This is the story of our trip through the beautiful Halls Creek Narrows in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.
Kimberly needed a break from the kids, so I took Shaylee and Kessler and headed to Capitol Reef for an attempt on the Halls Creek Narrows. I had planned to do the Halls Creek Narrows several times now, but something always came up. Last time we planned on going there was during October 2006, but a 200 year flood hit! This time we hope for better luck.
The trip through the Halls Creek Narrows is one of the best in Capitol Reef National Park, but because of the distance from the roads, it isn't nearly as visited as many other trips in the National Park.
It was an amazing trip and the photos will do much of the telling of the story.
Kessler in the Halls Creek Narrows.
May 28: Brimhall Canyon and the Approach
After driving to the Halls Creek Overlook (trailhead), we met two other hikers, Nao and Beaver who were also hiking the narrows. I offered to do a car shuttle with them so we could come out a different way.
After Nao and I complete the car shuttle, I told Nao and Beaver about Brimhall Canyon and we decided to explore it. We scrambled up canyon and over the challenging dryfall, past beautiful pools and to the long and cold swimming hole. The water was in the shade and freezing cold so we opted not to swim across. We did swim in some warmer pools before we returned down canyon and headed down Halls Creek.
Kessler and Shaylee exploring Brimhall Canyon.
Cooling off in Brimhall Canyon.
Nao looking for a bypass above the swim hole in Brimhall Canyon. The rest of us did not try the route.
This is part of the trail through Brimhall Canyon.
We saw lots of these guys in Brimhall Canyon.
Nao and Beaver went on ahead of Shaylee, Kessler and I. The horse and deer flies were pretty fierce in places, so we stopped and put on long pants. This was a good idea since the flies mostly stopped biting us after this. Along the way, we stopped at some old historic signatures (including Hall’s whom Halls Creek was named after) and to look at the Red Slide and many big lizards. There was ample water in Halls Creek as the stream came and went, but we had carried all our own water. Eventually we met up with Nao and Beaver near the beginning of the narrows and we set up camp.
Backpacking in on the long approach to the Halls Creek Narrows.
The prickly pear cactus were in full bloom on our Halls Creek Narrows trip.
May 29: The Halls Creek Narrows and Overlook
Today was the day we had all been waiting for. We would get to go through the Halls Creek Narrows! It was a very windy night and was hard to sleep. We could really hear the wind buffeting the cliffs above! We eagerly hiked to the Halls Creek Narrows and went on down in. Sometimes the canyon would block the wind and sometimes we would get sandblasted.
This is the entrance to the Halls Creek Narrows.
This photo was taken near the beginning of the Halls Creek Narrows.
The narrows were beautiful and we really enjoyed our time in there. After savoring the beauty and getting through the narrows, Nao and Beaver went down Halls Creek to Miller Creek while Kessler, Shaylee and I went up the Hall Divide and climbed over to the highpoint to look down into the narrows. There was a bit of scrambling, but it was a great side trip with spectacular views. It was very windy up there! There were some interesting and huge potholes near the top as well. We made our way along a ridge for more views before descending a drainage back to near Halls Creek which we followed back to camp.
Testing out the chilly water in the morning.
Kessler and Shaylee deep in the Halls Creek Narrows.
Kessler and Shaylee deep in the Halls Creek Narrows.
Looking up the spectacular walls along Halls Creek.
Some of the very high walls in Halls Creek.
These are some of the beautiful (and high!) canyon walls in Halls Creek.
Wading in the Halls Creek Narrows.
Hiking along Halls Creek.
Looking straight up the cliffs in Halls Creek Narrows.
In the beautiful Halls Creek Narrows.
Beautiful walls in Halls Creek Narrows.
The Halls Creek Narrows emerge from the Waterpocket Fold.
Looking at a giant alcove from the rim of the Halls Creek Narrows.
Looking straight down into the Narrows.
It was a great day and I was glad that I finally got to see the Halls Creek Narrows, but when we got back to camp we found the tent to be blown over and full of sand! It took a while to clean out. When it was almost dark, I was getting worried about Nao and Beaver, so I hiked down Halls Creek a little bit to see if I could find them. I didn’t have to walk far before running into them.
Some of the nice rock texture on the rim of the Halls Creek Narrows.
May 30: The Exit and Back to Civilization
Today was another pretty big day since it was our hike out. After packing up camp, Shaylee, Kessler and I set off ahead since we knew Nao and Beaver would catch up with us. We made very good time and the hike up Halls Creek went fast. We covered the first three miles in less than 1.5 hours. Nao and Beaver caught up with us and we hiked together while looking for the exit up to the top of the cliffs on the east.
One of the nice pertrified logs along Halls Creek.
Some of the colorful domes near the exit of Halls Creek.
This is the Waterpocket Fold along Halls Creek.
Kessler lugs his big pack on the route out of Halls Creek.
Once we located the correct location at the foot of the cliffs, the beginning of the route up the cliffs was pretty easy to find. We got off route a few times, but overall, it was just a stiff scramble up to the top of the cliffs. The kids enjoyed the little climbs along the way, but Kessler did not like carrying his big backpack up parts of it.
This is the shortcut exit route out of Halls Creek.
Beaver climbing out on the crux pitch of the shortcut route to/from the Halls Creek Narrows. The route is a little steep, but really isn't bad at all.
Overall, we made very good time up the climb. After some snacks and drinks, we said goodbye to our new friends and headed for home. It was a great trip!
Shaylee nears the top of the shortcut exit from Halls Creek.