Tag Archives: Capitol Gorge

April 30, 2014 "Great overlook," second day, Beehive Traverse, Capitol Reef National Park.

The Most Beautiful Hike You’ve Never Heard Of: Crossing Utah’s Capitol Reef

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By Michael Lanza

We enter a steep, claustrophobically narrow gully, looking up at boulders that appear barely glued in place by a mortar of dried mud. Ready to rain sandstone jihad upon us, they send a silent message that we have taken a wrong turn in this unnamed side canyon in the wilds of southern Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park and should retreat—immediately. This seems about as likely to be our route as we are likely to run into a fish plucking a harp out here in the high desert. Continue reading →

March 5, 2014 Near Frying Pan Trail.

Photo Gallery: Exploring the Wild Playground of Capitol Reef National Park

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By Michael Lanza

Only in southern Utah, home to America’s greatest concentration of national parks, could a place like Capitol Reef National Park remain relatively unknown. But that’s good for those of us who like parks where you see few other people on the trails—if any—and where the scenery just keeps getting more unbelievable around every bend. Through many visits over the years, including the past two years in spring with my family, I’ve had the opportunity to explore much of its backcountry, from the wild contours of rippled sandstone towers to the tightest slot canyons. And our kids have loved our adventures here. Continue reading →

October 20, 2012 Alex in Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef N.P.

Plunging Into Solitude: Dayhiking, slot canyoneering, and backpacking in Capitol Reef

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By Michael Lanza

We stand on the rim of an unnamed slot canyon in the backcountry of Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park, in a spot that just a handful of people have seen before us. We’ve arrived here after hiking about two hours uphill on the Navajo Knobs Trail, and then heading off-trail, navigating a circuitous route up steep slickrock and below a sheer-walled fin of white Navajo Sandstone hundreds of feet tall, stabbing into the blue sky. Now I peer down at the narrow, deep, and shadowy crack that we have come to rappel into, and feel a little flush of anxiety. Continue reading →