This May the kids and I took a trip with my parents to see the three Utah national parks that we had not yet seen. (We practically lived at Zion when I was a teen, and went to Bryce a few times, most recently last summer.) The first park we visited was Capitol Reef.
This is a really long and skinny park, centered on the 100 mile long Waterpocket Fold, a monocline fold in the rock layers. This was a perfect place to visit, since our current science unit is on earth science.
We timed our visit well, as we had good weather most of the time and saw plenty of wildflowers. As with all natural wonders, one really must get out and hike, and not just see things from the road. We had only a couple days to hike, so we didn’t get to everything, but we still got a pretty good sampling of the best of the views and features available in the main portion of the park. We hiked to the rim overlook, saw Hickman Bridge, and strolled the Capitol Gorge.
When the kids get a bit bigger, we want to take the 12 mile trek to see Hamburger Rocks. That’s a little beyond the speed and endurance of the smaller kids right now, although the older ones could certainly do it.
Capitol Reef lacks the dramatic scenery visible from the road that places like Zion and the Grand Canyon have, although it is pleasant enough. The real joy of the park comes from the stuff you can see on the trail, and the lack of crowds once you get a mile or so off the road.
Also, you can buy strawberry rhubarb pies (and other stuff) at the little homestead museum. So that’s cool.
Anyway, here are a few of the many pictures I got.
The kids, near Twin Rocks
The Waterpocket Fold from the Rim Overlook