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

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

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

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.

But I set my pack on the ground and tell my friend, David Gordon, that I want to scramble up to the top of this 12-foot-deep gully for a look around.

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