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Category Archives: Landscape Photography

After spending a good part of the day driving around Capital Reef National Park we headed for Bryce. We took highway 12 over the mountains. The evening before we had talked with someone who had just arrived from Bryce and she said they closed the park for a while because of all of the snow. We did encounter quite a bit of snow as we drove over the mountains but once over the mountains there wasn’t any snow. My wife was concerned about the road because in places we were driving on narrow pieces of land with big drop offs on both sides. The Henry Mountains are in the background. A few days before we were looking at them from Canyonlands.

 

After our hike to Hickman Bridge we stopped at the Visitors Center. The place was packed and it turned out that many of the schools were on spring break. That’s why there have been so many people visiting the parks. We took the Scenic Road and then followed Capital Gorge Road to the end where we planned on taking a hike. Capital Gorge Road is dirt and not all that wide in some places. A sign at the start of the road indicated that campers over 17 feet should not enter this road. When we reached the end of the road the parking lot was packed and a large camper was stuck across the road. No one could get in or out. A bunch of people were working to get the camper free but it was slow going. Apparently the driver had attempted to turn around and dropped the front tires over a sharp drop off. We decided to forget the hike and managed to turn around. In spite of the issues it was a very nice drive through the canyons.

 

 

After leaving the Visitors Center we took the Scenic Drive through the Park. It was a beautiful day. As we drove through Fruita the fruit trees were in bloom.

Early the next morning we headed back to Capital Reef. Our goal was to hike the Hickman Bridge Trail. Even though it was early the parking lot was filling up. On of the things we learned on this trip is that if you want a place to park get their early. The trail was well marked and there were a fair number of people on it. Fortunately when we reached Hickman Bridge we had the place to ourselves for a while. However it wasn’t long before the selfie group turned up.

More photos from capital Reef can be found on my website.

As we drove past one of the orchards on the way to the trailhead we encountered a bunch of Wild Turkeys. We, along with a number of others, stopped to get some photos. It was mating season and the males were putting on quite a display. We also stopped for a few photos of the petroglyphs.

After Leaving Goblin Valley we headed toward Torrey, Utah where we would spend the night. It was late in the day when we reached Capital Reef and the light on the rocks was spectacular. We stopped many times for pictures. For some reason my wife and I had negative views of Capital Reef from an earlier trip but as it turned out we didn’t allow nearly enough time to enjoy the park.

When driving from Arches National Park to Capital Reef National Park Goblin Valley State Park offers a break in the trip and a chance to walk through some very strange rock formations. The day we were there the place was packed and we managed to get one of the last parking spots. The first photo provides an overview of the area. If you look closely you can find over 40 people in the photo. One of the games you can play with kids is to try and identify what the rock formations look like.

More photos from Goblin Valley can be found on my website.

Island in the Sky is an island in Canyonlands National Park. It is a mesa that sits over a 1,000 feet above the surrounding land. It has nice paved roads to the major overlook points. In the old days ranchers ran cattle on the land. It was easy because access to the Island is via a small neck of land only 20 feet wide. Put the cattle on the island and fence off the neck and they were in business. The views from Island in the Sky are spectacular.

More photos from Island in the Sky can be found on my website.

After our short hike to the top of Whale Rock we continued down the road to the Upheaval Dome trailhead. We managed to grab the last parking spot in the picnic area. This turned out to be a little more strenuous as hikes go but it had some great views and some challenges. At one point I got lost and headed out on what appeared to be the trail but as usual my wife was right I was going the wrong way. We seemed to be leapfrogging a tour group. They were on Whale Rock and they followed us up to Upheaval Dome.

We had planned more hiking in Island in the Sky but parking was an issue. When we left Upheaval Dome the picnic area was full as was the overflow parking lot and people were still pulling in. We found that all of the parking spots were taken at the trailheads. We drove around a bit but nothing freed up so we headed out to our next destination.

More photos from Island in the Sky can be found on my website.

After leaving Moab we drove over to the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. Our first hike of the day was to the top of Whale Rock. On some of the hiking books it showed folks walking up the rock holding on to a fixed line and we wondered it this might be a little too strenuous. As it turned out it was an easy hike offering some great views of the surrounding countryside.

More photos from Island in the Sky can be found on my website.

More photos from Arches National Park can be found on my website.

I can’t help but think this is the parks salute to our so called president.

This is one of of my favorite shots. Balanced Rock with a dark sky in the background.

A piece of wood found along the trail.

A view from the Primitive Trail overlooking the Park.

View from the trail to Pine Tree Arch.

Park Avenue is one of the first turnouts when entering the park.

Indian Paintbrush was one of the few flowers blooming in the park.

Fiery Furnace is one of the great hikes in the park. Unfortunately the park did not have staff available for tours.

View from the Broken Arch Trail.

This Raven was waiting for us at the car as we were preparing to leave the Park.