Poking around in Capitol Reef

Joan and I find ourselves spoiled.

Within two hours of our home are arguably some of our country’s most stunning public lands.

And, as I said before, we could live here over the years and won’t see all there is to see.

Case in point: Capitol Reef National Park is fewer than three hours away and has some exquisite scenery, and I’ve only been there once since I moved to Utah.

Oh, I’ve spent time there over the years. However, more so in some obscure parts of the park rather than the more well-known Fruita area.

However, as I realized over Thanksgiving this past year, that does the park a disservice.

Our mutual friend in Moab, a retired ranger from Capitol Reef, described a fantastic hike among his favorites in this area, and Joan and I put it on our list.

And one weekend, we finally made it there.

In my case, I know the area off the paved road less than the more backcountry areas of Capitol Reef.

But on a February day, there are fewer people in this area.

The Wingate cliffs make for memorable hiking, and though we are not as far as the crow flies, we have the canyon to ourselves for two nights.

We found a quiet spot near the water, above the canyon floor, and with views up and down the canyon.

And near some incredible hiking, of course.

We arrived back at our truck early and still had time to enjoy some of the more accessible front-country views.

We even got on a hike at a more obscure area where the trail ends, but an old road bed seems to go further.

We’ll return to this park that seems less used than the other “Mighty 5.”   There is so much to see, do, and enjoy in our corner of the world.

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