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Friday, November 04, 2011

Capitol Reef National Park

During our trip West a few weeks ago, after our very hot hike to Hickman Bridge, followed by our refreshing picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we set off down Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef National Park.

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Capitol Reef National Park

At the end of the 10-mile paved road, there was a two-mile graded dirt road that passed through Capitol Gorge.

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Driving through Capitol Gorge

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Our minivan is dwarfed by the walls of Capitol Gorge.

It was pretty rough and slow going, but we drove to the end and then hiked about a mile through a canyon on the Capitol Gorge Pioneer Trail. Again, the sun was scorching. The occasional shade was a wonderful blessing. But, at least this trail was fairly level.

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Hiking the Capitol Gorge Pioneer Trail

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This rock wall is called the "Pioneer Register" because so many of those early pioneers inscribed their names and the dates of their visits on the wall.

At the end of our mile, there was a short steep trail to some Indian water tanks, which are hollow places in the rocks that hold water when every other water source is dry.

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The side trail leading to The Tanks

We started up that one, but it was very steep and very rugged and poorly marked. And hot! So we gave that up and walked the mile back to the car.

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This sweet face was among a family of hikers on the Capitol Gorge Pioneer Trail.

After returning to our van, we drove back up the two miles of dirt road and 10 miles of paved road and back out onto Utah Highway 24, continuing our westward journey through Capitol Reef National Park to the town of Torrey, Utah and our lodging at the Best Western Capitol Reef. There were a few more photo stops along the way.

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8 comments:

  1. I'm just WOWed by the scenery. I can only imagine how incredible it must be to see it in person. That last shot is a stunner.

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  2. I think it would take my breath away to see those rocks towering around me, nature is just glorious! Wonderful photo's :o)

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  3. Thanks, Hilary. You're such a faithful reader and encourager. I almost didn't put that last one in the post since I had so many others. You make me glad I did. :)

    Deborah - It's pretty awesome to see the colorful canyons and towering rocks. I suppose people who live there become so used to it that they hardly notice. They would probably marvel and the corn and wheat fields in my part of the country.

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  4. Hi Linda, I need to catch up on your trip photos... We loved Highways 12 and 24..... Beautiful area of Utah.

    Gorgeous photos. Makes me want to go back...
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  5. Amazing scenery! Thanks for allowing me to tag along via the blog.

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  6. Betsy - Your smiling face has been missed. I'm so glad you're feeling better. It's hard to do justice to the Utah scenery in a photograph, isn't it? It's just so different from anywhere else I've ever been.

    Ruth - It's a pleasure to have you tag along with us. :)

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  7. Wow! It does get SO hot there though. I also really like that last shot.

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  8. Thanks so much, Elizabeth. I'm doubly glad I included that last shot. :)

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