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Trip Reports

Capitol Reef National Park

It was time to hit the road. And time to face my fears.

Packed Truck I had been traveling for my employer for about 5 months visiting several major cities across the globe, and I was getting an itch to get out into the wilderness and do some hiking, some camp fire watching, and generally being laid back for awhile.

Capitol Reef Backcountry Doesn't matter that a very cold weekend was predicted, by gosh, I was going anyway. Capitol Reef National Park seemed like a good place to unwind for a few days, so that's where we pointed the truck. There is a special trail in the backcountry area that I hadn't been to in years which is reached by driving the backcountry Notom-Bullfrog Road and on to the Burr Trail. The last time I was there, I experienced (and was traumatized by) what the signs mean when they say a road is "Impassable When Wet". Believe those signs! A road based on the red clay that is prevalent in that part of the country turns into a slimey, car-eating monster after a good dowsing. Trust me, trust the signs.

We got to Torrey, Utah, (the last gas before wilderness) after closing time, so we decided to camp nearby and fill up the tank the next morning. It was a beautiful, starry night, with no cloud cover (translated: very chilly). Here's where you really appreciate having good camping equipment, a warm bag means you'll sleep soundly, a bag that needs to be replaced means you will be cold!

Next morning, we got gas and other fuel. Todd didn't like the healthy breakfast food I packed, so he got a last breakfast burrito before leaving civilization. Men!

We headed into the main part of the park the first day. Did the requisite stop in the Visitor's Center to inquire about road conditions and weather reports, and got some good tips from the rangers about some short, side hikes to do if the weather keeps us from doing Plan A. I also bought a book (Hi, I'm Theresa, and I'm a Book-A-Holic).

Capitol Gorge Todd had never been to Capitol Reef, so this was all new to him. We checked out Chimney Rock, Panorama Point, The Scenic Drive and hiked a ways down Capitol Gorge. Even though the skies were overcast, and the vegetation was gone (neither spring blooms nor fall colors), this was still a pretty time of year. The chukkars were hanging out in the parking lot at Capitol Gorge and were fun to watch scurrying around. I never tire of the desert no matter what the season.
The Rest of the Story Photo Album

Backroads of Utah
by Theresa A. Husarik

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