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  • Writer's pictureSue.

Capital Reef National Park, Utah

On Friday, May 7 we drove 90 miles from Circleville to Capital Reef NP. This park is 100 miles long from north to south but it is quite narrow as is the "Reef", a name given to impassable geologic barriers by early explorers. The Reef itself is an impressive wall that goes on for the length of the park.

We visited the small visitor center and then drove to the trail head for the Rim Overlook and Navajo Knobs trails. It was a hot day and the Rim Overlook trail was 2 miles of uphill climbing on rocky footing. We reached the overlook with its panoramic views of the Fremont River and the Fruita section of the park. After a photo session we started the 2 mile hike to Navajo Knobs. I'm sad to report that we only made it one mile before I terminated our venture upwards. It was not a pleasant hike with the heat and the rocky trail. We did take photos of the Knobs in the distance. Then we had to hike the 3 miles back down to the trail head. I thought the downhill would be easier but it wasn't. Having to place your feet carefully for 3 miles is not fun. Not my favorite hike in Utah!

After the hike we went to a nice picnic area for snacks and then drove the Scenic Drive. There were many amazing sights along the way including petroglyphs (carvings) made by the ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni and Paiute Tribes between 300 to 1300 AD. One of the petroglyphs is featured on all of the signs for the 400+ mile Paiute ATV trail that runs thru the mountains of southwest Utah and right thru Circleville.

On the ride home we chose one of the very few restaurants available on Rt 24. We lucked out since it was the Hunt & Gather Restaurant - "Locally Sourced Slow-Cooked Cuisine" in Torrey, Ut. Good food and good margaritas - I had two, one for each foot.

Park Views from the Rim Overlook and Trail

View of the Navajo Knobs from the Halfway Point

Views from the Scenic Drive

Trail Info Signs in Circleville

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