Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The Cohab Trail-a hike too great for one post

Sunday August 31, 2014
Fruita Campground
Capitol Reef National Park
Torrey, Utah



I just love trails I don’t have to drive to.  The Cohab Trailhead is within walking distance of the campground.  It is just beyond the Gifford House Barn.  It is about 6:30 in the morning when we arrive at the trail head. 




What a starting point don’t you think!   Gorgeous already!!


As with other trails here in Capitol Reef, it is up up and on narrow trails that wind around the formation you are climbing. The trail climbs up the steep side of the Waterpocket Fold, and into the mouth of Cohab Canyon atop the Waterpocket Fold.




The Waterpocket Fold is the major geologic feature that defines Capitol Reef National Park.  It is a buckle in the Earth’s surface almost 100 miles long running north-south.  Along The Fold, rocks have been pushed upward and erosion has cut through the layers, creating deep narrow canyons and interesting formations.

It isn’t long until we are looking down on the barn and the road to the campground.   The sun begins to shine on the cliffs. The barn is further below.






The first part of the trail climbs to the upper base of the canyon and nearly 400 feet above Fruita.

We round a corner, the barn is no more and finally the path levels out for a while.  The rocks in every direction are fabulous.  One of the best things about coming out at dawn is seeing the play of light on the rocks. 






We are now within the walls of Cohab Canyon.  Soon we are back to climbing up on narrow paths but it’s not as steep as the trail’s beginning. 







At points the trail is a jumble of rocks so you have to step carefully and stop often just to be amazed at their shapes and sizes and colors. 






Even the stones we are walking on are colorful.   This hike could take all day.   LOL




It’s a very interesting trail for sure with some pretty narrow trail spots to get through.







Many of the canyon rocks are eroded and have holes sometimes filled with other rocks. The holes are of various shapes and sizes and make the rocks resemble swiss cheese.






I find the geology so interesting and wonder how all these rocks of such various colors can all be eroded away in these patterns.  I imagine they are all various forms of sandstone distinguishable by their color.












I know this is a lot of rock pictures but they are just so amazing.  Just a few more to show you the intricacies.





We discover our first slot canyon.  Now this is nothing like the fabulous ones in Antelope Canyon but we are thrilled.



The entry way starts out fairly wide and then gets narrower and narrower.




In order to get to the back of the slot, we have to squeeze through here.  We’re both skinny enough that this is not a big problem but then……….












David makes it in.  Of course he does, he’s built like a tooth pick and then he takes pictures and  laughs while I try to follow.  

















Here’s what we find inside.








Getting out is actually even harder than getting in.   But that’s a story for another day.


  1. I would enjoy it very much hiking through there! It's magnificent terrain.

    The squeeze reminds me of an area up in our province on the Niagara Escarpment, which features a tight squeeze referred to as Fat Man's Misery.

  2. Love, love, love scrambling over, under, around and through the rocks!!! Thanks for taking us on the wonderful hike:o)) Hmmm, since you are blogging about getting in there, I can only assume you make it out sucessfully;o))

  3. Yikes, what happens if you get stuck!? Love the different erosion patterns in the rocks, it definitely looks like swiss cheese!

  4. What a wonderful memorable day! Geezzzz and David eats like a horse.....just not fair. lol

  5. I'm pulling out first thing in the morning and have a thousand things to do, so just looked at the pictures. Don't have time to read. Great hike!

  6. Claustrophobia :) and Beauty!!

  7. Those rocks and your pictures are fabulous!!

  8. I so love Utah and its AMAZING geology! I bet there is no where else on earth like this place! I just oooh and aaaah all through an entire hike like that!

  9. Thanks for the tour.
    This old fat man would never fit through that slot.
    It must have felt amazing to do that.
    Keep up the great photos.

  10. Wow, that's a squeeze! I'm having fun being an armchair traveler on your tour. This place is now on my list of places to see. I had never thought that Utah had such beautiful and interesting places to visit- simply stunning.

  11. Wow, Mother Nature sure got carried away with her sculpting and paint brushes! Amazing hike, seems like every one you do gets better and better.

    Judging by the fact that you posted this blog, you didn't get trapped by that narrow trail and spent the night there... ;c)

  12. Oh dear -- that tight squeeze looked might tight. Will be interested to hear the exit story.

  13. How fun! Swiss cheese is right. The light and the color are amazing. And that slot canyon makes for adventure...and some laughs! :) You are having such luck with these great hikes-fabulous! :)

  14. That was another amazing hike, but I'm not sure I would have liked being in between those two huge rock formations. A little claustrophobic, I think.

    That's a really, really beautiful and interesting area.

    BTW....on my computer, your side bar that shows your blog roll, jumps around all over the place. I't done it the last few times I've read your blog, but doesn't do it on any other blogs. Is it just me?

  15. Were you taller after squeezing through that slot? I look forward to seeing what's on the other side as I'll not see it with my own eyes :-) The rock formations are amazing - and I agree it is strange that the seemingly different types have the same erosion details. I'm glad you always take your trekking poles, that entry trail looks very dicey!

  16. We love hiking in the west through the slot canyons of UT. If you're still at Sand Dunes there is a great falls just down the road called Zapata Falls.

    1. Faye we did try to go see Zapata falls but the road in was in such bad shape, we did about half a mile and decided the risk to low riding Ruby was too great. But thanks for the suggestion.

  17. Love this trail and all the marvelous sculpted rock. Slot canyons are especially fun, if you can squeeze through.

  18. Really great pictures. Reminds me a lot of the rocks around Zion and Bryce Canyons. I would like to know whether water or wind formed all those interesting rock formations

  19. I too love it when trailheads are just walking distance from our campsite. We are like you, we do start our hikes early not only to avoid crowds but from the sun.
    I always love your hikes and fabulous captures. We have never been in Utah, and once again you will be our guide when we get there in a year or two.

  20. The rock formations are so interesting, and that slot canyon is bordering on diabolical! Glad you made it through.

  21. Love this hike! You guys are amazing, and having so much fun with it. Trying to go through that slot reminds me of a couple of wild cave tours that we have done where we have had to squeeze through some really tight, tight spots too. The rock formations and colours are truly incredible. Definitely putting this hike in our must do's when we make it there one day soon.

  22. Talk about a tight squeeze! That slot canyon looks almost impassable, but you made it through! You guys are truly intrepid adventurers.

  23. Yikes! My big butt would've gotten stuck in that passage for sure!@#@ Rocks are amazing!

  24. Well? that'd be a good diet for me! like ol Pooh Bear in Rabbit's hole .. Don't Feed the Bear ...!

    I wouldn't attempt that claustrophobic todo if I were as skinny as you two...very pretty though!

  25. That was a fun one. Sure glad neither of us got stuck in the wedge of the slot. Love all the intricate features on the cavities too. Great pictures!


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