One of the things I love to do when I travel is visit new (to me) National Parks, and I have to say, I was REALLY surprised with Capital Reef National Park. After my time in Las Vegas and Valley of Fire State Park, I headed up to Utah to do some more exploring. My good friend Steve had mentioned Capital Reef to me before, so I decided to go. Capital Reef is nestled between some of the West’s most famous parks: The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands (so many canyons!), Zion, Arches… I mean, it’s essentially the bucket list of anyone that wants to visit the American Southwest. Frankly, this is why Capital Reef gets overlooked. It’s surrounded by superstars! I’m okay with that too, because it means less visitors and fewer crowds, though park staff told me they’d “been discovered” of late, and park attendance has been on the rise. What I personally appreciated about Capital Reef is that it doesn’t present itself to you all at once; you have to spend some time with it. It’s not necessarily like the other parks I mentioned above where there are specific things you go visit – though there are sights to be seen – to me it was the vistas you had to dig around for.
Well, almost all of them. I’m starting off my series on the park with an obvious “first stop”, which is Sunset Point, very close to the visitor center. On the advice of one of the rangers, I visited actually *before* sunset, and that was the right call. As the sun drops, its casts some beautiful light across the valley, creating some dramatic shadows along the way. The canyon immediately to the right is deep, and MAN the wind whips through there! Across the valley you can see some of the odd formations in the park (more on those in the coming weeks), which is what I ultimately fell in love with.
More next week!
|Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA|