About Me

Park City, UT, United States
Keeping busy with one thing or another.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bryce Canyon - Escalante Grand Staircase - Capitol Reef

It has been a whirlwind of a weekend.  It probably would have been far less eventful had I not purchased an atlas shortly after we started our drive to southern Utah.  But I saw it, bought it, studied it,  and decided we could fit more in than we probably should have. 

As a side note, I was told I didn't need a map - I feel like everyone can use a map - And as it turns out (not surprisingly), I was right on this one as there is no cell service throughout most of the areas we were this weekend (AT&T does NOT have more bars in more places - The Verizon users seemed to have very little trouble making and receiving calls) and without that signal, there was no GPS that I have come to be very dependent on.  So I guess it's a good thing I impulsively bought an atlas after all....

Anyway - One of my New Years resolutions this year was to visit all of Utah's national parks.  I went to Arches a couple years ago for a friend's birthday and that's it in the ten years that I have lived here.  S ever so nicely got me a National Park's pass for my birthday and I immediately went to Zion as part of my birthday trip.  Since then I've been a bit of a slacker - I did go to Colorado and visit Garden of the Gods and Royal Gorge, and went to the Uintas and Fish Lake National Forest in Utah, but I haven't made my way to any other national parks yet.  Until this weekend....This weekend was the weekend to go to Bryce Canyon N.P.  We spent Saturday hiking about through the hoodoos (Which I learned is Caribbean - like voodoo) and then went on a guided walk and learned lots of fun facts about the park.  And even went out and looked at the stars in the crystal clear sky.

The highlight: I SAW WILDLIFE!!  I never see wildlife.  I don't know why that is but I never do.  I saw a chipmunk which hardly counts.  And then I saw a stellar jay which apparently is rare - I thought it was a blue jay.  And then we saw a baby deer and it's mom.  I love the baby animals.  And then a bunch of pronghorn deer.  And then to top it of, there were wild turkeys.  It only could have been better if I saw a bear or a mountain lion....

So then today with the help of my new maps, I figured out how to get to Capitol Reef National Park.  I thought it would be much closer but it was an extra three hours or so driving to get there.  We took the scenic byway, highway 12 through Escalante/Grand Staircase which was definitely worth the extra time. 

Of all the national parks, I would have to say that I'm glad I didn't plan on spending an entire weekend in Capitol Reef.  It is pretty spectacular to see.  And the pictures definitely don't do it's size justice but there wasn't a ton to do there.

All in all, a good weekend....I wish I had more time and I think I would have finished the entire national park circuit.  I have officially visited four of the five Utah national parks and I'm feeling pretty good about it.  Just need to get to Canyonlands before December 31 to complete my checklist.


  1. that sounds like fun...but i think you are supposed to probably go for a hike in capitol reef! i'm very proud of you actually getting out and hiking in bryce though and not just stopping at the overlooks! i haven't even done a hike there

  2. p.s. Austin says that what you saw is actually an antelope (the picture)

  3. We did a 3 mile hike down in the amphitheater. You should be proud. I did the whole thing without complaint. It was a nice moderate hike. You should definitely do it because it's really cool down there....especially through the Wall Street portion (see picture 3) We did all of the overlooks too....and a guided hike along the canyon rim and learned lots of things....