Tag Archives: Frying Pan Trail
By Michael Lanza
From natural arches, hoodoos, and hanging gardens to balanced rocks and towering mesas, slot canyons and vast chasms, the desert Southwest holds in its dry, searing, lonely open spaces some of America’s most fascinating and inspiring geology. The writer “Cactus Ed” Abbey no doubt had this region in mind when he said there “are some places so beautiful they can make a grown man break down and weep.” Much of it sits protected within southern Utah’s five national parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef.
The good news? Many of the best sights can be reached on dayhikes of anywhere from a couple hours to a full day. Continue reading →
Just skimming some of your stuff on Capitol Reef National Park. My fiancee and I, along with her two girls (age 11 and 12), are planning a family trip to Capitol Reef. The girls are quite athletic. I’d love to take them on dayhikes to some of the less-traveled spots in and around the park. What would you regard as “don’t miss?” We may also bring ropes and harnesses. Thinking of the Stegosaur Canyon trip. Anything else like this with minor rappelling and ropework? I was thinking of calling your guide friend Steve Howe, as well.
Love your blog, Michael. Thanks in advance,
Boise, ID Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
I am taking a trip in April to Capitol Reef National Park and I’m looking for a cool, three-day, two-night backpacking trip to explore some of that country. My wife and I are very experienced, accomplished backpackers and expert at navigation. Do you have any suggestions?
Bozeman, MT Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
Below a deep gash in a 50-foot-tall cliff of golden sandstone, shaded from the low, late-afternoon sun of early spring, I scramble up a steep slab using in-cut holds carved into the soft rock. Ten or 12 feet off the ground, I pull myself over the lip of a ledge to peer into a narrow cut in the earth, a hidden geologic oddity that lures in a certain type of hiker for one reason: because it’s barely wide enough for humans to squeeze through. And I have to smile.
I’m grinning first of all because I’ve found just what we had hoped to see. Water sometimes pools in a couple of potholes near the mouth of this slot canyon, and the air temperature today feels a little too cool to soak ourselves in cold water. Today, though, the sandy-bottomed, giant stone teacups are dry. But secondly, touching me on a more personal level, this canyon’s entrance looks much as I remember it from the first time I hiked through here, 16 years ago this month.
In less than two hours, my impression of this place will be almost completely remade. Continue reading →