Ultimate Utah – Part 2

Capitol Reef National Park

We were not expecting much from the park so we decided to just drive through it.It was a welcome surprise and we ended up spending half a day exploring the park.Famous for its Waterpocket Fold, the rock colors are at their best in the park.As soon as you leave the park through its east entrance, the entire scenery changes to black and white.The park was established to preserve the scenic rock domes and narrow canyons.The pull of gravity plays a major role in shaping up the cliffs and water erosion carves the landscape.

You can get the map of the park with all the marked trails and turn out points at the official site.

https://www.nps.gov/care/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Points Of Interest – Waterpocket Fold,Narrow canyons,Petroglyphs, Gifford Homestead, scenic drive.

Must Do – 8 mile scenic drive.

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Park Entrance
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Waterpocket Fold
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The Black and White landscape outside the park

Arches National Park

The world’s largest concentration of natural arches makes the park most popular and busy.The vibe of the park is very touristy and there are turn outs everywhere.The trails are crowded and there are giant tour buses running all over the park which makes the parking hard.Despite the crowd, you should absolutely visit the park for its weird stone structures.

Like others, the individual arch has its own lifetime.There are geological changes taking place every second in the park which are reducing the life of each and every arch.

You can get the map of the park with all the marked trails and turn out points at the official site.

https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Points Of Interest – Park Avenue,Balanced Rock,Double Arch,Lower and Upper Delicate Arch,Fiery Furnace,Sand Dune Arch,Broken Arch,Devils Garden.

Hikes that we did 

Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint – Difficulty Level – Easy,Distance – 0.5 miles, Time – 30 mins.

Upper Delicate Arch – Difficulty Level – Difficult or Strenuous depending upon the weather,Distance-3 miles,Time – 2.5 hours.

Broken Arch – Difficulty Level – Easy, Distance -2 miles, Time – 1 hour.

Sand Dune Arch – Difficulty Level – Easy, Distance – 0.3 miles, Time – 20 mins.

If you want to have a glimpse of the Iconic Arch from Utah’s license plate, go for Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint but if you want to go up close, go for Upper Delicate Arch hike.Few hikes like Sand Dune Arch,Balanced Rock,Double O Arch are enjoyed most by the kids.

If you want to have adventure, go for rock climbing or take a guided hike to Fiery Furnace.The park offers something for everyone.

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Gate Of Arches
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Upper Delicate Arch – Utah’s only Arch standing on its own

 

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SandDune Arch
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Balanced Rock
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Hike to Broken Arch

 

CanyonLands National Park

This was the most deserted park among the Mighty 5 that we visited.So deserted and open that you could literally feel the sun piercing through your skin.If you want to avoid the crowd of Arches, it is good place to be.Days can be super hot which makes it extremely difficult to hike after 11 am in the morning.

The park is divided into 3 districts which are far away from each other and it could take up to 2 hours to reach a district from another.

Island in the Sky and Dead Horse Point is the most accessible district and close to Arches.You can easily spend couple of hours in the district.

The Needles is best for back country experience.

The Maze is the most remote and secluded area of the park for more adventurous ones.

We had half a day to explore the park, so we decided to explore Island in the Sky district.Often considered as second fiddle to Arches National park, it should not be missed.

You can get the map of the park with all the marked trails and turn out points at the official site.

https://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Points Of Interest – Dead Horse point Overlook,Island in the sky,Green River Overlook.

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Park Entrance
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Green River Overlook

The mighty 5 comes under the Colorado plateau region which is a premier natural display of Earth’s history.The scenic and rugged landscapes are not found anywhere else in the world.

If you have few hours in hand, I will recommend you to explore capital of Utah – Salt Lake City.Visit Temple Square in downtown to know how was Utah inhabited and how they survived the harsh desert climate.The people of Utah call them as pioneers.Take a tour to various landmarks to know about the history of the people.Most of the tours are free.

Route Map

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Utah Part I – https://everycornerhasstory.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/ultimate-utah-part-1/

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