Capitol Reef National Park is a national park that shouldn’t be missed. In the midst of a desert lies a green oasis of fruit trees and other greenery. The giant red and yellow sandstone walls here provide tons of awesome scenery. The hike described here is the Capitol Gorge hike. At roughly 5 kms it is an easy hike, with very little elevation change and depending on the time of day may even provide some welcome relief due to the sheer cliffs that you are walking below. The trail is a river bed that is dry for most of the year except for the rainy season. As you make your way along the trail you will come across the names of the Mormons who wrote their names on the walls before driving their vehicles through the canyon. At the end of the trail is what is known as the tanks. These pools of rock are giant water pockets. From the look of the water I wouldn’t consider swimming or drinking it.
From the parking area follow the trail through the sheer canyon walls. This hike is amazing for walking between the hundreds of feet canyon walls! As you make your way along, you soon come to the Mormon wall writing section on your left. As you keep walking you will notice on your left the trail sign for the tanks. This section involves some elevation gain but only for a little while until you reach the first of the tanks. You can either stop here or make your way around the tank (watch your step!!). Once around follow the dried river bed, you will now come to a point where a water tank stops you from going forward. Go back a bit and on your left (going back), you will be able to find a route up and over this tank. The climb up and over is fun but there isn’t much to see past this. Once you get past the first tank, keep heading on the dry river bed and you will come to a much larger tank that you will not be able to go around. This is the end of the hike and now make your way back to your vehicle.
To get to Capital Reef National park take Highway 24 and then follow the scenic drive to the end where there is a 2 mile dirt road (it’s in good shape and all cars can make it). At the end of the dirt road the trail starts.
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