Sulphur Creek is an amazing journey down a small stream under towering cliffs in Capitol Reef National Park. The 6 mile point to point hike starts at Chimney Rock in a dry wash that soon meets up with a stream where you spend the majority of the time hiking in and out of ankle/shin deep water. The hike passes under the goose necks overlook, past three water falls, and ends behind the visitors center.
Before starting out make sure you check the water depth behind the visitors center, If the water is ankle to shin deep you should have a fantastic time. If the water is over knee deep it could make things very dangerous especially for small children. In most conditions with ankle deep water behind the visitors center you can find a few knee deep holes along Sulphur Creek and after a recent flood there could be a chest deep pool so if you have camera gear you may want to bring a dry bag. Sulphur Creek does drain a fairly large area that's not visible after you start hiking so be aware of the weather forecast.
For the point to point hike you begin at the paved Chimney Rock trail head and end at the Capitol Reef Visitors Center. A shuttle must be arranged or you will need to walk the 3+ miles of road back to your car. Sulphur Creek can also be hiked from the bottom up, Its just under a mile up to the lowest water fall and the hike is very kid friendly especially on a hot afternoon.
The Canyon - Rating: 2A II Longest Rap: 0' # of Raps: 0
Park at the Chimney Rock trail head and walk west across the highway to a well worn hikers trail that leads into a shallow wash. Follow the shallow wash down canyon for about 1.4 miles where there's is a small dry fall that can be bypassed on the ledge system on the left. 100 yards later you meet up with Sulphur Creek, hike down canyon and after three bends watch high on your left (east) and you will see the railing and possibly some tourist at the Goose Necks overlook above. A few bends later you will arrive at the first and most photogenic waterfall in the canyon. To bypass stay right and scramble 10' down below, If you have children two at least people is advisable here to pass the little ones down. Below the waterfall the canyon tightens up to a nice short slot that can have knee deep water and maybe a thigh deep hole or two. A few short bends later you will come to the second waterfall that can also be bypassed on the right side. As you progress down steam the canyon drops in elevation and widens a bit and you will come across a very beautiful section of wall to wall slick rock covered in flowing water followed by the third and last waterfall. To bypass the third waterfall carefully cross the steam on the brink to a small ledge on the far (left) side and then climb down.
Soon after the third waterfall you will arrive at the Capitol Reef Visitors Center.
Up to date access information, including a single page printable access and emergency information card is available here: http://www.americancanyoneers.org/access-capitol-reef/
A permit is not required for canyoneering in Capitol Reef at this time.
Group size Limits
Groups are limited to 12 people on backcountry routes (including canyoneering routes) in Capitol Reef.
The Scenic drive is the only area of Capitol Reef where an entry fee or park pass is required. Passes can be attained at the visitor center or at a self-pay kiosk at the start of the scenic drive. Fees are good for seven days and are as follows:
- Individual on foot or bicycle: $3.00
- Motorcycle or private vehicle: $5.00
- Annual Pass: $80.00, available at the visitor center.
Please post current Sulphur Creek conditions updates here.
This isn't the most recent conditions, but I just wanted to add a heads up that the canyon can have a couple full swims if you go in here after a big flood.
I also wanted to let people know to not underestimate the downclimbs in this canyon. Apparently there have been several rescues in here recently because people have not been able to do the downclimbs. Instead of turning around they jumped and got injured severely enough to require a rescue. At the last waterfall the current can be really strong in high water conditions, making it difficult to cross to the left side looking down canyon (LDC). This is apparently one of the spots where people have jumped and needed rescue.
Otherwise it's a super fun hike, and quite nice on a hot day.
The information provided here is intended for entertainment purposes only. The creator of this information and/or Canyon Collective are not liable for any harm or damage caused by this information. Conditions in the backcountry are constantly changing, only you are responsible for your safety and well being.