You never know what you’re going to get. That’s why it’s called an adventure. Going into it, Sulphur Creek hike was a bit of an unknown. We read reports that some of the waterfalls were impassable unless you scrambled way up and around cliffsides. What the hell, let’s check it out.
Our hike started across the street from the Visitors Center in Fruita and headed up the creek. Sulphur Creek has cut a deep canyon that passes through the oldest rocks exposed at Capitol Reef. It is a perennial steam with a flow that varies significantly in response to upstream water usage, snowmelt, and heavy rain. Sometimes there was a path, sometimes we walked right up the creek which was refreshing. It isn’t fast hiking since we were negotiating rocks and water but after about .7 miles we came to the first waterfall. It cascades down about 8 feet into a big pool at the base where we were. We scouted around but decided not to risk the slippery fall to continue up the trail further. Instead, we turned around and hiked back out. Along the way we came across a historic lime kiln built by the residents of Fruita in 1900. Interesting fact, a thick whitewash of limestone can be spread on the trunks of fruit trees to prevent scalding, cracking, and rodent and insect damage.
Oh, but we weren’t done. We drove back towards camp and stopped at the other end of the trail and hiked in 3.5 miles to see one of the other falls on the trail. The hike from this side started in a wide canyon and after 1.8 miles we met up with Sulphur Creek. The canyon narrowed and the cliff walls got taller. At one point we were about 800feet directly under the Goosenecks Overlook we hiked to the first day. We kept going and after another 1.5 miles we came to a waterfall. We stopped and had our leftover Chicken Tikka Masala pizza for lunch before turning around and heading back.
Our whole day was 8 miles of hiking. If you had other people along, this hike would be a fun one to shuttle and hike in the downstream direction. Getting up some of these waterfalls would be pretty difficult.
Oh, and the Chicken Tikka Masala pizza? YES! On our way to Capitol Reef National Park a couple weeks ago we passed a little place called Curry Pizza. Interesting. We looked it up online and it turns out this little place was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We were able to order online and swing by to pick it up easily. So good!