Vacation 2011 - Navajo Knobs

July 31, 2011

This is part 2 of my 2011 vacation (see parts [1], [3], and [4]). Navajo Knobs is in Capital Reef National Park. The trail starts at the Hickman Bridge trailread. Take the Hickman Bridge trail for about a half mile, then take the Rim Overlook trail to the right. Rim Overlook (impressive) is about 2.25 miles from the trailhead, and Navajo Knobs is another 2.2 miles from Rim Overlook. As you continue, you will see many rocks that you are convinced must be "the knobs". When you finally reach the knobs, you will be surprised by their relatively diminutive size. Nevertheless, they afford a commanding view.

This is an out-and-back route. It was a cloudy morning, which made for pleasant hiking, but less than perfect photos. I hope you enjoy them anyway.

Post script: I remember a friend from high school, Wendy Arrington, telling me that Hickman Bridge (see below) was named after her father's uncle. I asked her for clarification, and this is what she said: "Hey!! These are Great! (I love the shot of the food!) When I saw 'Pectols Pyramid' I knew that was my dad's other uncle - his uncle Port(er) Pectol. My dad really loved this guy. My dad's uncle Joe Hickman (his mother's brother), and Uncle Port (his aunt's husband) were best friends, as well as brothers-in-law, and we're the ones who got Capital Reef to be a national park."

Hiway 24 between Green River, UT and Hanksville, UT. [01]

My campsite at Capital Reef National Park. [02]

Shortly after my arrival I met Pam Peterson. Such a friendly and sincere person. [03]

Pam and her husband Ron invited me to join them for dinner. My planned dinner was peanut butter on saltines. Hmmm...this has got to be better...! [04]

I really enjoyed visiting with these good people. [05]

My dinner: sirloin steak, buffalo steak, corn on the cob, and hash browns. Yes, definitely better than peanut butter on saltines! [06]

Yum yum. [07]

We roasted marshmallows after dinner, but then it started raining hard so our evening was cut short. It rained most of the night. I started my hike early the next morning. The Navajo Knobs trail starts at the Hickman bridge trailhead: go the Rim Overlook and beyond. [08]

Information posted at the trailhead. [09]

Take a right at this sign. [10]

Trail is generally not steep, but it is uphill almost every step of the way. You see a real trail here -- much of the trail is walking on sandstone with rock cairns marking the route. [11]

Pectols Pyramid. [12]

I don't know why Pectols gets a name and this one doesn't. Just as spectacular all the same. Note the large basalt boulders lining the trail. I thought it curious to see igneous basalt in an area which is so predominantly sedimentary. [13]

Looking east -- Henry Mountains in the distance. [14]

Go about 50 feet to the left to see Hickman Bridge from above. [15]

Hickman Bridge. Look carefully and you can see a few hikers below the bridge. What's the difference between a bridge and an arch? A bridge spans what is or was water, whereas an arch does not. [51]

Me. [16]

Example of "trailless" trail. See the rock cairns? [17]

Again, Henry Mountains in the distance. [18]

I took this picture on the way to Navajo Knobs. [19]

I took this picture on the way FROM Navajo Knobs. If viewed from the right angle, and if you know what to look for, you can barely see Navajo Knobs. [48]

The view from Rim Overlook. [20]

The campground as seen from Rim Overlook. [21]

The Visitor Center as seen from Rim Overlook. [22]

Continuing towards Navajo Knobs. What you see in this picture is how most of the trail appears. In most places, it is more of a route than a trail. [23]

Again, rock cairns mark the way. [24]

By this time you will be asking yourself, "Is that it?" No. [25]

Rugged and beautiful country. [26]

Very cool formation. [27]

Lingering clouds muting the colors. [28]

It is a high route. [29]

When you finally get there, there is no doubt this is the place. Still, you can't help but ask yourself, "Seriously? This is it?" Follow the trail to the right and behind the rocks. [35]

Then you scramble the final fifty feet or so to the top. [34]

View from the top of Navajo Knobs. There's not a lot of space up there. Perhaps a little larger than a picnic table? [30]

Looking west(?), the road to Torrey, UT as seen from Navajo Knobs. One thing that was very strange is that the Knobs were swarming with some small winged insect. I saw no such insect anywhere else. Maybe they just enjoy the view... [31]

Looking northeast(?) from Navajo Knobs. [32]

Looking southeast(?) from Navajo Knobs. [33]

Navajo Knobs. [36]

On the return trip but looking back to Navajo Knobs. They become more and more difficult to distinguish from the surrounding rocks. [37]

Huge trailside boulder -- maybe 6-7 feet across -- with very different coloring from the surrounding rocks. [38]

No comment. Just nice. [39]

Navajo Knobs from a distance. [40]

About three feet across, a very curious formation. Given what resembles bubble holes around this, I imagine some submerged volcanic activity. [41]

The Knobs as seen on the return trip. [42]

Clounds are breaking, colors are coming out. [43]

See that upper rock ledge? That's the route. [44]

Rimside route. [45]

Rimside route. [46]

Looking down to the campground. [47]

Spectacular colors. [49]

Almost done. [50]

Parting shot. Hope you enjoyed it. [52]

Copyright © 2011 by Bill Qualls. Last updated August 7, 2011.
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