We decided to make another attempt on Upper Muley Twist in Capitol Reef this spring. We had hiked it in November of 2012, but stayed in the wash because of wind and snow during our trip. This year, we wanted to do the whole loop, including the rim trail that would give us a view from the top of the cliffs out over Halls Creek, Thompson Mesa and the whole Waterpocket Fold.
On our way to our camping spot near Studhorse Peak on the Burr Trail, we stopped at the Post, near the Lower Muley Cutoff Trail, and hiked to an unnamed arch that Dad had seen while hiking there.
Our camp was near an old dugout and camp used probably for uranium mining. Lucy and Max loved playing in this old truck.
On Saturday, we drove the few miles to the Upper Muley Twist trailhead, and then followed the hike. Rain and wind were in the forecast for the evening and Sunday, so we started out climbing to the top of the cliffs and following them for about 7 miles to where the trail began to descend into the wash.
The trail was very high with plenty of exposure, but the trail was wide and easy to walk. There were no frightening slips or slides, but still we were very glad to finally reach the wash bottom. Just as we thought we had reached the bottom of the wash, there was a pouroff that had to be climbed around, costing us another 1/2 mile of high climbing above the slot. Because we were all pretty much done with being high at that point, we didn’t take any pictures down into the very narrow slot canyon that Upper Muley Canyon becomes.
The most exciting part of our trip also didn’t get any pictures taken. Overnight, rain began to fall and then turned to snow. We got up in the morning and packed up as quickly as possible, worried about driving home in the heavy snow over the Burr Trail and Boulder mountain. Thank goodness the Burr trail is paved — it was very wet, and snow was beginning to stick in places. After a nice breakfast in Boulder, we drove home slowly over Boulder mountain. The Torrey side had received about 6 inches of fresh snow, with more falling and a stiff wind in places. Crazy Utah May!
Now we’re calling Upper Muley conquered–for now. Since we’ve seen it from the top and bottom, we can now move on to other hikes for a while. The arches were as wonderful this time as they were last time, and the view from the top unforgettable.