Sunday, May 4, 2014

Capital Reef National Park

After our visit to Bryce canyon we departed Kodachrome Basin State Park on April 28th and travelled the scenic Utah highway 12 through the Dixie National Forest and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  Highway 12 is a very scenic road with Ponderosa & Juniper forests; and high mountain passes.   The road covers about 110 miles of winding two lane road (a thumbs down vote by Ina) with elevations up to 9000ft.
Kodachrome Basin

At Capital Reef we took Utah highway 24 southeast to the eastermost extremity of Lake Powell, in the Glen Canyon National Recreation area. 

As we passed through Capital Reef, we found at least one pull out  featuring petroglyphs on solid rock vertical cliffs some 300feet high.    It was apparent why the ancient people lived here since the canyon had very pleasant grassy areas and trees along the river (probably excellent for gardens and livestock).



Hwy 24 is also a very picturesque road. In this area the terrain becomes almost barren rock slopes with only few desert plants.  Although there were no high mountain passes, the road descends into many steep and narrow canyons with switch backs climbing over ridges into adjacent canyons.




In one section the road traversed the summit of a very narrow ridge with spectacular cliffs plunging down on both sides of the highway.  This road is not for those afraid of heights.

At Lake Powell there is an impressive overlook before the road crosses to the south rim of the canyon over a high steel truss bridge.




Climbing back up the plateau we drove some 85 miles for an overnight stop at the Kampark RV park in Blanding, Utah.  With all the mountain driving it seemed like  a long day, but only amounted to about a 260 mile drive.