Fern's Nipple

Capitol Reef Nat'l Park, Utah

March 2007

Jill and Dave


Dave has his eye on the Nipple.  Fern's Nipple is the highest feature in the frame and resembles a... nipple.

No offense to winter, but as this season draws to a conclusion I cannot help but begin scheming about what I'll do when the snow is gone.  In February I began researching things to do and stuff to see in less-oft-visited Capitol Reef National Park.  Searching through guidebooks and websites - Burrow Wash, Cottonwood, Five-Mile, Fern's Nipple... Fern's Nipple?!  I decided - without even looking at a photo - that I needed to stand atop that summit.

After a splendid few days of camping and wandering the canyons of the San Rafael Swell we drove to nearby Capitol Reef National Park.  Temperatures were unseasonably warm and the mosquitos.. er, crowds were quite manageable for a national park.  We camped directly outside the park (cost $0) and filled our days with wandering and watching good sunsets.  The ascent of the nipple followed a cairned, but unofficial trail.  Scrambling near the summit was fun and provided a surprising bit of exposure on the final moves.  This is a must-do trip for anyone with a modest amount of endurance and sense of adventure.

Jill at the half-way point with the Nipple in the background.


Pausing for a break on the uniquely textured Nipple.  Topographically this frame shows Jill on the Nipple's areola.


Just before the crux moves at the summit.


Signing the register on the summit.  We were surprised to find so few entrants on the register. 


Cute little summit photo.

A few snaps from the rest of our stay in Capitol Reef:

Sunset near Cassidy Arch showing our Nipple.


Dave hangs his feet over the edge.


The Fruita schoolhouse makes a fun photographic opportunity to cure mid-afternoon boredom.


Jill dwarfed amongst towering walls of Grand Wash.


A meager effort to artistically capture one of the park's top icons - the Golden Throne.  I have a more childish image that I'll refrain from posting.


Self-portrait during a trail run on the north side of the highway.


Trail run + Less than 10 hours sleep = Willing to sleep anywhere

- compiled July 2008

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