Once I reached Capitol Reef I had about 2 1/2 hours before my self-imposed “turn around” time of 300pm (to get back to Joseph before dark) to take pictures. I took lots of photos but don’t want to overwhelm you all at one time. I’ll post many more at a future time but here are some of the highlights.
First, I’ll cut right to the chase and show you why this Park is called Capitol Reef. This is the Capitol Dome formation which looks somewhat like the US Capitol building in Washington DC, our nations capital.
I walked around a bit from where I was parked and noticed one small area on a large rock formation next to the road which had some unusual colors.
As I walked in towards it for a closer look I had to be careful not to step on this patch of cactus.
When I got in for a close inspection I decided to go to the car for my digital camera. I went back in off the road and got these closeup shots.
Next, I drove a short distance and parked in the lot where I could hike up to the Hickman Natural Bridge. When I read that this was a one mile hike, mostly uphill and fairly strenuous, I was hesitant (I’m not in good shape and, especially at elevation, I don’t typically venture very far off the road). My Airbnb hostess said that it was absolutely worth the effort so up I went. Although it is only about a mile each way, it took me an hour and a half round trip, taking frequent breaks for photo ops, resting in the shade and drinking two bottles of water I brought in with me.
It was definitely worth it.
A look down at the road through the Park.
Finally, I could see it.
If you look closely at the photo below you’ll see a young lady (sitting with her family, who you can’t see).
There were two guys from Germany who had passed me on the way up sitting in the shade and I stopped and talked with them for a few minutes while I caught my breath. The advice I gave to almost all the young people I saw walking up the trail was “Stay in shape!”.
After a while I started my descent.
I thought the rock formation on the right of the path deserved a closer inspection.
This is a closeup of the hole at the bottom of the photo above.
And I finally made it back down to the parking area.
It was now 427pm, well past my 3 o’clock “turn around” time, so I hopped in the car and headed for home. I didn’t take nearly as many pictures on the way out so I made it in plenty of time.