Thursday, October 16, 2014

Golden Throne and Capitol Gorge Hikes


Sorry, this is a long catch-up post.


On Monday morning we awoke to freezing temperatures outside, and only about 10 degrees warmer inside. Between our furnace and Kozy World propane heater, and with the help of the sun, our little house quickly became a warm retreat and we had a hard time getting motivated to do much of anything. We finally loaded up our dirty laundry, which accumulates much too quickly with all the hiking and biking we do, and headed to town for clean clothes and some faster internet.

That afternoon we joined Mark and Bobbie for a little bike ride down the BLM road we’re camped on.


When we returned Jim and Allison were there, stopping by for a visit on their way home from a hike, and as we were all standing outside talking we saw a white Winnie View towing a newly renovated Tracker heading our way, none other than Take To The Highway Suzanne. With the crowd to greet her, and the unsolicited advice on picking her campsite, I suspect she was having second thoughts about joining our group. But good sport that she is, she took it all in stride and got settled in.


Since it was too cold for an outside happy hour, and since our RVs are too small for that many people, we went over to Red Rock Patio for pizza and a watered down 3.2 Utah beer.

The next day we gathered everyone together for a group hike to the Golden Throne in Capitol Reef. It’s a two mile hike to a view of the throne, with about 700’ of elevation gain. It’s a nice trail, with a bit of climbing, then some level ground, then a bit more climbing, etc. until you reach the end of trail sign.


Bobbie found a little throne of her own to rest on.


It’s a bit of a stretch to think it looks like a throne.


But the scenery was lovely and the chit-chat made for a fun hike.




A rotten molar, perhaps? At least I didn’t think this one looked like a monkey.


Mark, Bobbie, Suzanne and I wanted to hike a bit more and the Capitol Gorge trailhead started from the same parking lot, so we headed down the gorge to look at the petroglyphs and the pioneer register on the rock walls.




Current day rock writing which is now considered graffiti. The sign said the writers were caught and awaiting prosecution, but is this really any different from the above photo that we now consider history? I know, I understand and agree, no defacing national park property.


About 3/4 of a mile in there is a turnoff for the tanks, pools of water high up in the rocks.


The sign said .2 miles to the tanks, but after our four mile hike to the throne and back it felt like a much longer climb. Mark and Bobbie had been there before but even so we scrambled around and found a natural bridge and other pools they didn’t know were there.


Bobbie photobombed my reflection shot.


One from a different tank.


Mark was interested in going back yesterday in the morning to get a view of the bridge with better light, and to show us some secret petroglyphs farther down the gorge. So Mark took his harem (me, Bobbie, Suzanne and Debbie) and we headed off for the park, while Jim and Allison, and my Jim stayed home for a day of R&R.

Mark wanted his picture taken on top of the bridge but the ladies didn’t think that was such a good idea. If he had a rope with him I’m sure he would have been down there.


We then continued down Capitol Gorge, what used to be the old Hwy 24 into the park. They had built several diversion dams so the road wasn’t under water during rains.


Just under three miles in we came to the last of the dams and the Capitol Reef NP boundary, marked by this rusty old car.



Somehow we missed the secret petroglyphs and there were no more high canyon walls, but on the way back Mark went off trail and found them. Bobbie and I scrambled up to take a closer look.



I think the kids were taking a creative drawing class.


This colorful varnish almost looked like blood dripping down the rocks.



Jim and Allison left today for Virgin, kB snuck off a couple days ago to get his door repaired which got blown open during the strong winds we had, and I am caught up to today, which happens to be Jim’s birthday. The rest of us are heading to Café Diablo in Torrey for lunch to celebrate everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries. It’s been recommended by several friends and none of us have eaten there before. I won’t divulge Jim’s age, but I will say that he was eligible for Medicare the 1st of October.                                                                                                                 Winking smile


  1. I love your photos! Happy birthday Jim!

  2. Happy birthday, Jim, and congratulations on getting Medicare.

  3. Happy Birthday Jim! Isn't it awesome to be able to spend your Bday in amazing places like this?!

  4. More beautiful hikes - all from the same campsite is pretty amazing! Definitely agree with the large tooth and the blood running down the walls - kinda missing the monkeys now :-) Happy Bday to Jim!

  5. Happy birthday to everyone whose birthday seems to fall in October! My calendar is replete with reminders, so I shall add Jim's momentous event. I am so terribly jealous of your hiking abilities. But am so glad that you take the time and effort to post the gorgeous pictures that Gary and I really enjoy looking at. We have been to most of these places, but not in at least twenty years, so your pictures really tug at our heartstrings. The petroglyphs are particularly outstanding. Well shot!

    We are bringing our Lazy Daze to the house today straight from the auto place who has done the annual service and fixed that pesky oxygen sensor code. Looking forward to a couple of months in New Mexico. Wish we had been able to get up to Utah, but not in the cards for this year.

    Keep 'em coming! The pictures AND the birthdays! ;->

    Virtual hugs,


  6. Happy Birthday, Jim! I agree with Lisa, what a great place to celebrate:)

    This was the first hike we did when we arrived in that area. Next time we will have to go further down the gorge. Sure looked a beautiful day!

  7. The Tanks are one of my favorite spots. (Photos are good there at high noon to avoid the deep shadows and to catch those good reflections.) Funny what a small world this RV community can seem to be, criss-crossing all over the same favorite territory.