Capitol Reef National Park


All Photographs Brian & Nancy Morganti

Capitol Reef National Park 

 Fruita Area & Scenic Drive

October 2017

October 8 - 10, 2017

Like several other national parks in Utah we had visited Capitol Reef in the past, but this only gave us a chance to visit some of the more well known overlooks near the visitor center.  This time we decided to spend several days here in order to visit many of the parks more remote and best kept secrets.  Dry weather prevailed for out entire trip which was great for remote road access, but bad for boring clear skies being included in most of the photographs.  Shown below are some of the more interesting scenes that can be found close to the visitor center in the Fruita Area and along the popular 7 mile long Scenic Drive

Navajo Dome - Highway 24:  One of the first sights that greets visitors to the park entering from the east is this view of the Navajo Dome along highway 24.  Like other "domes" in the park Navajo Dome is made of Navajo Sandstone and was created from ancient windblown sandstone and resembles capitol building domes. 


Black Boulders - Capitol Dome:.  A view from above the Fremont River looking towards Capitol Dome.  The black boulders are found throughout the park, they are volcanic in nature and were rounded during the last ice age. 


Hickman Bridge - Hickman Bridge Trail:  A 2 mile round trip hike takes you on a loop trail to Hickman Bridge, a large rock arch carved out from the Navajo Sandstone. 

Hickman Bridge Trail:   Nancy takes a break in a weathered out rock alcove along the Hickman Bridge trail. 


Pendleton Barn - Historic Fruita District:  Part of the Guifford Homestead,  Pendleton Barn looks especially quaint when cast against the dramatic backdrop of Capitol Reef National Park's Fruita Cliffs.


Waterpocket Fold - Scenic Drive :   The Waterpocket Fold is Capitol Reef's defining geologic feature.  This monoclinal fold extends for nearly 100 miles (160 km) in the semi-arid plateau of the central part of the state with dramatic parts of it seen via three scenic routes in the park.


The Castle A nice view of a columnar rock precipice known as "The Castle" can be seen directly across from the parks visitor center.


Behunin Cabin - Fruita District:   This cabin was built in 1882 and was once inhabited by a family of 11 settlers!  Floodwaters soon destroyed everything but the cabin shortly thereafter. 



Panorama Point:  Late day light illuminates this scene as viewed from Panorama Point located near the Visitor Center.  


Sulfur Creek Canyon:  Some of the oldest rocks in the park are exposed at the bottom of the canyon, cut deep by Sulfur Creek. 


Sunset Point - Scenic View 1An expansive view from Sunset Point as the sun begins to set.  The Henry Mountains are shown in the distance.


Sunset Point - Scenic View 2A wider angle view from sunset point featuring the Henry Mountains in the distance.


Sunset Point - Scenic View 3 A wonderful view of the Henry's and canyons from Sunset Point.


Sunset Point - Scenic View 4 One last look from Sunset Point as the sun begins to dip below the horizon. 


Chimney Rock:   An after sunset view of the popular Chimney Rock near the western edge of the park.


Notom-Bullfrog-Burr Trail Loop Drive - Capitol Reef National Park

Cathedral Valley Loop Drive - Capitol Reef National Park

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