The land of the "sleeping rainbow"~~
Capitol Reef National Park lies in Utah's south central desert and is an oasis of colorful sandstone cliffs, impressive domes and a maze of twisting canyons. The youngest in the National Park system - Capitol Reef was designated a National Park in 1971.
Capitol Reef has long been labeled one of Utah's best kept secrets. Those who visit this park will find it to be a place of serene beauty and remote serenity.
The park is named for a particularly colorful section where rounded Navajo sandstone forms capitol-like domes and sheer cliffs form a barrier to travel, often referred to as a "reef".
Among Utah's five National Parks, this park deserves special acclaim because it is less crowded, less commercial, and holds bragging rights to magnificent red rock scenery that rivals that of Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands and Zion. Rugged beyond belief, this National Park is a long narrow strip of stunning geology. The most distinctive feature of this 250,000 acre natural wonderland is a Waterpocket Fold; a 100 mile long "wrinkle" in the earth that creates much of the area's unique and distinctive landscape.
We spent a full day at Capitol Reef - doing an early morning hike to Hickman Bridge and then in the afternoon a hike on the Chimney Rock trail. This hike was my most favorite hike of our entire National Parks adventure! I loved it so much that I want to take you all along with me~~
You see that red sandstone pillar on the extreme right of this photo? That is the famous rock formation known as Chimney Rock. Now~~do you see the white sandstone mesa on the left of the photo? That is where we are going! It will take us just a little over 3 hours to get there~~
Go ahead and get your hiking shoes on. Be sure to bring LOTS of water - it is a hot day today! And pack some snacks - we might get hungry! Bring chocolate!! I'm waiting for you~~
Are you ready? Lets GO!!
Hiking on these trails with our dear friend Bob was the most wonderful experience. His geology knowledge enhanced our trips and made the sights that we saw so much more meaningful. (and~~ I just plain love him!)
From my journal- "It was totally breathtaking - the views- everywhere I looked- almost surreal. I'm taking picture after picture - I am scared to death that they won't even begin to capture the unbelievable beauty - the colors - I'm thinking no way can can I take a picture of this~~"
We made it! We are at the top of the mesa and the view from here is simply amazing~~ (how are you doing? are you all still with me?)
Can you feel the wind blowing up here?
The sky is looking kind of ominous in the distance - and we have a long way to go back down this trail - so come on - we better start back down~~
Ahh - I'm getting kind of hungry and I already ate all of my cheetos~~ can I have some of yours? Do you have any chocolate left? I sort of ate mine already. I'll trade you one granola bar for some of your chocolate~~
We can just sit here and have a little picnic - (and eat the rest of your chocolate!)
I can't help it - I love to climb. (I think I am part monkey!)
We did it! We made it to the end of the trail!! (You guys were great - you kept up the whole way!!)
Hiking stats for Capitol Reef:
1. Hickman Bridge trail - 2 miles
2. Chimney Rock Loop trail - 3.5 miles
3. Drive to scenic viewpoints and short hikes -(Panorama Point and Goosenecks) - 1 mile hike
Total hiking distance covered - 6.5 miles
Some scenes as we left Capitol Reef National Park - driving towards our next destination~~
Thanks for coming along with me on my most favorite hike of the trip! Our next destination will take us to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
BUT~~~ before we head to the Grand Canyon - we are going to have a fall giveaway celebration. Look for that to be coming up next - my way of saying THANK YOU to my devoted Followers. (It's going to be good - that's all I'm saying~~)