Capitol Reef National Park
I think I have a new favorite National Park in Utah. Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands…the competition is stiff. But Capitol Reef National Park is up there for me now. It has great slot hikes like Zion NP, stunning arches like Arches NP, and the hiking is every bit as good as in Canyonlands NP. What Capitol Reef National Park doesn’t have that the other parks often excel at is hordes of tourists.
I love Zion NP but as I encounter throngs of people after an awesome hike there I can feel my nature high ebbing away bit by bit. There is something magical about not seeing another soul on an all day hike. The flip side is if you slip and break your leg, you may not see another soul for a day or two! So be careful and always sign the trail register and stick a note on your dash with your expected return date. I never used to take these basic precautions but Aaron Ralston cured me of my carelessness.
I love the international vibe of our National Parks. At breakfast one morning in Capitol Reef I could hear French accents and German accents. And even as a confirmed introvert, I look forward to meeting folks from other countries on the trail. And the people I meet way way in the backcountry are almost always Europeans. Germans, Swiss, Austrians…they do some serious hiking.
All images were shot with the Leica Q or Sony RX100III.