Capitol Reef National Park

Sixty miles long and just six miles wide, Capitol Reef National Park is in the middle of nowhere Utah. We visited on Halloween which seemed appropriate given it has to be one of the least visited National Parks (this isn’t true, but it feels like it should be). Admittedly, after three weeks in Moab, visiting Arches and Canyonlands, Capitol Reef wasn’t exactly set up for success. It’s a high bar to clear, following its incredible neighbors to the east. However, let’s give credit where credit is due: driving on the canyon floor was really fun and unique.

capitol reef national park van
Vaniel is such a bad ass.

Little bit of history for you: In the 1880’s, Mormon pioneers planted a wide variety of fruit trees, creating extensive orchards in what is now the National Park. If we were there in season, we could have picked fruit off the trees! I would have absolutely loved that.

There was also a pioneer register where early travelers and settlers recorded their names in the slot canyon as they traveled through. 

We hiked to a few natural pools through Capitol Gorge canyon and while Colin was taking a much needed rest, I hiked to the Cassidy Arch. Again, after visiting Arches National Park and discovering my favorite arch in Canyonlands, Cassidy wasn’t exactly ringing my bell. I actually walked around it for twenty minutes, trying to FIND the damned thing . In my defense, you looked down at it and I was expecting something completely different. 

capitol reef national park

cassidy arch capitol reef national park
The lackluster arch.

At the end of the day, we settled down in a remote camping spot outside the park. It was pretty appropriate for Halloween: isolated, somewhat creepy looking, and we added a little mood lighting to Vaniel’s interior for good measure. Pretty standard fare for Halloween, wouldn’t you say?

van life halloween

Up next on adventures with Vaniel: Bryce Canyon National Park! 

Author: Lisa

Over one year in van life and loving it. Hiker, rock climber, novice mountain biker, and professional napper. Official “documenter” of our time with Vaniel. Favorite podcast: Stuff You Should Know.

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