On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
Capitol Reef: Southern Utah, not near anything, really. We lucked into a Forest Service campground without reservations.
We spent a day in Capitol Reef, taking a couple of short hikes, driving the Scenic Road, and heading down a couple of dirt roads to see some areas that aren’t visible from the pavement.
The park is named after two features: A dome of rock that looks like the Capitol (First picture) and a 100-mile long series of cliffs and rock formations that was a barrier to travel, which the pioneers called a reef (Second Picture).
But as far as our travels were concerned, we had a big oops. We arrived and pulled into Fruita Campground at Capitol Reef NP, where I made reservations last December. We drove to our site and there was someone else’s name on the post at the site … wha? I checked my emails and … we were reserved for JUNE 27th, not MAY 27th!
We figured we’d have to be boondocking since it was Thursday before Memorial Day and everyone was booked solid. There was a Forest Service campground a few miles away where we could fill up the water tank. We talked to the camp host even though all the sites were occupied or reserved, and she who allowed that in seven years only one camper had ever used the handicapped site, so she let us set up there. So, we ended up dry camping in a nice site in a Ponderosa Pine forest. Not too bad.
Wingate Sandstone. This formation erodes into really interesting shapes (we’ve been learning some geology)
Mule deer walk through the orchards. They’re also seen frequently in the nearby Fruita Campground.
Head of the Grand Wash backroad and trail. There are four mine openings in this picture that date from the 50s when uranium ore was prospected in the Chinle Formation.
Grand Wash trail.
Route to Capitol Gorge Trail. According to my guidebook, this was originally a Mormon trail and later the main automobile route between Torrey and Hanksville until Utah 24 was completed in 1962!
Forest Service campsite, Singletree Campground off of Utah 12.