2017 Western Spring Fling travel blog

Welcome to Capitol Reef National Park

Fruita Orchards are starting to bloom

An old manure spreader that was used in Fruita orchards and fields

Grand Wash area with gated entrances to old uranium mines

Radioactive warning signs inside the entrance

Cliffs of the Waterpocket Fold

Only a few wildflowers are blooming

More colored sandstone cliffs of the Waterpocket Fold

 

 

 

 

The Capitol Gorge Road not for the Fit

 

 

Scenic Drive heading back to Fruita

Red is the color of the day

Wild turkeys in the orchard

Behunin Cabin built by an early settler

Fremont River

Grand Wash cliffs with some people to add scale

Shallow holes in the cliff were formed from acidic rain water and...

View along UT 24

Capitol Dome formation

Another view from UT 24 in Fremont River valley

Chimney Rock


We've been in Torrey, UT for 2 days now and the wind hasn't stopped blowing. It was blowing so hard this morning (0400) that I had to get up and bring the slide in to keep from loosing the slide cover which was flapping loudly and Winnie was rocking. It reminded me of Tropical Storm Bill 2 years ago in Texas. As I write this, I may have to retract the slide again.

We visited Capitol Reef National Park yesterday. It's one of the Utah Mighty 5 and is filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges of the Waterpocket Fold which a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) that extends almost 100 miles. The first stop was the Fruita Historic District. Mormon settlers moved into the high plateau lands west of Capitol Reef and established communities based on short-season farming and grazing. They then looked to the east, along the corridor of the Fremont River snaking through the soaring cliffs and domes of the Waterpocket Fold. They established a little community at the junction of the Fremont River and Sulphur Creek in the late 1800's. The river allowed the land to be irrigated which made agriculture possible. The residents established orchards in the area and it area was known as "the Eden of Wayne County". There were never more than 10 families inhabiting the area. The orchards still exist and have been designated as a "historic landscape" and the NPS plans to preserve them. The trees are just beginning to flower for the spring. Later in the year visitors are able to pick fruits and fruit eaten in the orchards is free, but there is a charge for any fruit taken out of the orchards. Most of the structures of the Fruita settlement are gone (with the exception of the restored schoolhouse, the Gifford house and barn, and a few others).

After a short visit to the Visitors Center, we drove Scenic Drive to the Capitol Gorge area where the road is unpaved. The Fit is not fit for unpaved roads as its clearance is way too low to negotiate them. This is where I wish we had a Jeep or 4WD SUV. The landscape along Scenic Drive is spectacular as is that in most other areas in the park. The colors, shapes, patterns, and formations are unlike other areas we've visited. Each of the Utah Mighty 5 have special features that make you think that there couldn't be anything more spectacular. Driving is dangerous because it's hard to keep your eyes on the narrow and winding roads through the park instead of the spectacular scenery.

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