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This canyon cuts the Waterpocket Fold from east to west. It is one of five washes within the park that cuts through the monocline and can be navigated.

This canyon leads approximately ten miles west from Notom-Bullfrog Road to South Draw Road. Hikers in this wash must navigate several pour-offs and a rope is necessary to hoist heavy packs. Most individuals hike this route as a day hike. Before attempting this hike check in at the Visitor Center to get current conditions within the canyon and regarding the weather.

The following description was written by Park Service personnel. It describes the route to a pour-off above an alcove six miles from the trailhead on Notom-Bullfrog Road. One mile up the wash you will encounter a major side drainage on the right (north); stay left at this junction and, a few minutes later, stay right at the next junction. One mile further, the wash bottom narrows and you may find a few pools of water associated with a couple of minor pour-offs. Yet another pour-off and pool is encountered three and a half miles from the trailhead, probably the most difficult obstacle along the route. A good climber can negotiate this without assistance, but it is easier if there are two or more people to help one another.

About four and a half miles from the trailhead the last obstacle is reached. This is a high pour-off in a cave-like chamber. It can easily be bypassed by backtracking about 100 yards and climbing out of the wash on the south side. Beyond this point, numerous stands of Douglas Fir begin to appear on cool, shaded northern slopes. Above the alcove the canyon walls begin to change from the white Navajo Sandstone to the red Wingate Sandstone.

Six miles in from the Notom Road lies an intermittent seep and cottonwood trees. Soon thereafter, the canyon opens up and becomes much wider. Though it is possible to continue for several more miles, reaching this point and returning to the Notom Road will constitute a full day for most people.

Directions: From Highway 24, Drive southward on the Notom-Bullfrog Road 13.3 miles to the Sheets Gulch Trailhead.

Elevation: 5,175 feet

Ending Elevation: 7,060 feet

Usage: Moderate

Difficulty: Moderate

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Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Visitor Information

The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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