Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Latest visit: October 2017

Tips:

  • You will be driving through Capitol Reef National Park and making multiple stops for hikes and photo opportunities.
  • Before you get to the visitor center, I recommend making a stop at the Gooseneck overlook/panorama.
  • I also strongly recommend driving the scenic drive (or Capitol gorge scenic byway). We didn’t come across many people and were driving in the gorge of the canyon. We made it to the end, the Pioneer register, where a trail starts (we didn’t do it but it looked nice).
  • Another fun stop along the way, back on Utah state route 24 was the Hickman bridge trail. Not many people on this trail and not so well indicated. You’ll want to rely on Cairns for some parts of it.
  • Make sure to stop and check out the petroglyphs! From 600 to 1300 C.E., native people of the Fremont Culture made their home at Capitol Reef. Petroglyphs carved into the Wingate sandstone remind us of their time. The petroglyph panels, which include images of anthropomorphs and bighorn sheep (from nps.org). I was extremely impressed!

 

Impressions:

Driving through Capitol Reef National Park was magical. We stopped whenever we felt like it to take it all in. There weren’t that many people around, which made it all the more amazing.

I would come back here for a low-key nature experience: camp, hike, explore alone in the wilderness. I would also hang out longer in Fruita when it’s fruit season.

Driving through the park:

Hickman bridge trail:

Petroglyphs:

Road to Moab:

Related posts: Antelope Canyon & Waterhole CanyonCanyonlands National ParkTorrey, Arches National Park, Page & surroundingsBryce Canyon National ParkZion National Park, Moab and Salt Lake City.

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