Capitol Reef National Park (NP #43), Utah


I’m not sure how obvious it is to you all, but things are moving along quite quickly here at AdventureBro Mobile HQ, and it’s getting hard for me to keep up. For that reason please don’t take my brief treatment of Capitol Reef to mean that it’s any less noteworthy (..or did my introduction just make that ever so slightly more inevitable?)


 

Capitol Reef National Park (map / wiki) encompasses a 75 mile crinkle in the earths crust called a waterpocket fold.

 

The quick and dirty explanation of how this geologic curiosity formed is as follows: Layers of sandstone were folded and the high hump of the fold was eroded, exposing about 40 million years of geologic history from the Jurassic Period between 200 and 160 million years ago (mya).

 

Translation: Colorful Rocks!

 

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Scenic Drive, Capitol Reef National Park. This is facing south down the length of the waterpocket fold. The cliffs in the distance are a continuation of the formation.

 

Here are a few pictures of interesting rocks I came across.

 

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I nicknamed this specimen Spiderweb Rock. It’s about two feet in width.

 

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These rocks had thin dark layers that seem stand up to weathering better than the sandstone. I nicknamed them Horse Hair Raku Rocks. The larger rock is about two feet long.

 

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This is on the short drive to the Capitol Gorge trailhead.

 

I hiked down Pleasant Creek for a couple miles before setting up camp (9/30/15). I don’t mean to be a solitude snob, but it’s actually kind of hard to secure for yourself any significant piece of wilderness in the national parks.

 

I didn’t come across anyone for 18 hours along Pleasant Creek.

 

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Backcountry campsite off of Pleasant Creek. The sage bushes were dumping yellow pollen into the air. It was borderline asphyxiating.

 


 

The area surrounding the national parks in Utah are almost as spectacular as the parks themselves.

 

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The ravines are natural fractals.

 

The badlands in the above picture are off of Highway 24, 30 miles east of Capitol Reef. The picture below is from Boulder (I think) which is 40 miles south of Capitol Reef on Highway 12.

 

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Boulder, UT.

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