Capital Reef National Park

We paid another visit to one of our favorite parks in the Southwest, Capital Reef National Park. Also known as Wayne's Wonderland, this could be one of the most underrated parks in the National Park system.

There's no such thing as an off time in a National Park; not even in an out-of-the-way place like Capital Reef National Park near Torrey, Utah. Crowds gather to marvel at the geology pretty much any time of year.

One of the least known national parks in southeast Utah, in our opinion, is Capital Reef National Park. Located along Utah Highway 24, north of Bryce Canyon and the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument, this park could be the best example of exposed geology anywhere on the Colorado Plateau, short of an exhausting trip into the interior of the Grand Canyon.

We just visited Capital Reef National Park for a couple of days along with side trips into the Dixie National Forest, the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument, and Bryce Canyon National Park. There’ll be more on these parks later.

The easiest way to get to Capital Reef National Park is to head out I-70 in Utah, east from I-15 or west from Grand Junction, Colorado. Follow signs to Hanksville and turn right at Hanksville. You can’t miss it.

While we were here, we stayed at the Capital Reef Resort, which is a hotel just outside the park, near the town of Torrey. Capital Reef Resort is worth mentioning on its own. It features the usual rooms with great views, but also has Tee Pees in case you want to sleep in a tent, and even covered wagons if you’re more in a western mood. There’s a restaurant, which is important around these parts, and horse and llama stables for western riding and guided hikes into the wilderness.

Here are a few of the images we have from our brief stay at Capital Reef. These are from the park itself. We’ll post others from our trips up into the Dixie National  Forest, the Escalante Grand Staircase, and Bryce Canyon as soon as time permits.

We wrote about Capital Reef and the area once before on a more extended visit. You can see some of the articles we posted here:

 

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