Plan A for today was to drive down to the bottom of the Grand Wash in Capitol Reef, walk up to Highway 24, and back, and up to Cassidy Arch.
We got to the visitor center and learned that the recent rains had washed out the access road for the Grand Wash, so we put Plan B into action.
Plan B had us parking in Fruita, walking up to Cohab Canyon, then up to the Frying Pan trail, with an off-shoot into Cassidy Arch, then a walk along the Grand Wash, which Cathy really wanted to see because it was supposed to be really narrow, with high steep walls.
The Frying Pan trail follows the reef for a few miles, then down into the Grand Wash near the parking lot at the end of that trail. Cassidy Arch is a big arch named after Butch Cassidy who was rumoured to spend a lot of his spare time in this area.
We parked in the parking lot for Gifford House, then walked 100 feet or so down the road, toward the base of the cliff. We found the obvious trail, and took the switchbacks up into the canyon. We walked about a mile down the canyon, which is a very pleasant place. It's close to the highway, but from inside the canyon you would never know it. When we found the sign directing us to Cassidy Arch, we went up further, to the rim of the canyon, and walked mainly south through some absolutely amazing scenery. Cathy kept saying it looked "otherworldly" which is about as good a way to describe it as I can imagine!
After what seemed like a long, long walk (in the heat of the day) we got to the junction that took us to Cassidy Arch. This Arch is interesting in that the trail actually leads you to the TOP of it, and you get to walk across it, and look down. It was a loooooooooong way down!
We went back to the main Frying Pan trail and continued along it until we reached the Grand Wash. After stopping for a quick bite to eat, we wandered up the canyon toward Hwy 24. We walked to the point that was supposed to be "the narrows" and were both quite disappointed. It might have been narrower than the rest of the canyon, but after being in a slot canyon it's hard to consider any canyon narrow if you can fit through it without having to take your pack off!
We backtracked, used the facilities at the Grand Wash parking lot, and then reversed our route up the Frying Pan, and down Cohab Canyon back to the car. Between the Grand Wash and Cassidy Arch we ran into, and chatted with, a nice Indian couple from New York who were staying in the area (Torrey). Unfortunately they hadn't brought enough food or water to do the whole Frying Pan hike, so they had to turn around part-way.
This was our last night in Boulder, Utah and the Boulder Mountain Lodge (for this year, anyway). The next day would bring us to Goblin Valley State Park, and Moab, where we planned to hike to Delicate Arch, one of the few popular hikes we had yet to do in Arches National Park.