Photo Essay: Capitol Reef National Park

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Capitol Reef National Park can be described by its vibrant palette of red hues that are on display everywhere across the landscape in this part of Utah. This park consists of folded geological shapes, lifted rugged earth that was created millions of years ago.

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The geological feature that defines Capitol Reef is a wrinkle in the earth’s crust that extends nearly 100 miles from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell. The Waterpocket Fold was created as a result of deposition, uplifting, and erosion of the rock layers. (Source: Capitol Reef info brochure)

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It was a last minute decision to take a road trip to visit another national park while on business travel and wow; were we glad we did! The drive from Salt Lake City was over 400 miles round trip, but it did make for a bit of a stressful experience that being we were on a time limit, due to a flight scheduled to return home from Salt Lake City.

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This national park did not disappoint with its towering cliffs, massive domes, arches and bridges; this bedrock of beauty was spectacular!
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As you peruse through the park, you might think there is no life here. But if you look closely, this place is home to over 100 species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish; 239 species of birds; over 900 species of plants; and 33 ecological systems. (Source: Capitol Reef Park brochure)

Take a preview of these captions; they include some highlights and points of interest and of the surrounding landscapes.

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Chimney Rock
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The Fluted Wall

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Path to the Petroglyphs area

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…the light seems to flow or shine out of the rock rather than to be reflected from it. 
-Clarence Dutton, geologist and early explorer of Capitol Reef, 1880s.

This is only a small portion of what our visit was, there is still much more to explore in this beautiful national park. Here are some must see points of interest:

Hiking:
Chimney Rock
Grand Wash
Cassidy Arch
Cohab Canyon

Scenic Drive
Hickman Bridge

More info below for your next visit:
Capitol Reef National Park
HC 70, Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775
435-425-3791
nps.gov/care

Read about more Utah adventure here:

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My Odyssey Into The Arches & Canyonlands Of Utah

The Ultimate #Roadtrip

Escape with me as I take you on my journey into Utah and our drive from Texas through New Mexico, Colorado, and into Utah to reach this remarkable national park; the Arches and Canyonlands.

After a life changing event last year, my husband wanted us to take a real vacation and visit a place that I’ve never been. So, we set out on an expedition of the beautiful national parks in the USA. We plan to visit all the national parks one at a time, and we are starting with Utah, the Arches and Canyonlands; and of course I am all in!

As a result of this change in our lives, we also thought long and hard about the important things in life; like family, making new memories and experiences and spending more time with our parents so we also asked my in-laws to join us on this trip. We were living in Florida at the time and proceeded with the plans of this exciting journey and booked our flight into Austin, TX.

From Austin, we packed up our coolers with ice, food, and water and jammed our pillows and snacks in the car and made our way down the highway. We drove through quite a few small towns in Texas of which one of them is Fredericksburg. This small town was quaint, has hometown feel, and is beautiful. It is also considered one of ten best wine travel destinations. http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/

As we were cruising down the highway out of Fredericksburg, we made a few stops to stretch and use the restrooms. A few hours later, we then pulled off the road again at a small rest and picnic area. We enjoyed our home-made turkey sandwiches and chips, glanced at large lizards and trees, then got back into the car and made our way to Lubbock. Here we stayed the night in a very comfortable Holiday Inn hotel and slept like babies.

The morning came quick, as we ate the hotel breakfast and my in-laws enjoyed the cookies and treats. The drive has gone smooth so far to this point along with a few pit stops and lunch time breaks, we finally made it to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Driving into New Mexico is quite a scene as it is so beautiful and clean everywhere you look. The climate in June was gorgeous here and we were able to see a few historic sites.

 

 

Then we discovered one of the best Mexican restaurants we’ve ever experienced, thanks to the recommendation of one of the hotel staff, it was far better than what we expected. The high quality of food and atmosphere was top notch! Cervantes

After a night of delicious dining and hard sleeping in Albuquerque, we continued our way further into New Mexico. We were smack dab in the middle of Navajo Nation Reservation territory. One of my best friends is Navajo, and we were in the military together. She has since returned to her home state of Arizona. She is always interesting to talk to, as well; I visited her back in 1997 and stayed with her on the reservation in Page, Arizona, which was quite an enlightening experience. Anyway, while driving through this land, it’s remarkable to see all the agriculture and the community of the Navajo Nation. I think about all the history of this country as we pass through these lands and make our way into Utah.

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From the moment you enter the state, we noticed how picturesque it was. The beauty of the natural landscape will mesmerize you. Prior to reaching the very cool small town of Moab, you come upon an arch that you can stop and enjoy as you rest and start your journey of exploring these great lands. Just outside of Moab, you’ll encounter Wilson’s Arch. We stopped here to get our hiking juices flowing and relentless excitement knowing that we were in for quite a treat. We took a few photos and climbed to the top and rolled all over it and reminded ourselves that the fun has only just begun.

 

 

 

The next few days would turn out to be unbelievable and enchanting as we saw the most spectacular natural beauty landscape that you could ever imagine.

 

 

The intoxicating beauty of the rock formations and red rock, the arches were alive. From Delicate Arch, Balanced Rock to Landscape Arch, this place turned out to be all that I thought it would be and more!

 

 

 

 

Our exploration of these extraordinary lands consisted of one day hiking and seeing the Arch’s territory , the second day was spent escaping to parts of Canyonlands; although more days are necessary to gain the full experience of these parks. DSC_0500DSC_0555DSC_0588RED ROCKDSC_0592DSC_0626Redrock2

On day three in Moab, the mountains of La Sal was calling our name. We decided to mix up our trip and add a little greenery, trees, and mountain nature to our plans. As our car climbed the upward elevation of the La Sal mountains, we encountered a few animals. A herd of cattle were apparently on migration from one side of the road to the other. This just made our mountain visit even more memorable.

Our time exploring Arches and Canyonlands was also accompanied by scrumptious dining. We enjoyed a couple meals at a place called The Diner; where you can enjoy a delicious dinner as well as scrumptious ice cream. We left that place with big smiles on our face as the meals were more than delicious.  http://www.moabdiner.com/Home

DSC_0512Morning ArchOverall, our expedition was full of spectacular maze and wonder. We truly enjoyed staying in Moab, UT. DSC00198

It brought us back to life and to realize the truly important things in life that matter. Together with creating new wonderful experiences with our parents, this trip will forever be a treasure trove of unforgettable memories.
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