May 13, 2021

We had one earth cache we wanted to get and one trail we wanted to walk before we left Capitol Reef and they were both Hickman Natural Bridge. The bridge is named for Joseph Hickman who was an early advocate for protecting Capitol Reef. He was a state legislator when it was named a state park. Later it became a national monument and subsequently a national park.

The Fremont River still moves through the valley though it no longer flows under the Hickman Bridge.
The trail to the bridge is about a mile with an elevation gain of 600 feet.
The black rocks in the foreground are andesite lava transported by large debris flows from nearby mountains. The white rocks are Navajo sandstone, deposited 180 million years ago as sand dunes.
Capitol Dome, so named because it resembles the U.S. Capitol
We saw beautiful formations in many places.
The Hickman Bridge Trail is the most popular in the park as the number of people behind Jane shows.
Dave turned around to smile as we approached the bridge.

An arch is a hole in rock that is formed by natural forces. A bridge is an arch where water is the natural force making the hole. Hickman Natural Bridge formed as water cut through red shale next to the Kayenta sandstone which was left standing. The bridge is 133 feet long and 125 feet high.

Two views from under the bridge.
Dave on the far side of the bridge.

The earth cache for the bridge required that we (among other things) identify other erosional formations in the area. What a fun assignment!

We weren’t sure whether this was a tank or a crab.
Solution cavities form when groundwater dissolves the calcite that cements sandstone grains together.
These cavities form a lacy curtain.
This eroded rock looked like a tree stump to us.
We thought this piece resembled a dragon.
Plenty of stunning views greeted us as we finished the loop around the bridge.
Valley view
Two small bridges are found along the trail.
Jane and Dave in front of the small bridges.

Categories: Travel


Susan · May 15, 2021 at 12:14 pm

More beautiful pictures and such lovely landscape. You two look great as well.

Alice McGregor · May 26, 2021 at 2:35 pm

You sure need to know more geology when you’re visiting the western US, don’t you? The only geology I can retain is the karst topography of Mammoth Cave.

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