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Stormy & Shauna in Sheets Gulch

Sheets Gulch

Capitol Reef National Park

          In the distant past the earth in the Capitol Reef area underwent tremendous horizontal compression. Unbelievable forces pushed solid rock upward for thousands of feet until it bent back upon itself in a tremendous fold. The folded layers of rock formed a nearly impenetrable reef almost 80 miles long.

          Streams that often carry water only a few hours each year cut through and across the raised beds of rock, carving a labyrinthine series of canyons almost a thousand feet deep and in places only two feet wide. These deep, narrow canyons, cutting across the folded rocks, provide some of the best slot canyon hikes in the world.

Circle of Friends:
          Sheets Gulch is part of the "Circle of Friends" program. Members of the "Circle of Friends" have access to more specific information, explicit route information, GPS waypoints, trailhead location and detailed maps. If you would like more information on joining the "Circle of Friends" visit the sign up page.

"Circle of Friends"

Sierra & Stormy at the first junction Shauna in the narrows

General Information:
          Sheets Gulch is an adventure the entire family can enjoy. The route visits a massive jug handle arch that I have never seen mentioned anywhere else. My children call it Elephant Arch for reasons obvious to those who have seen it and possess an imagination.

          Sheets Gulch is a great introduction into the sport of canyoneering. The canyon contains only minor obstacles. Experienced hikers will have no problems in this canyon. Novice hikers will need to help each other over a couple of minor obstacles. You will likely encounter knee deep wading and mud in several short sections of slots after recent rainstorms.

          Total time required for a complete round trip is 4 to 5 hours. The trip can be shortened or lengthened with various options to suit your desires. A vehicle shuttle is not required for this out and back route.

          Navigation for this route is easy. A GPS is useful in identifying waypoints and in locating Elephant Arch. Good map reading skills are helpful.

          Sheets Gulch is rated 2A III using the Canyon Rating System. 
This canyon has a huge flashflood danger, check the local weather report before entering this canyon.

About to enter "The Slot" Climbing over and under and obstacale

Trailhead Information:
The Trailhead for Sheets Gulch is located just outside of Capitol Reef National Park. The trailhead is accessible to all vehicles in good weather.

Elephant Arch! This is a fantastic arch!

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