If art is your thing, we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have a suggestion for you. Take a photo or painting tour of Capitol Reef National Park. The park is a spectacular collection of sandstone folded and shaped by nature. The combination of subject and light makes this area a haven for artists. For those wishing to convey the canyon and desert landscape in canvas or print, Capitol Reef has endless opportunities.
While the whole of Capitol Reef National Park is definitely art-worthy, we at the Lodge have compiled a list of some of the best sites in the park to shoot or paint. In addition to the obvious beauty, these locations have the added benefit of not being over photographed – unlike Zion National Park. Check these places out.
Gooseneck Canyon – The Fremont River has etched out a deep canyon that runs from the gateway town of Torrey deep into Capitol Reef. The ensuing eons of erosion have created a unique decaying look to the canyon walls.
Cathedral Valley – This northernmost section of Capitol Reef is admittedly the most barren. However, the monoliths that rise starkly from the sand floor, lit by the setting sun are fascinating.
Mulley Twist – Located deep in the Waterpocket Fold proper, Mulley Twist is a compilation of the best of Capitol Reef National Park. The trail is divided into an upper and lower section. You can find bridges, arches, great overlooks as well as deep narrow slot canyons. In addition, dozens of side canyons can be explored to find unique subject matter.
Sulfur Creek Narrows – Sulfur Creek shares a trailhead with the better-known Chimney Rock. Located just a few miles north of the visitor’s center, Sulfur Creek has created a narrow canyon formation. The narrows flow with water during certain times of year. Expect to hike into the canyon for the best shots places.
Capitol Reef is an amazing place to hike, explore, and to photograph and paint. But don’t take our word for it. Grab your camera and paint box and see for yourself.