Capitol Reef National Park Journals

Capitol Reef National Park

An October 2004 trip to Capitol Reef National Park by Sergey

Hickman Bridge Trail Photo, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah More Photos
Quote: This often overlooked national park has some spectacular sights. Do not miss the opportunity to visit.

Capitol Reef National Park

Overview

Capitol Reef National Park Photo, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Quote:
The most striking thing about this park is the color of the rock. The best way I can describe it is: chocolate! I often felt like I was looking at chocolate shavings or layered chocolate cakes instead of the ground or the mountains.

Quick Tips:

Make sure you come here in an SUV. Some of the major sights are easily accessible via a paved road, but some places you'll want to go cannot be reached in a subcompact.

Best Way To Get Around:

There's no public transport here. You can drive or you can walk.
Best Western Capitol Reef Resort Photo, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Quote:
http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern/productInfo.do?propertyCode=45068

This place doesn't look like much from the outside, but the rooms are quite nice, and it is only a few minutes drive from the park entrance. The only food I had at the restaurant was breakfast, and it was pretty good.

I also had a spectacular view from my balcony, which you can see in the picture.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 19, 2004

Best Western Capitol Reef Resort
2600 E Highway 24
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
(435) 425-3761

Hickman Bridge Trail

Attraction | "Hickman Bridge"

Hickman Bridge Trail Photo, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Quote:
Once you climb up to the top, there are some nice views of the road, surrounding mountains, and the Fruitta orchards. There's not much to see on the hike itself, except for a few petroglyphs. The bridge itself is a massive, natural arch-like structure. The trail goes under it and around the base in a loop.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 20, 2004

Hickman Bridge Trail
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Gorge Trail

Attraction | "Capitol Gorge Pioneer Trail"

Capitol Gorge Trail Photo, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Quote:
This is an easy walk along the floor of a narrow canyon. Early on, you can see some petroglyphs on the walls. At one point along the trail, you can see the walls inscribed by early pioneers from the 1800s. At the "end" of the trail, there's a short path that involves some scrambling up. This path will lead you to the water tanks, which are really nothing more than depressions in the rock that get filled up with water. Supposedly, some legendary outlaws, including Butch Cassidy, used these tanks as their water source while hiding out in the area. According to the placards in the park, the trail continues beyond this point along the floor of the canyon, but I didn't go there.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 22, 2004

Capitol Gorge Trail
end of "Scenic Drive" at the visitor center
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
(435) 425-3791

South Desert Overlooks/Cathedral Valley Photo, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Quote:
This trip is a day-long drive on an unpaved loop road. Don't even think about coming here in anything other than an SUV. A few miles up the road from the Visitor’s Center is a turnoff to a dirt road, and pretty quickly, you come to a river ford. Make sure you stop at the Visitor’s Center and check with a ranger before coming here. I know that when I got here, the river crossing was pretty scary—there's no bridge or anything even remotely resembling that. You simply drive diagonally across! Well, actually, doing it wasn't all that bad. The road continues in a smooth climb to the top of a mountain. Along the way are two turnoffs, Lower South Desert Overlook and Upper South Desert Overlook. Thes...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 29, 2004

South Desert Overlooks/Cathedral Valley
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

About the Writer

Sergey

Sergey
Boston, Massachusetts