Capitol Reef National Park

Utah's second-largest national park is also its second-least-crowded. It has great drives and hikes, petroglyphs, fruit orchards and Mormon pioneer buildings. But first of all it is an example for geology at work. For hundrets of millions of years, layer after layer of rock was deposited. Then, some 65 million years ago, the earth's surface buckled up and folded, and it has since been eroding to form what is today the 100-mile-long Waterpocket Fold. There are some great trails, but be careful if rain is comming up (as it was the case when we were there).

Waterpocket Fold

Tip: On the north side of Boulder, along your drive from Bryce Canyon National Park to Capitol Reef National Park, is Anasazi State Park Museum, which includes an archaelogical site that dates from AD 1130 to 1175. The museum includes a re-created six-room pueblo, an art gallery and good exhibits about the Anasazi (or Ancestral Puebloan) peoples. It's definitely worth a stop.

Place to stay and eat: Capitol Reef Inn & Café, 360 W Main, Torrey. Comfortable rooms, gift shop that speicalizes in local maps, guide books and books about the Southwest. The café has been known for years for their tasty vegetarian dishes. Breakfast here is also delicious.

Nationalparks in the USA (Governmental homepage of the US national parks)

Petroglyphs along Hickman Bridge trail
Hickman Bridge at the end of a 1-mile trail with the same name
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