Capitol Reef NP

Capitol Reef NP
Capitol Reef NP

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

09-20-2021 Baker Nevada to Torrey Utah

I enjoyed driving on this gorgeous clear day

Traveling east through Utah on Highway 50 is pleasant enough, but not nearly as lonely and dramatic as the Nevada portions of the historic highway.  Still, there are some lovely views.  The highway crosses a large flat basin, with many large farms and ranches dotting the landscape.  Highway 50 merges with I-15 for a few miles before continuing east at Scipio.  The mountains were beautiful and crystal clear.

Once we were on Highway 24 the signs for Capitol Reef National Park were posted every few miles.  This is the main route to Capitol Reef from the west. 

We saw what appeared to be a nice rest area on the north side of the highway and were delighted to find plenty of parking for both our rigs, a beautiful view, and a nice picnic table in the shade.  However, the wind made the weather a bit nippy we didn’t linger long.

When approaching Torrey from the west on Highway 24 it is always thrilling to see the first views of Thousand Lakes Mountain.  The mountain looms from 7,000 feet, where the terrain is craggy and rugged, to alpine meadows and forests at its peak elevation of 11,306 feet.  Thousand Lakes Mountain is notably flat at the summit, which offers up expansive views of the Henry and Tushar mountain ranges, Capitol Reef National Park and the Aquarius Plateau.  When the Fremont River crossing that accesses the back roads to Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef NP, there is another way to get there.  We hope to travel across this mountain sometime during our week in Torrey to see Cathedral Valley.

The first views of red rock cliffs appear a few miles west of Torrey, and while they are beautiful, they are just a tiny taste of what we will see in the next few days as we explore the park.

Dan had made reservations for two sites at Thousand Lakes RV Park many months in advance, and even then there were no sites with full hookups with 50 amp power available.  We were assigned two great sites on the north edge of the park with a gorgeous view and 30 amp power.  We don’t have sewer at our sites, but there are two dumps in the campground. 

The park is quite nice, well maintained and clean, although the sites along this north edge are quite close together.  No matter, since our entry door is very close to our neighbor’s slide, and our neighbors happen to be Dan and Chere

The sites may be close together, but the view from the back of the sites where there are picnic tables and camp fire rings is gorgeous.


Taking Mattie for a short walk around the perimeter of the park I found this lovely desert globe mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua. Sadly, most of the open land just north of the park is privately owned and walking freely requires driving north to get to BLM land.

We settled in to our sites with plenty of time for me to prepare dinner to share at our table.  I made green chile chicken enchiladas back at home so supper was quick and easy.  Chere and I have discussed sharing responsibility for evening meals on this trip, taking turns and sometimes simply eating on our own.  The plan seems to be working well, and it is nice to have a break from dinner cooking sometimes.

It is great to have a chance to share this place with family and we are all looking forward to the next few days here in Torrey as we explore Capitol Reef National Park.



5 comments:

  1. Such clear, bright photos Sue! I love that last one and all your smiles.

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    1. We got a kick out of trying to get that photo, Janna. You should see the outtakes. Lots of laughs. I took photos with both the phone and the camera....that laugh photo was obviously a phone selfie shot.

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  2. Your pictures are wonderful. I loved Capital Reef. Can't wait to go back with you.

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    1. For a minute I thought you were planning to come west and make a trip to Capitol Reef! I figured out that you meant virtually. Either way you are most welcome!

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  3. I really like that last selfie picture. I hope you're having The Best Time exploring the Red Rock area, enjoying time with family, and able to get in some (short) hikes. We loved Capitol Reef. From the looks of that cheek-by-jowl campground, it seems everyone else has, too! Have fun!

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