Friday, September 19, 2014

Capitol Reef National Park

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Capitol Reef is another wonderful place that is full of Interesting White and Red Rock Mountains, Cliffs, Gorges and Canyons, of lush green in some areas, and barren desert in others, a place where one can see so much right from the front seat (or standing outside) of your car, or even more interesting places through solitude hikes.  September is one of Capitol’s busiest times…yet the crowds are nothing compared to places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion and other popular National Parks during their busy seasons.  I have never started a blog with so many pictures…but I could think of no other way of presenting a few of the 500+ pictures we took today.

There are many areas to pull over and survey the landscape…some with 360 degree views.

There is a visitor’s center, a museum, orchards where fruit is free for the picking and eating, or slight charge if you take it home.

There is a nicely paved road which is called the “scenic drive”, which is separate from highway 24 which runs east and west through the park.  The scenic drive runs north and south, and covers about 10 miles before it turns into a dirt road which continues south and eventually west.  On the east side of the park there is another paved road which travels some 16 miles or so before it turns into a dirt road, and eventually into the Burr Trail (dirt road portion).  There are many dirt roads which connect with this main north/south road, and literally covers more of the park than any other paved road.  The northern section of the park is not very accessible, and you need four-wheel drive for the much of the dirt road part. 

We took two of the more popular dirt roads….this one to the Grand Wash parking lot…

…and this one to Capitol Gorge. 

I opted to do a portion of the Capitol Gorge hike while Marcia and the dogs awaited in the car.  I was intrigued by the promise of “Petroglyphs” and “Names carved in the rock of early Utah pioneers with dates as early as the early 1870’s.”  “I won’t be long Marica….”, my famous last words.  I had read that it was an easy hike…and it was….but I missed the part of it being 2 miles round trip….put that together with picture taking and I was gone 45 minutes or more.  On my way back I hear, “Are you Dave?”  “Yes,” I said, “I know I am in trouble….”.  “Oh, I think she is just a bit worried is all,” she replies.   GULP!

Here is the best Petroglyph I was able to capture…

…this was the older dates that I could find, 1883.

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This “wagon trail” was smooth is some places, and very rocky in others.  Don’t know how they got the wagons over the rocks….I figure they had to move them out of the way.

Out in the orchards we saw three deer on the way out from the scenic drive.

We all enjoyed our quick trip into Capitol Reef National Park.  The dogs only had one remark about it…”Why do the stupid deers get green grass and we gets this red pebble crap?


  1. You'll have to make a 2015 calendar with all the wonderful pictures you're taking on this trip. I use Staples.

  2. Great pictures Dave. You did one of the hikes we skipped in our quick stay. Well not as quick as yours. I'm still posting about our time there and you are actually really there. Lucky you!!

    1. I can see why you would want to stay around for a long really is a "not-so-known" paradise, that's for sure. With this being their so-called busy time, yes there were people there, but nothing which we couldn't handle. I have been to Yosemite when the crowds were so large it took forever just to get from point A to point B....I hate that. To walk in that canyon nearly alone, I sorta got lost in time...which got me in hot water with the crew left in the car. :)

  3. Capital Reefs is one of my favorites. I love that so much of it right along the road. Love the photos.


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