Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Utah National Park Tour: Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park was established to protect the grand and colorful geologic feature, the Waterpocket Fold, a nearly 100-mile long warp in the Earth’s crust. The most scenic portion of the Fold, found near the Fremont River, is known as Capitol Reef: capitol for the white domes of Navajo sandstone that resemble building domes, and reef for the rocky cliffs which are a barrier to travel. When we drove thru Capitol Reef National Park on our way from Moab and did not see many cars and when we had the RV park mostly to ourselves we thought we pretty much would have Capitol Reef National Park all to ourselves as well. So Thursday we did chores.

Friday we went to the visitors center and although there were more cars we thought it wouldn't be too bad. We toured the visitors center and then watched the film. At the start of the film we were among two couples that were there. By the end of the film the theater was full and the visitors center was jam packed and the parking lot was too. We changed our minds and did the short day on Saturday and the long day on Monday.

One thing you notice here is how far you can see, the air is so clear that there is 267 mile visibility on a clear day. That contributes to the awesome scenery being able to see up close then the rocky cliffs and then the mountains in the distance all so very clear.

Here are some photos from our tours. The first is our drive from Torrey to the Park.

Panorama Point on the way to the Park


Cassidy Arch on the Grand Wash unpaved road.


Hiking in the Capitol Gorge


Another arch, the Hickman Natural Bridge at the end of a 1 mile moderate trail


Here is our Highway 12 Scenic Byway tour where you can see the clarity and part of the Waterpocket Fold in the left part of the photo.


Photos have been uploaded to the Torrey Utah set on

This park is remote and has not gotten the visibility of other parks but it is sure worth a visit.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

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