The Navaho Knobs Trail is the longest trail in Capitol Reef National Park. The 9.4 mile round trip climbs (relentlessly) about 2,000 feet to an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet. This was no small day hike for us, but we figured we could always turn around if the going got tough.
An hour later (at least) we finally reached the base of The Knobs. The trail led us around to the right where we scrambled up the rocks, as far as we dared, to take in the view.
Lots of excitement on the road Friday. Reg did a great job of remaining calm and confident as he towed us 280 miles in and out of mild snow flurries. Arriving at our campsite, we quickly set up, climbed inside and blasted the heater as we watched the snowfall kick it up a notch. The sun returned at daybreak, highlighting the beautiful backdrop we’ll enjoy the the next few days.
Today’s outing found us climbing up one of the more popular trails Capitol Reef National Park offers. It was Saturday (which we’d forgotten) and a free entry day (which we didn’t know about). We’ve been a little spoiled when it comes to share the trail with so many other folks, but the clumps of walkers eventually spread out and once we reached the top we realized it was all worth it.
We watched the group to the left of the arch practice their rappelling skills as, one by one, they dropped out of sight. A guide explained there was a series of smaller arches they would rappel down before hiking out from below. Keeping both feet on the ground, we reversed our steps back to the trailhead.
Capitol Reef National Park was established to preserve the geologic features of an area created 65 million years ago. Known as the Waterpocket Fold, this giant wrinkle in the Earth’s crust extends almost 100 miles. Ongoing erosion has created the park as we know it today.
Skies remained blue, but wind blew clouds of dust across the landscape.
The wind picked up and the landscape began to change once again as we continued west towards Capitol Reef National Park.
Gusts were expected to blow at thirty miles per hour or more. They were strong enough to push our car about while kicking up some mighty big dust clouds.
We never saw the Capitol Reef park boundaries, but when we came upon this towering display we were pretty sure we had arrived.
A formation known as The Castle towers over the Visitors Center.
The main road through Capitol Reef isn't long and many spectacular formations can be seen from roadside pull-outs.