May 3, 2014

Capitol Reef National Park, Burr Trail, Headquarters Canyon


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May 2, 2014
Chronologic Listing
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May 4, 2014

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Above the Gorge trailhead

The Burr Trail backcountry route follows Long Canyon for seven miles in an almost straight line, between cliffs of brilliant red Wingate sandstone.

Above the Gulch Trailhead on Steep Creek, Burr Trail Scenic Backway, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: AboveTheGorgeTrailhead
accession number: 2014-05-03 1
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: burr-trail-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8569 N -111.3124 W
click order on locality page: 2
type: full sphere

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Long Canyon overlook on the Burr Trail

This viewpoint is where the Burr Trail crosses a pass out of Long Canyon and descends to the north through colorful badlands.

North End of Long Canyon, Burr Trail Scenic Backway, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: LongCanyonOverlook
accession number: 2014-05-03 2
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: burr-trail-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.9185 N -111.2391 W
click order on locality page: 4
type: full sphere

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West of the Waterpocket Fold on the Burr Trail

Approaching the Waterpocket Fold from the west on the Burr Trail there is just a hint of the spectacular escarpment and canyons ahead.

Burr Trail Scenic Byway west of the switchbacks, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: BurrTrailAboveSwitch_01
accession number: 2014-05-03 3
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: burr-trail-switchbacks-capitol-reef-utah

coordinates: 37.8575 N -111.0526 W
click order on locality page: 1
type: full sphere

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Above the Burr Trail switchbacks

Pioneer cattlemen found this was the best place to drive their herds across the steep barrier of the Waterpocket Fold.

Burr Trail Switchbacks, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: BurrTrailSwitchbacks_01
accession number: 2014-05-03 5
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: burr-trail-switchbacks-capitol-reef-utah

coordinates: 37.8468 N -111.0271 W
click order on locality page: 3
type: full sphere

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Burr Trail road switchbacks

The Burr Trail has been repeatedly widened and improved but is still an exciting drive.

Burr Trail Switchbacks, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: BurrTrailSwitchbacks_02
accession number: 2014-05-03 6
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: burr-trail-switchbacks-capitol-reef-utah

coordinates: 37.849 N -111.0265 W
click order on locality page: 4
type: full sphere

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Burr Trail switchbacks

The Burr Trail was developed in 1876 by rancher John Atlantic Burr to move his cattle between winter grazing in the desert below, and summer pastures in the mountains. A gap in the massive white Navajo sandstone here allowed switchbacks to be carved into softer red rock behind.

Burr Trail Switchbacks, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: BurrTrailSwitchbacks_04
accession number: 2014-05-03 8
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: burr-trail-switchbacks-capitol-reef-utah

coordinates: 37.8495 N -111.0259 W
click order on locality page: 6
type: full sphere

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Base of the Burr Trail switchbacks

The old cattle trail took advantage of this gap in the white Navajo sandstone and climbed up the softer red rock behind in eight sweeping switchbacks. It is now the most memorable part of the highly scenic Burr Trail backcountry route.

Burr Trail Switchbacks, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: BurrTrailSwitchbacks_05
accession number: 2014-05-03 9
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: burr-trail-switchbacks-capitol-reef-utah

Coordinates: 37.8506 N -111.0216 W
click order on locality page: 7
type: full sphere

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Headquarters Canyon trailhead

This sandy flat served as headquarters for twice-annual cattle drives up and down the Burr Trail. Now it is notable for two trailheads, Headquarters Canyon and Surprise Canyon, both leading into amazing gorges within the Waterpocket Fold.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_01
accession number: 2014-05-03 10
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

Coordinates: 37.8331 N -110.9819 W
click order on locality page: 1
type: full sphere

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Trail to Headquarters Canyon

The trail to Headquarters Canyon crosses a sandy flat and shallow wash before reaching the bedrock ridges.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_02
accession number: 2014-05-03 11
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8305 N -110.984 W
click order on locality page: 2
type: full sphere

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Evening primroses on the Headquarters Canyon trail

On our hike to the canyon mouth we encountered evening primroses covering the sandy flats. These lovely flowers come out in the evening then fade the next day.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_03
accession number: 2014-05-03 12
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8295 N -110.9845 W
click order on locality page: 3
type: full sphere

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Small ridges east of the Capitol Reef at Headquarters Canyon

A number of different geologic strata are upturned along the Waterpocket Fold. The Headquarters Canyon hike traverses this brilliant red rock just before reaching the white Navajo sandstone of the main gorge.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_04
accession number: 2014-05-03 13
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8286 N -110.9873 W
click order on locality page: 4
type: full sphere

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Red and white sandstone in Headquarters Canyon

Near its mouth Headquarters Canyon cuts through layers of red and white sandstone.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_05
accession number: 2014-05-03 14
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8284 N -110.9893 W
click order on locality page: 5
type: full sphere

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Just before the narrows in Headquarters Canyon

Soon after entering the Navajo sandstone the sunlight-filled canyon narrows to a shadowy slot.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_06
accession number: 2014-05-03 15
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8278 N -110.9903 W
click order on locality page: 6
type: full sphere

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Inside Headquarters Canyon

There is a cathedral-like feeling in Headquarters Canyon.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_07
accession number: 2014-05-03 16
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8273 N -110.9915 W
click order on locality page: 7
type: full sphere

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Headquarters Canyon rubble

There is no real trail in Headquarters Canyon and the route becomes increasingly blocked by rubble and choked with brush as one proceeds westwards.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_08
accession number: 2014-05-03 17
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8267 N -110.9957 W
click order on locality page: 8
type: full sphere

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Afternoon shadows deep in Headquarters Canyon

Except for the narrows, Headquarters Canyon is wide enough for small sand hills and riparian vegetation along the tiny stream.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_09
accession number: 2014-05-03 18
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8262 N -110.997 W
click order on locality page: 9
type: full sphere

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Headquarters Canyon in the Capitol Reef

Cool air and indirect light in the stony depths of Headquarters Canyon, a gorge eroded into the Navajo sandstone of the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_10
accession number: 2014-05-03 19
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8267 N -110.9956 W
click order on locality page: 10
type: full sphere

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The narrows in Headquarters Canyon

Most of this canyon is 20 to 50 meters wide between the vertical walls. But this section, near the lower end, is only half a meter at its narrowest. The rock is Navajo sandstone, petrified sand dunes from the Jurassic.

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_11
accession number: 2014-05-03 20
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

Coordinates: 37.828 N -110.9901 W
click order on locality page: 11
type: full sphere

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Below the narrows in Headquarters Canyon

The trail leads into a sandy wash just below the Narrows in Headquarters Canyon

Headquarters Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HeadquartersCanyon_12
accession number: 2014-05-03 21
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: headquarters-canyon-capitol-reef-park-utah

coordinates: 37.8283 N -110.9893 W
click order on locality page: 12
type: full sphere

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Distant view of the Henry Mountains

A distant view of the Henry Mountains from the Notom-Bullfrog Road.

Burr Trail Scenic Byway south of The Post, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: HenrysFromNotomBullfrog
accession number: 2014-05-03 22
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: burr-trail-capitol-reef-south-utah

coordinates: 37.7534 N -110.924 W
click order on locality page: 1
type: full sphere

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Above Bullfrog Canyon on the Notom-Bullfrog Road

Evening light and purple verbena on the edge of Bullfrog Canyon with the Henry Mountains in the distance.

Burr Trail Scenic Byway south of The Post, Utah

May 3, 2014
See location in Google Maps
filename: AboveBullfrogCanyonRedux
accession number: 2014-05-03 23
state: utah
region: utah-canyonlands-arches
locality: burr-trail-capitol-reef-south-utah

coordinates: 37.6619 N -110.8368 W
click order on locality page: 2
type: full sphere

Previous Date:
May 2, 2014
Chronologic Listing
for 2014
Next Date:
May 4, 2014