The easiest to access portion of the Waterpocket Fold, found near the Fremont River, is known as Capitol Reef: capitol for the white domes of Navajo Sandstone that resemble capitol building domes, and reef for the rocky cliffs which are a barrier to travel, like an ocean reef.
Our cool Airbnb in Hanksville, a golden Morning glow.
Getting up early, going to visit the area around Hanksville today.
Googling “Top 10 things to do” near us reveals two locations of interest, one of which is Capitol Reef National Park.
It’s a short hour drive from Hanksville, but the scenery changes dramatically.
Wide open ranges turn into sandy dunes, sloped hills, cliffs and towering buttes and mountains.
Morning sun on autumn foliage.
The park is somewhat hidden in a series of valleys that cut through layered sandstones.
Behunin Cabin on the way into the National Park.
Navajo Knobs at the scenic byway.
The geologic story of Capitol Reef can be broken down into three steps, each of which occured over millions of years of geologic time: deposition, uplift, and erosion.
Starting the Hickman Bridge track.
Natural overhang, integrated into the trail.
Views from the Rim Lookout.
Just cool rock walls.
Hiking up the hill.
Under the bridge.
Just nice to look at, from all directions ;)
Bonus mini bridge (or is it a pothole arch cave something?)
A lonely tree, keeping watch.
A bouquet of tiny arches? A miniature cave system? Known as honeycomb weathering or “swiss-cheese rock,” tafoni (singular: tafone) are small, rounded, smooth-edged openings in a rock surface, most often found in arid or semi-arid deserts.
Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan people lived here between 600-1300 A.D., and their markings tell what appears to be their the stories, hunting patterns, crop cycles, and mythologies of their lives.
Walking the petroglyph trail.
What a beautiful day.
Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile long ripple on earth’s surface. Millions of years ago, a faultline shift caused a series of uplifts, ultimately creating the daunting stretch of cliffs and canyons we see today.
At the end of the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive, we drove out to the end of the unpaved but well-maintained Capitol Gorge spur, a few miles farther along the scenic drive.
This 4 km road is a little narrow and it’s hard to imagine a more unusual driving experience for a conventional vehicle: The gorge ends in a narrow channel carved between sheer cliffs.
Hundreds of years after the Fremont Culture left the Capitol Reef area, it was discovered by the Mormon pioneers who put down roots in what is now called the Fruita Historic District, located near the park visitor center.
The district contains many relics of the area’s homesteading past, including a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith’s shop, and the Gifford family’s old home, which has been converted into a museum and store.
This is a great place to learn about Capitol Reef’s residents of yore, and, yes, to enjoy some fresh apple pie while you’re at it.
Over the next several decades, about 10 families lived in Fruita. They grew alfalfa, vegetables, and fruits, including apples, peaches, cherries, and pears, both for themselves and to sell to surrounding communities.
The last private resident, Dewey Gifford, sold his house to the National Park Service and moved away in 1969. Two years later, Capitol Reef was established as a national park.
Today the park’s visitors can tour Gifford’s homestead and barn.
Surrounded by the grand brick-red walls of rock, it makes for a scenic place to pick some fruit from the orchard next door, buy freshly baked pie or bread from the store, and settle down for a picnic.
Torrey is a town located on State Route 24 in Wayne County, Utah, United States, 8 miles from Capitol Reef National Park. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 182.
Some of today’s native american dwellings come in an octagonal shape that reminds vaguely of the ancestral tents. This one here on th e other hand is of mere commercial use.