Today we did an almost all driving trip, looping south around behind Capital Reef.
The Notom Road heads south from the park and follows a long valley. We were always in sight of those great snow capped mountains to the east that we saw yesterday. The first part of the road is paved. This whole trip could easily have been done in any car as even the dirt parts were very smooth.
After a short while we were onto the dirt.
Which was very smooth courtesy of this guy.
The back of Capital Reef is called The Waterpocket Fold which shows how the land was tilted and now all the rocks lie angled upwards.
On the east of the valley was a long ridge.
Another bit of bentonite hills.
After going south about 30 miles we turned west onto the Burr Trail. First you have to climb up the Waterpocket Fold. We are going to climb that red wall in the picture below.
You can see a silver car coming down.
This set of switchbacks is much prettier than the one at Moab because it is enclosed in a high walled valley. It took us a long time to go up because we stopped so often.
There was a geology class on a field trip walking down the road, examining everything.
Near the top we stopped a pullout and had lunch with this view.
Just after the top there is a side road that goes to the Strike Canyon Overlook. You can walk about 6 miles round trip from the main road or if you have a high clearance vehicle you can drive in and only hike about 1/4 mile. It turned out that I think you only need about 5 inches of clearance so a lot of cars could do it.
The road followed what is called Lower Muley Twist Canyon. It was very narrow and a lot of fun to navigate. There were just a few high rocks to watch out for.
We had seen the window, in the above picture, previously as we drove up the valley on the other side.
We noticed what looked like an arch up on a wall.
It turned out to be a double arch.
We parked the car and headed a short distance up a wash.
And then up some slickrock.
To a truly amazing view of the valley we had just driven.
I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The next set works its way around from the north to the east and then south.
I stared for a long time.
The cliff was a bit too much for Jennie so she studied the rocks and plants.
I tore myself away after about 1/2 hour and we headed back out the side road.
Back on the Burr Trail, we climbed up for one last look at the valley.
Another nice smooth dirt road.
And then back to pavement.
After a while we climbed up next to this set of spires.
Jennie wanted a picture of this very thin rock.
We then descended and drove for about 10 miles along the bottom of Long Canyon.
I never got a very good picture of both side while we were in it. We were both getting a bit burned out. This picture is from the switchback as we climbed out at the end.
The view, far off in the distance, of the 9600 foot high mountain pass back on Highway 12 we will have to take to get home.
Getting closer to Boulder.
Back on Highway 12, up we go.
Just outside of Boulder another deer ran across the road in front of us but it was far enough away not to be a problem.
We left the RV around 10 am and got back around 5 pm, a bit overwhelmed by everything we had seen.