Tuesday – October 21, 2014
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Gorge Trail
The weather continues to be excellent here in southwestern Utah. Another sunny, warm day, with the temperature in the mid-seventies.
A giant buckle in the Earth’s crust stretches across south-central Utah. This vast warping of rock, created 65 million years ago by the same great forces later uplifting the Colorado Plateau, is called the Waterpocket Fold. Capitol Reef National Park preserves the Fold and its eroded jumble of colorful cliffs, massive domes, soaring spires, stark monoliths, twisting canyons, and graceful arches. But the Waterpocket Fold country is more than this. It is also the free-flowing Fremont River and the big desert sky. It is catus, jay, lizard, jackrabbit, juniper, columbine, and deer. It is a place humans used for thousands of years, from early indigenous peoples to Mormon pioneers. The Waterpocket Fold stretches 100 miles – and beyond.
The visitor center offers an excellent movie on the park. There is a 4.5-mile scenic drive with several overlooks along the route.
We took a 5-mile round-trip hike along the Capitol Gorge Trail. To access the trail, the visitor must drive 2.4 miles on a somewhat rough gravel road to reach the trailhead. The trial winds its way through a deep canyon on a dry streambed. There are historic inscriptions on the walls dating to the nineteenth century. A short climb brings the visitor to waterpockets ("tanks").
Tomorrow another adventure begins.