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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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!
See also the trip report for details:
Halls Creek Narrows
After a long drive down the Notom-Bullfrog Road in a blizzard, we got to Halls Mesa and went through Halls Creek Narrows.
I'd like to return sometime to head further south.
June '08 we went thru Halls Creek Narrows en. rt. to even more fantastic technical canyons further south. Wound up doing only 1 of the 3.