Capitol Reef National Park

Better late than never, right? At least that’s what I’m telling myself since it’s now been several months since the events in this post took place. I recently said to Matt that for two people who don’t seem to have a lot going on, we certainly somehow also end up busy and behind on things. I suppose the delayed timing of this post proves my point. Things are about to look very different for us over the several months, so it’s now or never if I ever want to show you all more of what we’ve been up to since last fall.

When we initially planned our stop in Moab we thought for sure the weather would be cool enough by then that we would have to drive straight south to Arizona afterwards. That turned out not to be the case. After visiting our friend and the two nearby national parks, we decided we still had enough fair weather to spend a little more time exploring the state. Our new plan was to keep heading west towards the other Utah national parks, and if at any point it got too cold we would simply turn south.

It was around this time that we decided to wrap up the work we had but not take on anything new until we reached Arizona. This was the first time we intentionally took time off in the van to focus on exploring and enjoying the road trip aspect of our life. Normally we’re trying to balance work and fun and end up not fully present in either.

This decision to switch to road trip mode only was maybe the best decision we made during the entire cross country trip. It went a long way in giving us a renewed appreciation for what we have out here at a time when we needed the reminder. In the week and half or so that we took off from work we were able to enjoy several places that had been on our list for a while.

Our first stop was Capitol Reef National Park. We didn’t know much about the park before visiting but honestly, sometimes that makes it more fun. Because we were there in a slow season we easily found free dispersed camping a few miles from the park entrance.

Most of the hiking we wanted to do we fit in our first day there. I don’t think there’s much I can day about it other than the pictures speak for themselves. The rocks really are this red, the layers really are this distinct, and everywhere you look is a beautiful view.

When we finished hiking we still had time to drive out and back on a scenic road. On the way back our campsite we passed a point called (I think, if I remember correctly) sunset lookout just in time for sunset. Of course we had to stop, er even ended up having the entire area to ourselves.

As we stood there watching the rocks and the sky change color I thought about my Nana. I hadn’t realized it until we were hiking that it was her birthday. She loved watching travel shows and telling us all about the places she “visited” through them, so I often find myself thinking of her when Matt and I are in places she probably would have loved learning about.

Our second day at Capitol Reef we only did one hike and then drove to a road that loops through the park backcountry. We only went in a few miles so we could camp before the park boundary and start the loop the following morning.

Since we made it around the loop and back to town OK I will admit two things we learned on that day. First, we can ford deeper and wider rivers than we thought we could. Second, we have a few more miles after the gas light comes on than we thought. I wouldn’t recommend learning either of these things where and how we did, but since everyone and everything is OK we can all laugh about it now.

On that note, I’m going to wrap up this post here so I can get a another one or two at least in the drafts before the next adventure begins.

One thought on “Capitol Reef National Park

  1. Wonderful post, Annie, and the photos are sublime! I have not figured out the Reef part. That’s another story, I suspect. Your thoughts about your Nana brought a definite tear to my eye. Love you, Ellie


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