We departed extra early from Moab as we wanted to secure a campsite at Capital Reef National Park. The campgrounds in the park are first come, first serve and usually fill before 11:00 am. It’s always nice to be inside the park just for the sake of convenience. On our early drive we made a quick stop in Green River, Utah (population 973) for coffee and breakfast. All was well until I re-locked the camper hatch and severely bent the Vistabule key that unlocks the doors and the hatch. We have a spare key but it’s safely hidden in a drawer at home. Ugh! With all the doors locked we had to get another key or find another place to sleep. The bent key put a big snag in our plans. Fortunately, we had cell service at the rest stop and while Stephen held the key, I googled hardware stores in Green River. What a relief to find an Ace just a mile down the road. Stephen walked into Ace and 20 minutes later (after the owner searched high and low for a comparable blank key) returned with two new keys. One for the key chain and one for the glove box. We arrived in Capital Reef just as the campground closed but were directed to a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) overflow site just a few miles away. Maneuvering dirt roads and potholes through the area was tricky but we landed in a perfect spot under a pine tree with a view. Time to relax after a crazy day.
After settling at the BLM site we had a great time hiking in Capital Reef through slot canyons. As we hiked I noticed some of the trees were still brilliant yellow while others had dropped all their leaves. A beautiful sight either way.
After our fill of Capital Reef we meandered southwest to Bryce Canyon National Park which is hyped as one of the most scenic parks. It’s hard to imagine something even more amazing than what we’ve already seen. Upon recommendation from another blogger we drove to Inspiration Point for our first view of Bryce Canyon. This blogger said viewing Inspiration Point is like eating dessert first. We found the last parking space and as we stepped off the path and looked over the canyon we stood in shock. Photos cannot capture everything but here’s what we saw on our first glimpse. There is intricately carved sandstone in pinks and oranges with sun reflecting across the Canyon. Oh my…it was dessert first!
Afterwards we hiked to the bottom and photographed our way back to the top.
This was such a beautiful hike that we returned the next day and repeated it.
We still have Zion to visit and then the mighty five Utah gems are complete.