The Dye Clan
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  • TR: Mar 2013

Cohab Canyon

Troop 601 on the switchbacks to Cohab Canyon.

The Cohab Canyon trail starts across the street from the Fruita Campground in Capitol Reef National Park. It climbs about 300 feet to the head of the canyon then it's all downhill until you reach Highway 24 near the Hickman Bridge trailhead.

Trip Report: March 16, 2013

Troops 601 and 603 went to Capitol Reef for thier March campout. We decided to hike up Cohab Canyon then take a side trail up the ridge to the South then descend the non-technical canyoneering route through TOTGA canyon. We were following Beta from On the trip were 4 adults leaders (Jeremy, Kevin, Matt, and Joel), 6 Scouts (Mcquade, Sheldon, Canyon, Jace, Isaac, and ??), and two sons (David and Jonathan). Saturday morning we took down camp and drove over to the Historic Fruita Picnic Area parking lot to park.

We hiked along the road for a little bit to get to the trailhead.

The Fremont River.
Mcquade thinking about riding the horse at the Fruita Barn.
The trailhead to Cohab Canyon.

The sign at the trailhead reads:

This area adjacent to this trail contains several rare and endemic plant species. National Park Service staff are monitoring these plants and visitor use in this area. Please stay on the trail to protect vegitation and soils.

The interpretive sign reads:

Cohab Canyon Trail

Distance: 1 3/4 miles one way.

After a strenuous climb for the first quarter-mile the hiking is moderate within the canyon. Explore narrow, hidden side canyons. Or take short spur trails to overlooks above the Fremont River Valley.

Frying Pan Trail

Distance: 3 miles between Cohab Canyon and Cassidy Arch Trails.

This is a strenuous hike among huge red and gold monoliths, with no water along the way. There are views from the very top of the reef.

Nearing the top of the switchbacks.
Dropping down into Cohab Canyon.
TOTGA (The One That Got Away) canyon exit.
Wife 4 exit.
Wife 5 exit.
Perhaps the coolest thing about Cohab Canyon is the interesting rock formations. All the holes bring to mind Swiss cheese.
Betrothed Canyon exit.

From here, we left the Cohab Canyon Trail and started up the side trail.

Scrambling up the side trail next to Betrothed Canyon.
Looking back at Cohab Canyon.
Our group near the top of Betrothed Canyon.
The boys wanted to explore Betrothed Canyon, but we told them no.

From here we climbed over slickrock and found our own way up to the ridge.

This lichen reminded me of a crop circle.
Honeycomb weathering on a rock.
A couple of scouts exploreing a small cave along the way.
An arch with Capitol Dome(?) in the background.
This is the top of Wife 4, which has a 75' initial rappel.
This old tree's rough texture was created by wind-blown sand.

We got to the top of TOTGA at around 10:45 after about 1.5 hours of hiking. The beta we had said that TOTGA Canyon was completely down-climbable. However, the difficulty of the down-climbs was more than we wanted to take our scouts on. I tried several different approaches but couldn't find an easy one for the scouts. So we decided to skip TOTGA Canyon and hike back down the way we came up.

More honeycomb weathering.

When we got back to Betrothed Canyon, several of the boys really wanted to explore it.

This picture is taken from the top of the first drop. A couple people just jumped, and a couple people used a handline down. The second drop is also visible in this picture. It is about a 6' drop into a shallow pool of water.
Drop 3 is into another pool of water.
Drop 3 from below.
Drop 4 is the last one of the canyon.
Betrothed Canyon exit with the side trail visible up high to the left.

On the hike out, we explored a few of the side canyons.

The boys played Hunger Games in Wife 5 for quite a while.

Then we went and played around in Wife 4 for a while.

The mouth of Wife 4 is quite narrow and fun to practice stemming and chimneying.

After exploring for a while, we headed back.

Round trip time for the trip was 4 hours 45 minutes.