Making a Scene

Friday, April 28, 2017 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Ultimate Utah, Day 7:  Capitol Reef National Park

Before this trip, we had barely heard of Capitol Reef National Park in Torrey UT.  We knew it was one of Utah's "Big Five" but that's about all.  It seems that Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks are the ones that get the most media (and tourist) attention, so we weren't really sure what to expect from Capitol Reef.  Probably not much, we imagined.  Until yesterday when we drove west across Utah Highway 24 into the park.

That left no doubt that we had arrived at a special area most deserving of national park status and at least as appealing as Arches.  (We can't pass judgment on Bryce and Zion as we have yet to visit them.)  Today we drove into the park, checked out its scenic drive, hiked the Grand Wash Trail and the Capitol Gorge Trail.  We have no words to do justice to the exquisite scenery we saw in Capitol Reef National Park, so we'll let the photos speak for themselves.


    •  Started in:  Torrey, UT
    •  Ended in:  Torrey, UT
    •  Miles driven:  79   (total 2,781)
    •  Weather:  28° to 56°, sunny and breezy
    •  Letterboxes:  0   (total:  F14, P5)
    •  Walked:  4.5 mi   (total 28.42)
    •  Gas:   10 gal @ $2.499   (total 36.4 gal @ $2.549 average)
    •  Boulders:  42,908
    •  Other Rocks:  12,546,819
    •  Colors of Rocks:  794

Loved:  The Grand Wash Trail through a canyon was our favorite hike of this trip so far.  It satisfied an item that has been on Ken's bucket list since he was a kid and watched heroes in TV westerns moving through such canyons.

Lacking:  Capitol Reef National Park is so close to perfection, we just couldn't identify anything lacking today.

Learned:  As we've been traveling around Arizona and Utah and seeing names for various landforms, we began to wonder about the difference between a butte and a mesa.  Here's what we learned:  Buttes were once part of flat, elevated areas of land known as mesas or plateaus. In fact, the only difference between a mesa and a butte is their relative size. Most geographers say a butte is taller than it is wide, while a mesa is a much larger, slightly less elevated feature, usually wider than it is tall.