"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hiking in Capitol Reef, Utah

Capitol Reef, UT
Sand Creek Park

The drive south in Utah towards Capitol Reef started to change and the colorful bluffs began to rise up.  Entering the town of Torrey, you'd better be careful and watch the speed trap!

Actually it's a dummy in a permanently parked in a police car.  It sure got our attention though.  Not that we were speeding, but you always feel like you are.

I think they put the pretty ponies there to distract you on purpose!

Change of scenery.

We pulled into Sand Creek RV Park.  It's a very nice park.  We took a small back-in spot at the end of the park with W&E for $25.  What a nice view out the back windows!

When we checked into the park on RVillage, we saw that Dave & Diane of Dave & Diane - Throwing Caution to the Wind

Diane & Dave
I have been following their blog for some time and I was excited to be able to meet them.  They have been on the road fulltime since 2012 and have a beautiful Class A and pull a Jeep.  They invited us over for a campfire, chips and salsa.  The salsa was made local and it was so good we bought some ourselves the next day.  We had a great tome swapping RV stories of course and we really enjoyed their company.  We'll be criss-crossing each other at some of the other National Parks through Utah.  If we don't run into each other then, we'll probably see each other in Arizona over the winter where many of fulltimers will be boondocking.

As you drive in the park from the west side you quickly come upon one of the well known formations, the Castle.

As you drive around you see many orchards.  The Fremont River Valley was first settled by the Fremont Indians.  They grew corn, squash and beans in the irrigated fields.  Later the Mormon settlers planted fruit trees that still fill the valley.  You are encouraged to pick as much fruit as you like.  If you eat it while you're there it is free.  If you'd like to pick extra to take with you, there is a small charge/donation.
The deer, for good reason, love this area.  What's not to love?  Lots of grass, fruit, water and protection.


They even had ladders out you could use.  There were apples and pears ready to eat.  Below Steve is picking us some pears.

Just down the road are some petroglyphs by the Hopi and Zuni tribes. 

Backside of the Castle with the sun beginning to set.

I had a lot of fun capturing the setting sun.  Which do you like better, black & white or color?


Twin Rocks
We took a drive to the Grand Wash area.  You'll be hiking through some narrows with amazing colors on the walls that just go up, up, up.
Entering the wash.

These walls just go straight up!

Steve in one of the narrow sections.

This gives you an idea of how massive these walls are in the narrows.

I don't like to see "graffiti" even if it is natural, but these child hand prints on one section of the canyon wall looked kind of neat made with the river mud.

Some pretty neat plants.

The dry mud looked like cracked clay pots.  Still a few colorful wildflowers.

Looking straight up!

The minerals make streaks of color on the walls.
We drove around some of the dirt roads and admired the different layers of rock and color.

I got lucky with this shot.

We took the Fremont River Trail hike which follows the river and then climbs steeply to the lookout.

Steve standing along one of the lookouts. (there is a shelf below him).

When we got to the top there was another couple up there that were new to fulltiming from New Hampshire.  Very nice couple and we had a great time talking.

Hiking back down and ending along the river.  These turkeys decided sitting in front of the river was just the ticket.  The couple sitting in their chairs reading, thought so too.

The old school house of Fruita held classes from 1896 - 1964.

Lastly during our time here we did the Hickman Bridge Trail.

Steve walking under a smaller bridge before you get to Hickman.

More colors!

Hickman Bridge is 133 ft. Natural Bridge.


On to Cedar Breaks next and some fall weather and color!


  1. I love the moon shot. We really loved Capitol Reef. I hope you took the drive out to Cathedral Valley. It was one of the most impressive places I have ever been.

    1. No, we ran out of time! That and another road we want to do next time. There are a few more hikes to take!

  2. What a cool area! We will be there in Utah in a month or so and will have to check it out. I like the b&w photo of the tree and the one of the moon as well....nice photos!

    1. It's a nice place. Make sure to take the drive to Cathedral Valley as mentioned above. We ran out of time. Also, try to fit in Cedar Breaks. Might be too cold or snowy by time you get there, but it sure is gorgeous! You don't hear much about it but it was great to see it with all the fall color.

  3. Capital Reef is one of our favorite areas. We've been there twice for about a month total and I still have a list of areas to hike! There is a neat hike up behind that castle formation that isn't published anymore. It is short but so cool!! Love all the brilliant colors in your photos:) That moon and formation in the middle of post is great. Glad you had fun! Cedar Break is so wonderful!! And very cold!

    1. Thanks, long post but I know. We sure enjoyed both parks

  4. Great photos! I can hardly believe the one with the turkeys! Too funny! I would love to be that couple sitting there...I'd probably be saying, OMG, I wish I had my camera!

    1. That cracked me up. We were just walking past and the couple didn't care about the turkeys and the turkeys didn't care about us!

  5. We have not been there, but need to go. Looks like some very nice hikes.

  6. Love the orchard, Debbie! We have a lot of those three-legged apple ladders here at Wild Cherry (we have cherries, apples and peaches). How neat that they are free for the picking out by you!

    1. The orchards look so out of place in the desert. The river keeps everything irrigated and green.

  7. Capital Reef is one of my favorite parks. In fact, one of my favorite pictures of myself was taken when we hike to the top of Navajo knobs. Glad you got to meet Dave and Diane. Hope to meet you two in Q!

    1. I thought your blog sounded familiar. I've read it before you started the house. It sure has come a long way! It was great to meet Dave & Diane. It would be nice to meet you as well!

  8. Another great post I almost missed! Love the gnarly tree in B&W. Those massive walls are incredible - makes you feel so tiny :-) Sweet view out at the campsite, I bet the colors changed all day. You really captured some beautiful shots of the area, and we can't wait to see Utah!

  9. Deb these are some of the best pictures you have ever taken...so so good. I absolutely love this park and have added it to my must see list. Never even heard of it before this. Plus I love the fact that they let you pick fruit for free. How cool is that!!

    1. Thanks Trace. It was long post and I had a hard time editing the pics down. Just wait for the next two posts! (if I can get my butt in gear and get them up). The views will amaze you!! They also had a small store where you could buy fresh, local made pies. Yes Lee, PIES!! All kinds. And some pretty good salsa!

  10. Catching up on my blog reading. Great photos and information. Looking forward to seeing it myself next summer. I'll certainly be picking your brains for tips. See you in AZ.

    1. Yes, I'm still catching up reading and posting also. It was very busy last month and this one so far! We're with Steve's folks in Surprise. We are thinking of staying an extra day to see you and some others but I'm not sure if we'll make it that far south before we head back to CA. I'll let you know if we do!


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