An Undiscovered Wonder — Capitol Reef National Park

So far, the summer of 2018 has been too full of work and way too lean on adventures. As a result, I haven’t been doing well on keeping up my posts as I had been trying to post about two times per month earlier in the year. Anyway, as work life has been fairly challenging this summer I decided to share one of my favorite places with you.

Barn wp
This is an old barn now maintained by the Park service in Fruita.  You can see some of the old fruit trees in background.  The building behind the barn is now a small store, and it is great place to find an ice-cold drink after a long, hot hike.

Living in Utah, United States, has many definite advantages and disadvantages. But one of the best things about Utah is our abundance of outdoor beauty and national treasures. One place that I discovered a few years back, and that has become a favorite, is Capitol Reef National Park. The Park is about 170 miles south of Salt Lake City in central Utah. There are no interstate highways that go through or near the park, nor are there any major US highways. In fact, one of the charms about Capitol Reef is that the Park is pretty much off the beaten path unless that’s where you’re heading. It is located a few miles east of a very small town called Torrey, and so other than in peak tourist season, the park is really not very crowded. I thought I would share a few scenes from this beautiful part of Utah, and maybe it will inspire me to go have some adventures before the year is over.

The road wp
This is the west side of the Waterpocket Fold looking north along the main road through the park.

One of the things that I really love about the park is that everywhere you go the scenery is completely different. There are beautiful things that you can see from the main road through the park, and then you can get lost in desert wilderness and have scenic beauty there is well. Inside the park is a tiny town called Fruita which was originally founded by some Mormon pioneers in the 1800s. They planted a large orchard here, and many of these trees are still intact. This makes for some very interesting contrasts to the otherwise desert landscape.

Capitol Dome wp
Some of the white sandstone formations which helped give the park its name.

Capitol Reef is part of what is known as the Waterpocket Fold which is an interesting geologic formation running for well over 100 miles north and south through central and southern Utah. This geologic formation was caused by the plate tectonics as part of the North American plate has been pushed together by the spreading of the Pacific plate.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little photo tour of the Park.

Rugged wp
This is at the top of a very cool, but hard little hike.  The geography here is just simply amazing.
Rainbow vista wp
Looking generally east into the Park toward an afternoon spring shower in the distance.
Pioneer graffiti wp
If you look up toward the top of my photo, you will see some old early 20th century graffiti. These are the names of some of the first white settlers to explore this area.


Graffiti wp
Here is a close-up of the graffiti from 1911.
Natural beauty and photo opportunities are endless here.
Rock vista wp
This is one of my personal favorite photographs.  I found this cool rock formation just up the hill from the main road in the park.  The morning light was making some pretty harsh shadows, so I used my flash to fill the backside (the visible side) of this rock.  I don’t think it came out too bad.
Capitol Reef arch wp
You’ve seen this photo before.  It is my logo photo for this blog.
Quartz wp
I found these rocks (quartz I think) on the east side of the park near what is known as Cathedral Valley.
Red Cliff Sunset wp
Nice afternoon light on the west side of the Waterpocket Fold.  This is the view that greets you as you drive east into the Park from Torrey.
Weird shape wp
No shortage of strange formations; this one reminds me of the great Sphinx.
Salt Deposit wp
I laid on my stomach to get this view of the salt deposits on the way into Cathedral Valley.
Rock scape wp
Yes, I like to make abstract designs.
Cathedral rocks wp
The Temple of the Sun in Cathedral Valley is in the background.  The sky was great that afternoon.
Cathedral 1 wp
And here is the Temple of the Sun.  This formation is enormous rising straight out of the valley floor.  In the background is it’s sibling — the Temple of the Moon.



2 thoughts on “An Undiscovered Wonder — Capitol Reef National Park

  1. Love C.R., Tim. One of our newest N.P.. We visited it just after President Clinton made it official. Wonderful photos as usual, Bro!

    On Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 3:59 PM Tim’s Viewpoints & Visuals wrote:

    > Tim Harlow posted: “So far, the summer of 2018 has been too full of work > and way too lean on adventures. As a result, I haven’t been doing well on > keeping up my posts as I had been trying to post about two times per month > earlier in the year. Anyway, as work life has been fa” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I am still reading your last post about Chaco Canyon. What a wonderful place that is; the spirits of the ancients still seem to be there.


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