Surprising Capitol Reef National Park

We left Moab on April 25 for Torrey, Utah. Last year while traveling through Salt Lake City, our Airbnb hosts mentioned we should visit Capitol Reef National Park and that it’s their favorite. We hadn’t heard of Capitol Reef and since then have found we weren't the only ones. But oh, let me tell you, even after visiting 8 national parks, 3 Navaho parks, and various state parks this trip, Capitol Reef was surprising in its beauty, geologic formations, and pioneer history. The defining feature of the park is a wrinkle in the earth known as the Waterpocket Fold extending 100 miles.

Capitol Reef also includes a Mormon pioneer homestead community known as Fruita. It’s home to nearly 3,000 fruit trees now maintained by the National Park Service, and is one of the largest historic orchards in the national park system. They even make small fruit pies at the park to sell to visitors with fruits picked and preserved at the homestead. Of course we had to have one while we sat in the front yard of Gifford House. While there, I talked to an older gentleman who had grown up in Fruita and was visiting the park that day along with his wife and daughter. He seemed to enjoy asking the tourists if they knew what various objects on display at the homestead were used for. When he was talking with me, he found he had met his match as he wasn’t able to stump me. Then he pointed to a final object, smiled and said, “Nobody ever guesses what this was used for.” I told him I knew exactly what it was and that I had one of my own - a corn planter. He shook his head and got a pretty good chuckle out of that.

After spending 3 nights in Torrey, on April 28 we drove the northern portion of Scenic Byway 12 and enjoyed 2 nights in Escalante, Utah at the Grand Staircase Escalante Bed and Breakfast Inn. Scenic Byway 12 demands the driver to slow down and pay attention around the many sharp, narrow turns and steep cliffs. The views are incredible, the hiking enjoyable, and next time we are traveling through here we’ll plan more time to just sit for a spell in its majestic loveliness.

Thanks for joining us on our journey.
Stay tuned,