An Intro to Captivating Capitol Reef through Capitol Gorge
Yesterday we journeyed the short drive to the fourth of six incredible National Parks in the Utah circuit that we are exploring on our adventure. We’re beginning our fourth of six weeks here and now have a full week to discover the magick of Capitol Reef.
Our drive to Wonderland – yes, that’s the name of our RV park down the rabbit hole of Torrey, Utah that our Magick Bus has slipped into – was beautiful with expansive vistas and even a subtle rainbow cloud portal.
And our new portal we’ll be integrating from this week is a serene setting that offers an open view of grazing land with cattle and horses surrounded by snow capped mountain tops in the distance, which we can see through our “looking glass”.
After we settled in, we headed off for our first looks at Capitol Reef.
We were instantly taken by the majesty around us. Dave said there was almost too much to process because of the grandeur and variety of intermingling raw beauty and wonder everywhere.
It is truly a stunning park and one that even if you aren’t a hiker, you can easily enjoy by taking the 20+ mile scenic drive through the park, which there is a guide on that you can get at the visitor center.
We stopped in there to read up on some of the info and get our hands on our hiking options. Then set off on our first, short intro with the two mile roundtrip Capitol Gorge hike.
The drive just to get there was incredible….about 12 + miles of amazingness on the paved road taking you from one stunning vista and formation to another. The park is well marked so you know what everything is that you are looking at.
Then once you reach the end of the paved road, a two and a half mile dirt road takes you to the end where you can pick up Capitol Gorge or Golden Throne Trails. This drive is wow!
You are taken through these canyons where the rock walls (mostly sheer walls of multi-colored Navajo sandstone) are surrounding you all around and you can feel what it would have been like on the covered wagons traveling in here back in the days of the pioneers.
This drive and the hike was a great way to get our intros with the area. So many beautiful things to see, including the settlement areas of the Mormons where you can see the beautiful apple, peach, pear, and apricot tree orchards.
Capitol Gorge takes you through the deep canyon gorge that the pioneers once used since it was the only passable “road” through the Waterpocket Fold until 1964 when Hwy 24 was built. The gorge becomes narrow, with several areas having slot-like proportions you can explore.
The Pioneer Register is located on the canyon walls here and you can see remnants of the telegraph lines jutting from the rocks above, which were used in the late mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries when Mormon pioneers passed through the gorge.
Several hundred pioneers recorded their names and dates on the canyon walls, as they passed through the Capitol Wash road. One wonders how they got their names up so high – ladder, ropes, standing atop their wagons?
Before you reach the pioneers’ recordings, you will come to the petroglyph panel, near to the start of the hike, from the people who once lived here from about 300 to 1300 CE (Common Era) – and some even earlier, which are very cool.
They are similar to the three large, red pigment figures we saw the day before in Escalante on the Calf Creek Trail.
They are thought to be from the Fremont Indians – ancestors of the modern-day Hopi, Zuni, and Paiute tribes. It is believed that these petroglyphs depict maps, journeys, clan symbols, deities, animals, and calendars.
The hike will take you past a small arch, volcanic rock, and end at a sequence of water-filled potholes, water pockets, or “tanks” as they are called.
These water tanks, ranging from very small like the size of a bathroom sink, to very large like a swimming pool, acted as natural water basins, which played a vital role in the desert ecosystem. They collected and held the vital and essential water that the animals, plants, and indigenous people relied on to survive in the desert.
Interestingly, violet light was shining down on the main water tank in some of the photos captured…is something appearing within the light, or does it indicate the sacredness of these precious water sources?
On our walk back, a beautiful sparkling natural crystal caught my eye. What a treasure!
On our drive back home, we also were greeted by a group of Mule Deer that decided to say hello to us as we drove by and then took the cross walk in front of us to get to the field on the other side. I had the opportunity to see one of them leap over the fence, which again was just beautiful to see how gracefully and easily they “fly”.
And right after we said goodbye to them, we came upon two Marmots that were incredibly cute and oh so cuddly chubby. I just wanted to go hug them. We stopped to watch and connect with them as well, as I’d never seen one.
I just love all of the wildlife, ancient essence, and raw beauty we continue to experience on this adventure.
This is truly what I love about life and some of the things I value most.
And it is what I find incredibly important to share with all of you, to bring Mother Earth’s gifts and sacredness into close relationship to you, even if just through photos.
I also like to share the rich history and ancient energy because of our collective journey we are traveling together so that you, too, can integrate what you find integral to your path as part of the whole through experiencing it.
Posted on April 11, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged ancient energy, Capitol Gorge Trail, Capitol Reef, marmots, mule deer, petroglyphs, Utah National Parks, water tanks. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.