The weather had been rainy for the past few days, but it would not clear up for another week or more so we decided to press on. Our drive to Capitol Reef National Park had some great scenery, but even cooler sky formations. Our three hour drive though this weather only resulted in getting caught in a 10 minute shower but we saw remnants of hail on the roadside. Glad we missed that!
We didn’t have high expectations of Capitol Reef. To be honest, the only reason we stopped here was to complete the set: Utah has five major National Parks and we were set to do all five. We should have done better research because Capitol Reef was magnificent! The 8 mile scenic drive down the western side alone was worth the trip! Here are a few pics from that drive.
The paved portion of the road followed a wash for several hundred feet. It was a bit odd to drive the truck through a riverbed with such narrow canyon walls.
The Capitol Canyon hike began at the end of a dirt road. The dirt road followed that same wash and it was closed because of rainy weather. We decided to walk the road for a while to get an idea of what the hike might be like. It was narrow and windy through steep canyon walls. After about a mile or so, we decided to turn around and walk back. The sky was menacing and it could rain at any moment.
Highway 24 goes right through the park and had some great views also. The highway follows a river and the banks are lined with trees so many views of the canyon walls were partially obscured here. We did, however get a few great pics.
This formations was called the castle. It might be difficult to see because of the cliff behind it.
We did another short hike down a canyon wash in the main part of the park. It was interesting to see how the water flowing over many years shaped rocks and walls.
This walk also had a few cave-like features hidden in the walls.
We hiked longer than we planned and turned around when the walls began to get narrow. It was well past lunch time and rain began to fall when we were about 50 feet from the truck. Couldn’t have timed that any better if we planned it! We stopped by a hamburger joint for a quick bite just as another strong storm hit. We were able to watch the storm move across the valley as we ate.
We are both glad we didn’t miss this gem in south central Utah. This part of the country has amazed us and we find ourselves continually commenting, “If God allows, the next time we pass through…”
All of the park films talk about the passing of time, water and wind erosion, the mighty forces of nature, and the beauty that must be preserved at all costs. That is all well and good. It is interesting to research and speculate the processes of these magnificent formations, but we must remember to glorify the One who created the heavens by word of His mouth, and not the creation. His name alone is exalted and mighty!
Psalm 148:13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.