Capitol Reef National Park: Utah’s Hidden Gem

It is no secret that the state of Utah is home to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on planet Earth. Zion, Arches, and Bryce National Park attract millions of enthusiastic visitors each year. Capitol Reef National Park is just as stunning as any of Utah’s other celebrated natural wonders, but it is so remote that it attracts a fraction of the visitors.

Capitol Reef National Park features stately orange arches, golden mountains, and bone-white rock formations. Cassidy Arch—which was named after outlaw Butch Cassidy, who hid in the rock formation’s shadow when he was dodging the law—is one of the most impressive natural arches in North America. The bravest among us can walk across of the top of Cassidy Arch and take in an indescribably beautiful view of Capitol Reef’s countless geological wonders.

One of Capitol Reef’s most captivating attractions is a series of vivid petroglyphs created by the Fremont people who lived in the region several centuries ago. The Hickman Bridge Trail—which leads to a towering natural arch known as Hickman Bridge—offers a crystal clear view of some of the best preserved Native American rock art in the West.

Capitol Reef Hickman Bridge

Capitol Reef Hickman Bridge | Photo by Ken Krach/Flickr

No trip to Capitol Reef is complete without a visit to a round, stark white rock formation known as the Capitol Dome, which bears a striking resemblance to the man-made Capitol Dome in Washington D.C. The rocks of Capitol Reef National Park feature so many different varieties of color that early Native American tribes likened the region to a rainbow.

It is virtually impossible to do justice to the magic, mystery, and beauty of Southern of Utah with words. Though less-traveled, Capitol Reef National Park is without a doubt one of the most rugged and breathtaking examples of Utah’s legendary red rock country. Do yourself a favor and experience it.

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