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 two 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.
Get a sampler of Capitol Reef in this photo gallery, and then read my feature stories about our two family trips here, and another about a three-day, off-trail traverse of Capitol Reef’s Waterpocket Fold formation that a friend and I made, all of which include more photos and tips on planning your own trip: “Plunging Into Solitude: Dayhiking, Slot Canyoneering, and Backpacking in Capitol Reef,” “Playing the Memory Game in Southern Utah’s Capitol Reef, Escalante, and Bryce Canyon,” and “The Most Beautiful Hike You’ve Never Heard Of: Crossing Utah’s Capitol Reef.” See also this Ask Me post suggesting my favorite dayhikes in the Southwest, and all of my stores about hiking and backpacking in southern Utah at The Big Outside.
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