Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef is one of my favorite national parks. Most people I talk to are not as impressed, but they just drive through it. It's a huge park, about 70 miles long, with lots of varied scenery.

This view of the barn near the campground is often seen.

As are the very friendly mule deer frequenting the apple orchards near the campground.

But if you want to see some really spectacular scenery, go on the Cathedral Valley Loop. Here's the highlight of that loop, the Temple of the Sun with the tiny Temple of the Moon next to it.

But when you drive over to the Temple of the Moon, it looks bigger than the Temple of the Sun.

Close to the Temples is Glass Mountain. These strange crystals are not really glass, but pure gypsum.

There are other 500-foot tall monoliths on the loop. I don't think these 2 have names.

Back on the main road are some really good Fremont petroglyphs, drawings of human-like figures pecked into the rock by the Fremont Indians over 1000 years ago.

Everytime I visit these national parks in Utah, I find something I haven't seen before. This is a spectacular overlook of the Goosenecks of Sulphur Creek, 800 feet below.

Nearby is Sunset Point, where you can see the West face of Capitol Reef through air that is the cleanest of anywhere in the lower 48 states. The average summer visibility here is 145 miles!

Grand Wash is a great walk through a deep canyon. According to legend, Butch Cassidy had a hideout in the wash. You might be able to see "brother-in-law" Ron posing in the distance.

On our last day here, we went to Hickman Bridge, a short hike off the main road.

You approach the bridge from this side.

But the best view is from the backside. Oops, I should have brought my wide angle lens.

There's another huge area to the park south of here along the Waterpocket Fold that I didn't have time to visit this time, but it's well worth the drive.


  1. I thought I'd been to Capitol Reef before, but seeing your pictures I see I missed a lot. Guess I'd better go back someday.

  2. Absolutely breathtaking pics Diana, I just really love the ones that you have taken that people have done over 1000 years ago. Although my pics could never even be close to being as good as yours I took a trip last week that I have been posting on my blog if you wanna take a peek, thanks for sharing as always!!

  3. Also on my list of favored parks. Remote. beautiful rock scenery, great hiking, no people... Doesn't get much better.

  4. We hiked the Grand Wash also. Found a heart shape stone and placed it on a ledge. Is it still there?

  5. Another beautiful park. As you say you can go to the same place many times but still see different things. Views can with the seasons and times of day. Great photos.

  6. Gee I've never been there before. It looks like a great place to visit. We just sold our home and are starting out RVing in a week looking for a new home and a place for my ceramic studio. I see on the sidebar you have satellite TV and cell phone and a computer card, do you have a post about that? I have dialup at home and am somewhat limited in my computer techn knowledge and will be needing something to stay in touch and keep my own blog. So glad to have discovered your blog. Thanks for the tour.

  7. Great Pics .. wish I would have seen your post earlier. Was just there a few weeks ago. I would have liked to have seen Glass mountain .. looks pretty neat.


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