stunning landscapes.   Let’s get going on the Hickman Bridge Trail here.

Now that we’ve parked our vehicles, used the facilities which are there (if needed),  read the map and with trail guide in hand it’s time to head for the steps and upwards and onward to the Hickman Bridge.  The flowering plant here is a gooseberry leaf globemallow.  As we visited in early May, we got to see many flowering plants and shrubs that were flourishing in what most would call less than ideal soil.  Nature finds its way!

Once you go through this first patch of sand , up the steps and just a bit further you round the corner to see that your trail is about to get rocky and climbs upward.

More of the beautiful little wildflowers and those black volcanic boulders.  If you look towards the very top of this image there is a blue spot; that’s another hiker and it shows you the beginnings of the many switchbacks.

Still going up as the landscape changes a bit;  this is when you begin to hike through a sandstone side canyon with gorgeous high desert views.

The hike takes you through rock, sand and trees.  While going over some of the boulders was a bit strenuous, I found that slogging through the sand took more energy.  So glad we had on good hiking boots that kept the sand out!

As you near the Hickman Bridge, you have the classic fork in the road scenario as the trail ends in a loop around the bridge.  Trust me on this one, take the path to the right for this amazing view of the front of the bridge.  It’s at this point many pause to take it all in as well as to take a break and have a snack and hydrate.  Hydration is very important!  As a fellow hiking friend once told me, if you wait until your’e thirsty to drink – you’ve waited too long!

The bridge spans 133 feet and climbing on it is forbidden.  The trail starts at an elevation of 5400 feet and at this point you are around 5700 feet above sea level.

Break time for hikers underneath and behind the bridge.

At this point you can head back down the way you came up or loop around the bridge and take a view from the cliffs which look down towards the Fremont River.  I saw a couple with a baby in a carrier taking selfies here.  Sigh… I’ll say no more.

By this time on our hike the skies had changed from a beautiful blue to a somewhat ominous grey and we decided it was time to head on down the trail.  We did get a bit of rain on us but as a park ranger told us, sometimes here in the high desert the rain comes down but never quite makes it to the ground.  We did get rained on a couple of times but mostly it was either a few sprinkles or just watching the clouds go by looking like rain was coming from them.

What hikes up must hike down!

This formation is called Capitol Dome as it resembles the capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Almost to the end of the trail.  I can see route 24 from here.

Down and around on the trail and past the Fremont river to the end of our hike.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this hike to the Hickman Natural Bridge.  I bet you’ve worked up an appetite so why don’t we head into Fruita for some pie next.

Teri  📷

 

 

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Monochrome Monday on State Route 24

State Route 24 in Utah will either take you to where you want to go in Capitol Reef National Park or it will lead you to a turnoff that will get you to your desired destination.  Now as we are planning to head off to the Hickman Bridge Trail, we will be taking 24 east here to the parking lot at the start of that hike.

No pets, bikes or other vehicles are allowed on the trail.  Use caution near cliff edges, there is a lighting hazard during storms and most of all LEAVE NO TRACE!  See you on the trail next.

Teri  📷

 

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They see me rolling…

Columbus, Ohio is a very bike friendly city.  There are bike lanes on many of the streets and bike paths in every park.  The Alum Creek State park even has a dedicated mountain bike trail.  This doesn’t even include the rental bikes that are downtown but it appears they are being outnumbered by those scooters that are multiplying like crazy.

I know several of you wonderful readers are avid cyclists (I’m just a pedal nicely sort myself) so here is an image with some song titles that are about bicycling or have bicycle in the lyrics.  Have a happy pedaling weekend and we’ll be back on the Utah trail next week.

Queen: Bicycle Race

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Bicycle Song

Carlos Vives & Shakira: La Bicicleta

Harry Dacre (Frank Dean): Daisy Bell (Bicycle built for two)

Can you think of any more?  Let me know in the comments.

Teri  📷

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Start of the Hickman Bridge Trail

The Hickman Bridge Trail is just one of the many trails you can hike when visiting Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.  It is a 2.2 mile round trip with an elevation change of 400 feet and is listed as a moderate trail.  I will show you why moderate when I take you hiking up to the bridge itself next week.

Here is the view after you step away from the parking lot as you get ready to take on the trail.  Where the couple is standing is a trail map and actual trail guides you can take with you for a donation.  What I really appreciated about the trail and the trail guide is that there were numbered posts that when you referred back to your guide, let you know where you were, what you were looking at and gave you an idea of how much further you had to go.

This is the relatively flat and very sandy part of the trail.  It changes when you turn the corner at the end of the red sandstone rocks on the left.

Stay tuned –  Teri  📷

 

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Pause in the action

I know I said that I would be taking you on a tour of the Hickman Bridge Trail but I’m currently in the midst of editing photos from a fashion show I shot this past weekend so…… delay in the Utah photos.

The fashion show theme was a Caribbean festival such as one would see at Junkanoo in the Bahamas or Crop Over in Barbados.  There was Caribbean food and music to go along with the models and their designers.  I had a blast shooting it and will be covering the festival parade here later this summer.  The parade and fashion show benefit a not for profit charity whose goal is to improve the quality of life and education for the youth of Jamaica.

Here are a couple of photos from the show featuring some of the costumes that will be worn in the parade.  Feathers will be flying 🙂

Back to editing for me – Teri  📷

 

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A foggy castle

I’ve been traveling back down memory lane this week to when we were in Scotland this time last year.  There are soooo many photos that I still have to share with you and eventually I will get to them.  Here is just one from our Scotland road trip.

Castles and as many as possible were high on my must see list and we did see quite a variety of them but this one (along with Eilean Donan) was very high on the list.  Dunnottar Castle is in the highlands of Scotland east of where we were staying in Aboyne and just south of Stonehaven.

It sits atop 160 ft high cliffs that over look the North Sea on an area over 3 acres in size.  The views are stunning… that is if you manage to visit on a day when you can see the views.  On the two days we were in the area the castle was totally fogged in.  But we went anyway and while foggy we did get to see this castle grounds which were built to come close to being impregnable.

Will share more in the future.  Teri  📷

 

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Capitol Reef National Park – Panorama Point and Goosenecks Overlook

Just past Chimney Rock on Utah State route 24 there is a turnoff onto a paved road that leads you to Panorama Point and the Sunset Point Trail.  At the fork in this road you can turn left and make your way, carefully, down a dusty and bumpy gravel road to the Goosenecks Overlook.

Park your car at what is basically a cul-de-sac at Panorama Point and go walk up to get a very nice view.  It’s also a great spot for viewing the sunset which we did a couple of nights.  I spoke with one photographer who was facing the opposite direction of the sunset one night because he wanted to capture the mountains and canyon glowing from the sunset light and not the sunset itself; he had a good point.

Here is a sunset view from Panorama Point

And this is what the rocks were beginning to look like right behind me at the same time.

We didn’t take the Sunset Point trail as I wanted to see a special sight that awaited me at the end of the road to Goosenecks Point.  Here you park at the small (and can get filled in no time) parking lot and get greeted by these signs.

It’s a nice short trail with dramatic views.  It’s not very dangerous unless you are not watching where you are going or are someone who may be so obsessed with getting a selfie or a photo that you aren’t careful because there is no fencing at the canyon edge until you get to the actual overlook.  No photo is worth you getting injured or worse.  Common sense people!

The views from the trail are gorgeous; you can see for miles and if the weather is cooperative, the clouds will do beautiful formations for you.  You just have to decide what you want to see and then time your visit accordingly in order to see this or that side of the canyons or mountains glowing. That information is readily available online or with guides from the Capitol Reef Visitors Center.

In this image if you look to your far right midway of the photo at the mountain range you can just make out Mummy Cliff and Chimney Rock; close but yet so far.

In order to get to the Goosenecks overlook you take an easy climb over and around some rocks until you are greeted with this amazing sight and the trail towards the overlook.  This is where I had to take a deep breath and walk mindfully because it was a bit scary at first.  The second time I walked a bit quicker and without the anxiety but I still was mindful of where I was going.  The overlook is about 800 feet up from the creek below!

The view, once you get to the well fenced in overlook, is stunning.  While it’s no Horseshoe Bend it did remind me a bit of it as I looked down into the canyon at Sulphur Creek.  There is a 6 mile one way or 12 miles round trip hike in the creek which is supposed to be quite beautiful.  I read a suggestion that if you are hiking with others, park a car at both ends of the trail so you don’t have to do a 12 mile hike… unless you want to.

I grasped the railing of the fence to give it a bit of a wiggle to test it’s steadiness (very steady and safe) and then leaned over just a bit to get these shots of the canyon and creek.  This is one part of Capitol Reef where visiting when the sun is high gives you better colors in the canyon and where a wide angle lens is your best friend.

If your time to visit Capitol Reef National Park is limited, then these are two sights that are short and easy to reach which will give you wonderful views.  But even if you do have more time to visit, they are both great spots to spend some time at… especially when the light is right.

Teri  📷

Next time: The Hickman Bridge Trail

 

 

 

 

 

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