For our last day at Capital Reef National Park we did the short and easy Capital Gorge Trail. It is just under a 4 km return trip with almost no elevation change. At the end you can climb up to view some cascading pools called The Tanks.
Another great day as we head towards the park.
To get to the trail you must first drive to the end of the park’s scenic drive.
The Capital Gorge was originally the only way to get through the Reef before Highway 24 was built. It was a very narrow road in spots. To get to the trailhead you can drive partway up the gorge on the old dirt road.
The scenery on the drive in was as good as that on the trail itself. There were lots of high walls, narrow sections and blind corners.
Thankfully we only met a few cars.
The parking lot was pretty full.
It was pretty hot in here. We started to hike at about 12:30. There was still a bit of shade in places.
But mostly we baked and drank a lot of water, even on this short hike.
The trail itself was pretty empty except for one large group that went by.
We stopped at what is called the “Pioneer Registry” where early travellers would scratch their names on the wall. It is a $250 fine if you do it now.
Some people used a series of dots to create letters. I suppose they thought they would last longer but they were very hard to read.
A few spots on the trail were kind of rough.
We found shade where we could.
This is the spot where you climb to the tanks. The main trail does go farther but this was enough for us.
They say it is only 0.2 miles up but the trail was very rocky, narrow and had a few cliff edges.
There is a whole line of pools that cascade down to the gorge floor. This narrow slot is part way up.
Below it was this pool.
Which then went down to another pool that emptied through a small bridge.
And onwards to the floor.
Jennie waited above while I scrambled around for some pictures.
We then climbed higher to some more tanks.
Jennie didn’t want to climb around this edge so I went a bit higher.
Heading back down to the gorge floor, this is the view up to the tanks.
By now we were very hot and the sun had moved so there was very little shade, We found an overhang to have a snack.
Heading back home out the scenic drive.
On the way back the CRV odometer hit a milestone mark.
That is not really much for a 14 year old car but when we had two cars we would always use the other for long trips. That also doesn’t count the 56000 km that the CRV has been towed by the RV since the odometer doesn’t move when towed.
Tomorrow we are moving on to Bryce Canyon,