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Summer Drive - Americas National Parks in Utah & Wyoming

Day 4 - Capital Reef National Park

sunny 92 °F
View Driving the West - 2020 on rorndorff's travel map.

We decided to divert from Hwy 89 to take the scenic byway, Hwy 12 from Tropic, UT up to Capital Reef National Park. This is one of only a handful of spectacular routes in America. Over 120 miles, and going northeast, it was a bit out of our way heading up to Grand Tetons but everyone we had talked with said it was well worth the diversion. We passed many canyons, river valleys and small out of the way one horse towns. It was a colorful trip and the weather was warm and sunny.


Capital Reef was our destination, with the goal of getting at least one hike in before noon. We decided on Chimney Rock, with some magnificent views of the valley and awesome rock formations along a 5 mile trek. We hiked the loop counterclockwise and encountered the toughest uphill climb yet on the way out. Shirley and I both remarked it reminded us of something out of the Flintstones cartoon we both grew up watching! Smoothed red rocks with a backdrop of grays, browns and white layers in the volcanic cliffs in front of us as we kept a healthy pace around the trail. Shirley stopped for her traditional yoga pose in the rocks on this one.


Once down from the mountain we headed into the park and made our way to the southern part of the canyon where we once again had a terrific picnic lunch and toasted our travels so far with a cold beer and wine cooler. As we made our way back up the winding road Shirley drove and I got a chance to video the amazing sites out of the passenger window. I must have been anticipating our next stop in Grand Teton National Park when I stopped and got this picture of a barn sitting against the backdrop of the red rocks! Hit the road about 2PM to drive up to Heber City, UT as a stopover on our way up to Wyoming and the Tetons.

Posted by rorndorff 18:15 Archived in USA Tagged mountains parks hiking driving national usa

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