That’s exactly what we said when we first heard of Capitol Reef National Park.
Obviously, some national parks are more well known than others…
But when people talk about Utah, most of what you hear about is Grand Canyon, Zion, and Arches.
Not to mention the name itself. We had no idea what to expect.
Turns out we didn’t even have to enter the park to be impressed with it. The views were spectacular.
I now find myself running out of adjectives to describe some of these places. I would say get out and explore your national parks people! But it seems that people already are doing exactly that.
Between Zion and Bryce, we thought we were going to about get run over by visitors. Although there were a fair amount of visitors at the visitor center for Capitol Reef, the park itself did not feel near as congested.
The campground, however, was fairly full. We actually found a spot to boondock off Route 24, just west of the park entrance. Which suited us just fine, as we enjoyed outstanding views straight from our front door.
We took the paved, 8 mile scenic drive through the park, which offered breathtaking views of the Waterpocket Fold.
As we got deeper in the park and saw more and more formations, we started to realize many of the rocks actually looked like coral. Water and wind definitely are powerful forces! One rock in particular actually looked like a snake head, with an open mouth and fangs!
We also took the unpaved road back to Capitol Gorge, where we were reminded of our jeep ride in Lake Havasu!
There was so much to see, just from the drive that we didn’t quite feel the need to get deep on the hiking trails. Although I think we both intend to explore more, the next time we visit!
Panorama View was the only area Josie was able to get out and bask in the glorious backdrops, even though she was feeling ornery, and wasn’t quite her normal photogenic self that day!
We took the unpaved road to see the Gooseneck Overlook and the short hike to Sunset Point. During this hike Jason and I had a bit of a debate as to how many people who walk this trail have any clue that the edge 10 feet from the trail is the top of a ledge which could arguably be base-jumping height?!
Let’s just say it was more than a little creepy trying to peer over the edge far enough to see the very bottom.
We definitely enjoyed our visit to Capitol Reef! Jason and I both really loved the area and are already looking forward to return trip!
Next up - Arches National Park and Canyonland National Park!
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