Capitol Reef, Part 2: Spring Canyon, More Petroglyphs, and Rainbows

In addition to being narrower than previous canyons and having higher, more vertical walls, Spring Canyon was a delight to explore due to the interesting erosion patterns and varieties of rock. Explore really was the correct word too since there were no trails there and the only people who would normally see this part of the park would be backpackers. We left our tent up in the morning and spent a few hours going into both Upper and Lower Spring Canyons. It was pretty neat to say the least. On our hike out the next morning we saw a double rainbow as well along the Chimney Rock Trail.

Upper Spring Canyon cluttered with boulders, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Upper Spring Canyon cluttered with boulders, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Wall and rock formation in Lower Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Wall and rock formation in Lower Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Wall in Lower Spring Canyon featuring erosion, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Wall in Lower Spring Canyon featuring erosion, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Me posing in front of a boulder in the wash, Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Me posing in front of a boulder in the wash, Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Rainbow upon exit from Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Rainbow upon exit from Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

It had rained the previous day and again overnight so we were advised not to hike into any more slot canyons nor did we think it prudent to hike up to the upper rim with thunder and lightning storms forecasted so we settled for some of the sights along Route 24 on our way west. We had a chance to see more petroglyphs, rock formations, and painted hills and tried to pick fruit from the orchards there but nothing was quite in season. This side of the canyon past the petroglyphs was almost entirely absent of the deep red shale and featured lighter colored Navajo Sandstone mixed with rainbow-striated sedimentary rock.

Fremont culture petroglyph, Capitol Gorge Trail, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Fremont culture petroglyph, Capitol Gorge Trail, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Painted hills in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Painted hills in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Painted Hills in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Painted Hills in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Sandstone layers capping black hills eroded by drainage, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Sandstone layers capping black hills eroded by drainage, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah