Capital Reef Mesa - Llama Trek

Hike Description

This trip won our guide choice award for 2017 multiday trips. Imagine our guides liked this trip more than our trips offered in Yellowstone National park and Jackson Hole Wyoming (Tetons). The trail climbs gradually from our starting point to intersect the Great Western Trail at 1.4 mi. A 4,455 mi historic trail, the GWT was used by pioneers, cattle ranchers, and Mormon Honeymooners to access terrain across Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. We will travel along the GWT for 2.5 miles before arriving at our first lake, Deer Creek Lake. Deer Creek is the centerpiece of a remarkably diverse ecosystem of pine and aspen forests, meadows, boulders, and copious water draining from Boulder Mountain. After a delicious picnic lunch catered by our guides, we will continue along the GWT through a meadow with expansive views of Boulder Mountain. A half mile from Deer Creek Lake, note Gresham Spring to the south as you exit the meadow into woods. As the woods open into successive clearings, you will see unnamed lake and descend into the West Deer Creek Drainage. After crossing the creek the trail descends more steeply and follows on the west side down to Chriss Lake, 2.3 miles past the GWT.

After continuing around the lake to the southeast, you cross over the dam at the outlet and continue to descend on the east creek side, through aspen forests and meadows. Now this is just the first day. Our trek continues to get better and better as we march into day 2 and 3 of our journey together. With a lake side camp and many hiking routes at our finger tips the sky is the limit. There is really something for everyone on this trek. You can challenge yourself on a rim hike on top of boulder mountain or simply enjoy some time at the lake. It is your call, this is your adventure we want it to be special for you. Oh, one more thing, bring your camera along as you will have ample opportunity to take lots of photographs.

Highlights

  • Soak up rejuvenation scenery and solitude
  • Enjoy some time at a fresh water lake full of trout
  • Sit around a campfire for a fresh backcountry meal
  • Hike for 2 or 3 days in a beautiful Pine and Aspen forest
  • Camp on the shores of two beautiful lakes
  • Hike the Famous Boulder rim and capture the best vistas Utah has to offer
  • Sleep under one of the most beautiful night skies in the world

Tabs

  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 350-1220 Feet
  • Quality of Trails: Good trails
  • Physical Requirements: Frequent exercise and good health
  • Backpack Weight: 10-20 pounds
  • Daily Hiking Distance: 4-6.5 miles
  • Most Elevation Lost: 1220 feet
  • Most Elevation Gain: 1220 feet
  • Additional: We'll be traveling off trails at time. This is so that we can see some of the trip highlights

What’s Included

  • Industry leading guide that is medically trained, energetic, knowledgeable and friendly
  • Well trained llama companions to join us on our adventure
  • First class meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and organic trail snacks
  • Trekking poles to hike with (if desired)
  • Use of technical backpack
  • Industry leading tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pad
  • Bear spray, and bear hanging gear
  • Emergency equipment and first aid kit including a satellite device
  • Our effort to fulfill our mission statement to each guest to make the trip informational, exciting, informative and memorable. This is your trip, we will do our best to make it special.
  • Water filters and purification tablets

What’s Not Included

  • Personal items, rain gear, and clothes
  • Bug spray, sunscreen, toiletries
  • Headlamp, Water bottle
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 15-20% of trip cost)

Meals

You can expect the highest quality. The remarkable thing about a pack assisted trip is that allows for a diverse variety of fresh and quality foods that will keep you feeling energized and satisfied during your entire excursion. Meals will contain an assortment of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Many fresh fruits and veggies will be available for snacks and be used during meals. A selection of snacks (protein bars, trail mix, candy bars, etc.) will be provided for your choosing at the beginning of each day to be eaten at your leisure.

If you have specific dietary needs be sure to let us know as we will accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher, non-gluten, pescatarian and other specific diets. Special dietary request may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Industry leading backpacks
  • Kelty Or Sierra Design sleeping bags
  • Big Agnus sleeping pads
  • Kelty or Leki trekking poles
  • Mountain Safety Research cooking stoves
  • GSI Outdoors cookware
  • Bear spray canisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite device

What Gear To Bring

  • Water bottles or bladder, 2 liters total capacity
  • A lightweight, high quality stuff sac for your clothes and belongings to fit in while in the llama panniers
  • Lightweight, packable camp pillow.
  • Contact lenses and glasses if you wear contact lenses please also bring a pair of glasses - your contacts are likely to become dirty and may be difficult to clean
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm
  • Bug repellent, preferably a product containing at least 25% “DEET” (some people are sensitive to this product)
  • Toiletries, and a small washcloth in stuff sack (bandana can serve as a washcloth)
  • Headlamp, spare batteries (preferably an L.E.D. type that works with AA or AAA batteries)
  • Camera, spare batteries (optional)
  • Notebook or paperback book, (optional)
  • Knee braces, if needed
  • Prescription medicine, please inform your trip leader of any medications you are taking
  • Vitamins, (optional)
  • Fly fishing gear, if you want to fish
  • Money, for tipping your trip leader (optional but appreciated, generally 15-20% of your trip cost based upon the quality of your experience)

What Clothes To Bring

  • Sturdy Hiking boots, mid weight, lug-soled, above the ankle, waterproof and ideally well broken in. Important note: Buy your boots 1/2 size to 1 size larger than your street shoes to allow for feet swelling and thicker socks
  • Lightweight tennis shoes or Crocs®, for camp
  • Hiking socks, one pair for every two days of your trip, plus an extra pair to sleep in. Recommended brands include Bridgedale®, Smartwool®, or similar padded socks (wearing thin liner socks under your hiking socks is highly recommended). No cotton socks!!
  • Gaiters
  • Sunhat or baseball cap and bandana
  • Mosquito head net
  • Warm hat and gloves, sherpa style hat and light-to-mid weight fleece or wool gloves
  • Long underwear, one pair of wicking tops and bottoms that are light-to midweight, example materials include capilene, merino wool, polypropylene, etc.
  • T-shirt or nylon travel shirt
  • Warm top, mid-weight shirt, sweater or pullover, also wicking material such as merino wool, fleece or polypropylene
  • Fleece jacket or insulated coat, warm, lightweight and packable fleece jacket or coat insulated with a synthetic material
  • Nylon pants and shorts, or zip-offs
  • Bathing suit
  • Fleece pants (late June, late August and September trips only)
  • Rainproof jacket and pants - Waterproof/breathable jacket and pants such as Gore-Tex® or coated nylon - with the pants look for side leg zippers or a style that will allow you to remove them without removing your boots

Where do we meet

We will meet you in front of the Capitol Reef Resort Lobby.

2600 E Highway
Torrey, UT 84775
Resort Phone Number: 435-425-3761

Your guide will be there with the llamas waiting for you at a predetermined time.

If you pre-booked in advance your trip your guide will reach out to one week prior to your arrival to confirm your trip and go over any questions you may have. They will also give you a weather update and verify and food allergies you may have. Your guide will request that you meet at 6:00 pm the evening before your trip to go over the trip details and itinerary. For private and custom trips, you have the option to originate your trip in Boulder Utah or Teasdale Utah. If you have any questions or need help with travel resources please just let us know.

Day 1

Departure Location: Capitol Reef Resort, Torrey, UT
Hiking Mileage: 4-6 miles
Elevation Gain: 700 feet

The trail climbs gradually from our starting point to intersect the Great Western Trail at 1.4 mi. A 4,455 mi historic trail, the GWT was used by pioneers, cattle ranchers, and Mormon Honeymooners to access terrain across Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. We will travel along the GWT for 2.5 miles before arriving at Deer Creek Lake. Deer Creek is the centerpiece of a remarkably diverse ecosystem of pine and aspen forests, meadows, boulders, and copious water draining from Boulder Mountain. After a delicious picnic lunch catered by our guides, we will continue along the GWT through a meadow with expansive views of Boulder Mountain. A half mile from Deer Creek Lake, note Gresham Spring to the south as you exit the meadow into woods. As the woods open into successive clearings, you will see unnamed lake and descend into the West Deer Creek Drainage. After crossing the creek the trail descends more steeply and follows on the west side down to Chriss Lake, 2.3 miles past the GWT.

Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 3-8 miles
Elevation Gain: ± 900 feet
Elevation Loss: ± 1050 feet

Day 2 is a spectacular day. Option 1- We can leave the shores of the lake and head on an adventurous day hike for those staying one more day. We will cross over the dam at the outlet by the lake and continue to descend on the east creek side, through aspen forests and meadows. We will trek through the meadows until we get to the east bank of another creek up towards Deer Mountain. Winding along the Deer Mountain ridgeline we will head around the top of the mountain and enjoy a nice lunch. From here we will take the Boulder Rim trail back to our camp site. Option 2 is to stay at the lake, fish, swim and enjoy the wildlife visiting the surround meadows by the lake.

Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 4-6 miles
Elevation Gain: 280 feet
Elevation Loss: 700 feet

This is our last day together but it is still a day to remember. We will wind our way back to the trail head though the canopy of pine and aspen trees after we enjoy the sunrise on the lake and watch the fish get their morning breakfast while we enjoy ours. There are often many moments of silence on the way back to our starting point as reflection often fills the silence. Once we reach our ending point we will have our last meal together, give out some llama hugs and take our last pictures. We encourage all of our guest to stop back at the Capitol Reef Resort for a much deserved rest.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.