Another national park, another great surprise! When you think you’ve seen most rock formations, bring on a reef! Not below the ocean, but for all to see here at Capitol Reef NP! A Wrinkle in the Earth, as the Rangers call it, where millions of years geologic forces shaped, lifted, and folded the earth, creating this rugged, remote area known as the Waterpocket Fold.
After a first stop at Goosenecks Overlook and Panorama Point, we’re heading south on the Scenic Drive onto the Capitol Gorge drive (dirt road), past Tapestry Wall and more stunning rocks. A short turnoff makes for our perfect and private lunch spot for a quick break.
The other dirt road extending from the end of the Scenic Drive is the Pleasant Creek drive, which we follow until we hit the creek, where the road turns into some hard-core 4-wheeling.
About halfway back up the Scenic Drive is the turn-off for yet another dirt road to be explored – the Great Wash follows the creek bed of its namesake for most of the way into the canyon, past old uranium mines that have long since been closed off.
On our way out, we get to be stunned once more by the rock walls or the “reef” – although the park boasts a huge variety of towering cliffs, massive domes, arches, bridges, and twisting canyons.