Capitol Reef National Park Photo Gallery

X
In a state cluttered with some of the country's highest-profile national parks, Capitol Reef typically gets overlooked. But this 100-mile stretch of buckled earth in central Utah has some of the region's best hiking, biking, and rock climbing—without the crowds.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
X
Rock arches, sandstone pyramids, mazes of slot canyons, and rolling mountains that dominate this park were formed when the Waterpocket Fold buckled centuries ago. The wrinkle in the earth's crust now extends from Thousand Lakes Mountain to Lake Powell.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
X
Nearly 10,000 feet of sedimentary rock are exposed in and around Capitol Reef, some more than 270 million years old. Rock climbers typically congregate around the Windgate formations.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
X
The eroded dunes of the Navajao Sandstone above the Fruita cliffs are largely responsible for funneling the water run-off that created the park's slot canyons.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
X
Most of the visitors stick to the park's scenic drive, which passes through Grand Wash, Cassidy Arch, Golden Throne, and Capitol Gorge. Or they target higher-profile attractions like Capitol Dome, Cathedral Valley, or Hickman Bridge, the natural stone bridge pictured here.  
Credit: Bob Stefko/Photodisc/Getty 
X
But to truly appreciate the park's surreal geography, head out into the backcountry. Just don't expect traditional trail markers. Here, a GPS—and a ranger's sage advice—are your best allies.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
X
As with any region with slot canyons, stay attuned to weather conditions as flash floods are a legitimate concern. But properly prepared, a foray into Capitol Reef's backcountry will lead you to seldom-seen, silent, pristine beauty in a state where parks typically boast as many tour busses as trailheads.  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
 
  • Related Galleries
  • Most Recent Galleries
Replay Slideshow
 
txt

advertisement


Post Your Comment

You have characters left.

advertisement