We were ready for another natural arch hunting trip to Capital Reef National Park. Usually, my brother David and I go. This time, we also took my son Cory and one of his friends. It was springtime in Utah and everyone wanted to get to the outdoors.
On the way, I had to stop in several smaller towns for pictures. Lyman, Utah was first.
Then on to Bicknell, Utah.
Finally, we drove into Capital Reef National Park.
We first wanted to hike to Cassiday Arch located in Grand Wash which is south and then east of the park visitor’s center. The hike was on a well worn trail with only a moderate amount of elevation change.
Back at the vehicle, we had to backtrack a short distance to Shinob Canyon. This is a side canyon, near the mouth of Grand Wash, that run to the south for less than 3/4 of a mile. (Bear Canyon also runs to the south from Grand Wash and is the next canyon to the east of Shinob Canyon.)
A short hike up Shinob Canyon reveals Shinob Canyon Arch hanging high on the west cliff wall. This is a Class C natural arch.
Nearby is Boomerang Arch, a smaller Class D natural arch.
We were heading to a minor side canyon that runs east from Shinob Canyon, approximately .4 mile from Grand Gulch. After scrambling up the drainage for a short distance, we could see the top of Spirit Arch, either a small Class B arch or a very large Class C arch.
We really needed to climb to the next level of the steep canyon drop off to see the arch well. There were even several metal bars set into the steep slope to aid climbers. However, we were unable to make the dangerous climb so we never did get a good overall view of Spirit Arch.
I left the area a little frustrated and wondering about accessing the arch from above.
Still, that was enough effort for the day so we headed home again.