Upper Muley Twist Canyon Loop Trail

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah 84537

Distance10.2mi
Elevation Gain1,128ft
Trailhead Elevation5,774ft
Top6,069ft
Elevation Min/Max5717/6069ft
Elevation Start/End5774/5774ft

Upper Muley Twist Canyon Loop Trail

Upper Muley Twist Canyon Loop Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Garfield County, Utah. It is within Capitol Reef National Park. It is 10.2 miles long and begins at 5,774 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,128 feet. The Upper Muley Twist Canyon Trailhead (2WD) parking and the Muley Arch, Double Arch, unnamed Arch, and Cherrios Double Arch attractions can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Strike Valley Overlook Trail.

Upper Muley Twist Canyon Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The warm lower elevations of Capitol Reef’s southern half beckon in early spring and again in fall. Fairly exposed most of the way, Upper Muley Twist is an excellent choice when the weather is cooler."

"This interesting spur trail is contained within Capitol Reef National Park. It leads off from Burr Trail, 2.9 miles west of Notom Road. The start of the trail is signed for Upper Muley Twist. The first 0.4 miles can be used by passenger vehicles down to a small parking lot for the Muley Twist trail. From here, the trail becomes 4WD and enters the narrow, rocky wash. Caution is needed during flash flood seasons. Special Attractions: Moderate trail completely within Capitol Reef National Park; Strike Valley Overlook viewpoint.

High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

"As you go up, it’s hard to tell where the top will be, but suddenly the entire length of the Waterpocket Fold will pop into view. Once your mouth closes, take in the spectacular views of the nearby Henry Mountains to the east and Tarantula Mesa below them.

To the south you can see all the way to Lake Powell (although you can’t see the lake), and to the southwest, Navajo Mountain looms darkly on the horizon. Few views on the entire Colorado Plateau beat this one."

"No other hike in Capital Reef National Park offers as many scenic geological features as the loop through Upper Muley Twist Canyon. The canyon has been cut through a particularly interesting part of the Waterpocket Fold where the deep red Wingate Sandstone formation slopes down from the west, dipping under the eastern wall of white Navajo Sandstone.

The Wingate Sandstone in this area has a tendency to erode into arches, and if you are observant you will see at least five arches on the west side as you hike up the canyon. The return portion of the hike is along a high slickrock ridge of Navajo Sandstone above the eastern side of the canyon, and the views from the top are magnificent. From this vantage point you will be able to see a large part of the hundred-mile-long wrinkle in the earth’s crust that geologists call the Waterpocket Fold."

Upper Muley Twist Canyon Loop Trail Reviews

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9/24/2010
Amazing hike. Lots of scrambling, but worth doing more than once. Enjoy the views.
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9/1/2009
Great canyon hike combined with a great view of the waterpocket fold. I hiked up the canyon, camped on the side part of the canyon and then went around the rim trail in the morning. Started late, finished early which was key as the temp mid-day were in the 90s. Was able to drive high clearance vehicle all the way to trailhead with minimal difficulty. Were a few pools of water, none I would drink out of, lots of animal tracks. If I do this again I will camp on the rim, much much better than camping in the canyon and the view is awesome. Saw a bobcat on the rim.
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6/21/2006
My favorite hike in Utah. If you want to be surrounded by rock, this hike is for you.
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6/11/2006
this hike has a little of everything. narrows,scrambles and great views.there are a few exposures- tough for the meek of heart ,but not technical in nature. you will head up a wash which turns into a nice narrows then,scramble to what has to be one of the best views any where. it is a loop so there is no shuttle needed. a four wheel drive will cut 3 unexciting miles from the hike ,actully 6 miles because this road is out and back. the drive to the trail head from any direction is very scenic and the switchbacks up to the burr trail will get the blood flowing.a nice way to spend most of a day and far from any crowds --we saw no one!!!
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Trail Information

Capitol Reef National Park
Nearby City
Capitol Reef National Park
Parks
Capitol Reef National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Bitter Creek Divide, Wagon Box Mesa
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018