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UT: Capitol Reef Halls Creek Narrows - Airstrip Route

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Dan Ransom, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    Location:
    Salt Lake
    I had a mad itch this past weekend to wear some shorts and do an overnight backpacking trip. I'd been wanting to check out the airstrip route into Halls Creek Narrows now for awhile, so I rallied up lostlandscapes and we headed south from Salt Lake around 6 pm Friday evening, arrived to meet our good buddy Ezra Brooks about 11pm.

    I'd heard rumors the road can be quite rough, but turns out it's actually quite good right now. A well driven subaru could certainly make it all the way to the rim of Halls Creek, even after crossing the airstrip.

    We awoke Saturday morning to a colorful sunrise, and began picking our way down the 3rd class route. There are cairns most of the way down, and only a couple places of "where the hell do we go from here?" The key is to veer south (left) away from the drainage bottom when you get to a dryfall that looks impassable. After that, make your way down a few more cliffbands, and descend an entrada rib to the floor of the drainage, and catch up with the standard Halls Creek trail.

    The airstrip shaves at least 3 miles of hiking each way, which doesn't seem like a ton, but it turns a very long and strenuous day trip into a much more manageable experience. Fortunately, we had a night to spend down there too, so we poked around for a few hours, took a few photos in crappy overcast light, slipped in a few potholes, and caught up with our good buddy Ezra. A mellow 3 hour hike out in the morning and we were back on the road heading to SLC. A fine start to the 2013 backpacking season.

    A few photos - beta to come shortly.

    HCNarrows-1.
    Sunrise over the airstrip

    HCNarrows-2.
    Looking north towards Red Slide from the Airstrip Break.

    HCNarrows-3.
    Tim negotiating the puzzle.

    HCNarrows-4.
    Looking back up the airstrip break. The route goes up slightly to the right of the main drainage, before cutting back into the center.

    HCNarrows-5.
    Trundling downstream in Halls. It was dry for the first few miles, but then a consistent flow leading up to the narrows. Nice clear water.

    HCNarrows-6.
    Heading into the first of the narrows.

    HCNarrows-7.
    I think some folks call this the Grand Alcove. Pretty damn cool.

    HCNarrows-8.
    Deeper into the narrows.

    HCNarrows-9.

    HCNarrows-10.

    HCNarrows-11.

    HCNarrows-12.

    HCNarrows-13.

    HCNarrows-14.

    HCNarrows-15.

    Featured Image for the Homepage
    slide.
    Taylor, Kuenn, Nick Woolley and 10 others like this.
  2. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    Awesome shots Dan

    Isn't that an atmos 50?
    Did you know it has an adjustable waist belt?
    lostlandscapes likes this.
  3. lostlandscapes

    lostlandscapes Rope Mule Staff Member

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    I don't know--I think that thing only activates in Zion.
    Bill likes this.
  4. Jenny

    Jenny

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    Beautiful photos, as usual Dan! Certainly Halls Creek area is one of my all time favorite places on the planet. Here's one from the narrows in 1980's.

    615676_10151056201671191_1323523803_o.
    ratagonia, MrAdam, Bill and 1 other person like this.
  5. Taylor

    Taylor

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    We went through there yesterday after doing a little canyon down the Fold on Friday. Amazing place, the Grand Alcove certainly was awe inspiring.
    Dan Ransom and Ram like this.
  6. Ram

    Ram

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    What did you do out there? ;-) Got story and pictures?
  7. Alex Stoy

    Alex Stoy

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    Location:
    Park City, Utah
    Nice work! Is the airstrip good to land on?
  8. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    how big are the tires on your bird?

    31 inch tundras could probably do it. doesn't look much like an airstrip anymore, but it might be ok.
  9. Ram

    Ram

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    Dan sounds like he knows more about planes, but what I saw is that the desert has reclaimed the air strip
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