Desert Wanderings: Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef is Utah’s least-visited national park but it’s rich with history and intense desert scenery. It was the coral reef of a huge prehistoric ocean millions of years ago and has seen ages of wind and water shaping it into a geological wonder. There are Native American petroglyphs as well as historical leftovers from Mormon pioneers in the canyons and Fruita Valley. It’s a long, narrow area stretching all the way from Fish Lake National Forest to the Glen Canyon recreation area, and most people stay near the north-central part of the park where the paved highway and large campground are. However, we went south to one of the two “undeveloped” campsites, which consist of a fire grate and a pit toilet; all we needed, really. Though it was more than 30 miles south on an isolated dirt road where if you break down, ain’t nobody coming to find you, that area was wonderful. It was pure dark at night and the nearby trails were completely empty even though it was peak season when we went. Next time, we will visit the northern campsite where, I’ve heard, the road is even trickier.

It may not be as glamorous as its more famous sibling parks, but Capitol Reef is still well worth a trip. See some photos below and check out a few other things via links.

The AP’s Victoria Will has won PDN Annual Award’s 2014 Editorial/Magazine category for her tintypes she created of celebrities at the Sundance Film Festival.

In the 1960s, photographer Arthur Tress created photos based on descriptions from children about their nightmares. He was inspired by a project in which children were asked to make poems and paintings of their nightmares, and took it one step further.

Shrubby Tree

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