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Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park is not one of the major parks and what it has to offer to the casual traveller probably means that it is not worth a lot of effort to visit.

But there are a few things in its favour. Quite apart from the fact that it is a nice spot in its own right, it is also situated along a very nice route to the Grand Canyon from Salt Lake City and places west. You can drive a fair way into the canyon and then there is probably about an hours gentle, peaceful walk along the canyon floor to its far end.

There are several scrabbles up slopes along more challenging tracks if you wish to see some of the old historic sights. We visited several and I can assure you you will not be missing too much if you don't bother.

About ten minutes walk into the canyon, on your left hand side you will come across some "historic" - and some not so historic - graffiti on the canyon walls. The historic stuff, known as "The Pioneer Register" was carved into the canyon walls up to 150 years ago. The modern stuff, known as vandalism, was chiseled into and in some cases over the pioneer register by better educated modern travellers.

The drive from Scipio to Capitol Reef was quite pleasant and the road onwards to Glen Canyon was equally nice.

Capitol Reef was a convenient night stop for us and we got to see the canyon in the evening and morning light. Unfortunately, as you can see from the pictures, the light was very changeable. Light snow showers and bitter cold winds were interspersed with brief, almost clear skies and sunshine.

Geology is what is on show here. Some of the rock formations are quite extraordinary particularly where flood water has carved gullies and channels into the rock walls.

capitol reef pictures
capitol reef grafitti
national parks usa
capitol reef road
capitol reef geology
entrance capitol reef
All images Copyright Avery Little