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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Capitol Reef Hike-N-Bike: Frying Pan To Cassidy Arch Spur, Back To Frying Pan to Cohab Canyon

Utah's Waterpocket Fold is a stupefying sub-feature of the equally stupefying San Rafael Swell. Then again, isn't all of Utah stupefying?
We did this hike a few years back while staying at Capitol Reef's lovely cottonwood imbued Campground. In fact it's so imbued with gigantic cottonwoods that only a few sites work for solar powered Rvs...and there are no "hookups." Thus, we have boondock camped since near Torrey, a few miles west. 

The problem that arises with making this a loop-hike is the 4 miles of pavement/sandy wash road that must be walked in oder to return you to one of two parking lots where you left your car. 

Not wanting to reprise the road/wash portion, we decided to drop and lock our bikes at the North Trailhead parking lot across from the campground, then drive Sue Bee to the South Frying Pan Trailhead parking lot. Necessity is the father of creativity :).

Approximately a half mile up the Frying Pan Trail is a spur trail over to the not-to-be-missed Cassidy Arch. This arch is a popular spot for repelling, but don't let that put you off as it's a wonder to watch people dangle from tiny ropes hundreds of feet off the ground. On this day it was a group of teens, and they were quite nervous. As a recovering acrophobe, I could sympathize...

I moseyed over to watch these brave gals
After talking to a couple of teen gals awaiting there turn on the rope, I walked the arch in order to get in position to take photos of one of the repellers...a brave gal, way out of her comfort zone. 

Unfortunately, the best place to take photos was smack on the edge of Cassidy Arch. As I kneeled down to hang out over the edge I felt the ole familiar surge of adrenaline and rising fear. 

The reluctant participant was quite verbal, but never swore once.

Getting some of these shots required hanging way out over the edge of Cassidy Arch.  Your welcome!!!

The spur to Cassidy is an out and back that brought us back to Frying Pan Trail. This is a wonderland trail if there ever was one...riding up, over, and down through the Waterpocket Fold, where figurines and tilted landscapes titillate the the senses.

Cohab Canyon

Capitol Reef Campground

We reached our bikes across from the campground...still safely chained to a fencepost. We were eager to finish off this ten-ish mile loop via wheels versus feet. Unfortunately, there was a long steep hill right off the bat, and a howling headwind too boot. Just a little torture to cap off a Capital hike in Capitol Reef.

A bonus throw in hike to Golden Throne, to work out the kinks from Frying Pan's trek...

That's all folks. Thanks for tuning in and for commenting.
Peace out,
mark and bobbie


  1. Ahhh, you're killing me. I love Capitol Reef!! We did this hike a couple years back but did it as an out and back. We parked in Hickman Bridge lot and started at the TH across the street which lead us to Cohab Canyon, then Fry Pan, and finally the Cassidy Arch. We then came back the same way for eight miles. A super hike and not a person til we got to the arch. Those girls are crazy!!!

    1. Ugh. I don't think we've ever came up that section from the highway. Always leave something to come back for, though redoing trails in Capitol Reef never get boring!

  2. A little torture indeed! and a lot of great views/photos!

  3. The arch is amazing. When we were there people were being lowered down, but weren't actually rappelling. So that was weird. When we did the canyoneering trip out of Escalante, we had three rappels which were really fun. And yes, all of Utah is astonishingly beautiful.

  4. WOW WOW WOW! Stunning photos. Also- loving the new header photo :)


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