Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

28 Oct

A cold wind blew up overnight and the next morning, as we left Goblin Valley, the blue sky had been covered with grey clouds. We set off to drive the 80 or so miles to Capitol Reef along the highway 24 another of Utah’s scenic routes.

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The Henry Mountains in front of us were capped with a little snow, if the forecast was to be believed soon they would have a thicker covering.

As our journey progressed the rock colour changed to grey interspersed with bands of minerals which in places had been worn down giving a tie dye effect to the mounds.

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The road led through another gorge

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But then right in the middle of all this rock was a small oasis. The Fremont River cuts its way to here from the high mountains, early Mormon settlers recognised the fertile valley as a potential and planted orchards,appropriately calling the place Fruita. Until 1969 when the last of the families moved away the orchards and farms were the homes of a self sufficient community who worked a living here. Now what remains of their buildings is protected by the National Park in which it stands.P1200407

The camp ground sits next to one of the orchards and campers are allowed to pick the fruit. The fallings are happily devoured by the resident deer heard.

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The pickings however made a tasty pie for tea!

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We had to earn our pie though…..

To really appreciate this landscape we feel you have to get in amongst it.

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Of course this meant another walk into the hills. It was meant to be a short stroll after the previous days hikes…. we just can’t help ourselves can we.However we did cut this short, walking to the overlook was just about half the distance we could have walked.

Rain interrupted our sleep and next morning was cold grey and damp. An eight mile scenic drive took us as far as we could go without a 4×4 vehicle but gave us some great views of the towering rocks

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and close ups of the water worn stone.

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The road here was a little muddy from the nights rain. Just a little further on we stopped for a coffee break, the sky was clearing the sun breaking through, showing even more clearly the snow which had fallen not too far away.P1200493

When we got back to Fruita Robert suggested we might walk a little of the Cohab trail up to the canyon, I reluctantly agreed and put on a third layer of clothing against the chilly wind.

The trail rose steeply for the first quarter mile, twisting backwards and forwards we climbed high up the rock canyon. The view was amazing!

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From here the trail settled into a easy flat path through the rocks.

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Whichever way you looked the rocks were pocked with holes worn in them by the elements.

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Amazingly things still grow in this environment and old junipers with twisted gnarled trunks and branches lined the route. This one however had long lost any greenery turning into a natural sculpture of some prehistoric creature – No! the one in red is Robert!

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I make no apology for this blog being very picture orientated…. pictures cannot do true P1200542justice to the raw beauty of this landscape adjectives  become trite. We have so enjoyed these last few days I hope I can convey some of the areas uniqueness to you.

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3 Responses to “Capitol Reef National Park, Utah”

  1. Susan October 31, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    we finally got internet again, Yay! I am catching up on my blog reading. I am so jealous. I think Utah is one of the most beautiful states. I can’t wait to get back there. Hoping to spend more time there in the spring. I think we’ll try to get to Death Valley this winter though. Love the pictures!

  2. Gloria November 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Pie looks lovely, good job you do plenty of walking. Fantastic pictures nice to be able to share them with you.

  3. Linda November 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Your pictures are fabulous and you have certainly put this area on our agenda – it looks stunning. Just to say that we missed the snow and in fact we have both got a little sunburnt today as we were walking along the beach. The weather is a glorious 20 degrees!

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