The Five – Capitol Reef

September 6th, 2013

Nature, Outdoor adventures, Travel

This fall is the perfect time to explore some (or preferably all) of Utah’s five national parks. They’ll be less crowded and cooler. So we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have decided to help motivate you. In this five-part mini-series blog we will focus on the best ways to explore these parks. We start, quite naturally, with Capitol Reef National Park. (It is our favorite.)

Capitol Reef extends across 377 square miles of Utah’s desert, encompassing much of the Waterpocket Fold geological formation. It is one of the least visited of Utah’s parks, partly because of its remote location. It is however, one of the most beautiful and diverse places on earth (of course, we may be biased.)

While there are many, many awesome places to check out in Capitol Reef, consider stopping by these particular spots:

Hike Cassidy Arch – this is one of the best trails in the park, although somewhat strenuous. But the views are astounding. And you get to walk across the arch and look down. (Just don’t fall.)

Take the Scenic Drive – this is an easy way to get a sense of the scale and scope of the park. You don’t even have to get out of the car, although we highly recommend it. Grand Wash, Golden Throne and Cassidy Arch trailheads are all accessible by this scenic drive.

Venture into the Waterpocket Fold – if you really want to experience the best of Capitol Reef, leave Highway 24 behind, and head south. The road is a little rough, but the scenery is without compare. The Henry Mountains loom above Little Egypt on the east and the massive, contorted, shape of the Fold are on the west. Hike into as many canyons as you can (there are a lot) and/or drive the Burr Trail.

Don’t Forget the Gifford House – this little pioneer house has been converted into a museum and baked goods shop. Most of the items sold are made locally, and they are delicious. It is the perfect way to end any day in Capitol Reef.

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