I have never been to capitol reef. To be honest, I had never really heard of it until I started researching for this trip. But in my reading and internet surfing, I found a common theme. "a gem". "hidden treasure". "nobody knows about it".
Capitol reef doesn't get the respect, recognition or props it deserves. It its competing with other more popular parks in southern Utah, like zion, Bryce, arches, and canyon lands. And let me say, it is a shame. We LOVED this park. So glad we decided to give it a chance. We will most definitely come back.
Started the trip with the obligatory park sign photo opportunity.
We hiked up one of the trails at Chimney Rock. That was really spectacular. Just the sort of hike two adventurous boys loved. No paved trails. Scrambling over rocks and up cliffs, death around the door at one missed footstep. (Needless to say we kept close watch on Peter)
Downside...the elevation is so high up there, you only get like 70% of the oxygen. I was kind of light headed and dizzy and winded most of this trip. But we soldiered on.
|Peter and I starting the hike at Chimney Rock|
|Stopping off at a nice cool overhang...|
|Charles and Boys resting|
|Love the patterning on the rock from freezing and erosion|
|You can see how far the parking lot is at one point.|
|You can see the fault like and fracturing as explained in this sign and below is our photo of the same area. It is amazing.|
So we finally made it to the visitors center and CASTLE ROCK.
You can see it from the side as we were driving up to it.
Facing front, visitors center directly behind me as I took this picture.
Close up of the rocks.
After the visitors center we took a scenic route through the park and stopped off at various points of interest. We went to the Petroglyphs.
The Fremont people were contemporaries of the Puebloans of the Four Corners Area.
Now here are some photos of the various other beautiful points of the park:
Yes, thats Finn walking along that rock bluff
|this is the one room schoolhouse the mormon pioneers built when they settled in the area.|
|Gooseneck of canyon floor|
|Peter "The Hulk" holding up a rock for us.|
|The Golden Throne|
|Egyptian Temple formation|
Close up of bands on rocks
All in all I would say that this was a successful trip and outing for Day 1. We stayed in Torrey, UT that night and went to Slackers for dinner. Boys had a great time, we had a great time and went to bed tired, worn out and excited for the next days treasures awaiting us.
As far as this National Park is concerned...it is one of my favorites. I am going to add my vote as "A true hidden Gem. NOT TO BE MISSED". Capitol Reef, I WILL be back.