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Camping and hiking information with tips for parents
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Car Camping

The book of desert adventures
Organ Pipe
Petrified Forest
Walnut Canyon
Joshua Tree
Red Top Mountain
Angel Peak
Montezuma Castle
Montezuma Wells
Arches Nat. Monument
Capital Reef
Natural Bridges
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Car Camping

The book of desert adventures
Capital Reef National Monument

This park is located in central Utah

After a short two day stay, this park has become one of my favorites.
WARNING: There is a road from Bryce National Park to this park but it reaches an elevation of  9700 feet. We discovered this in one heck of a snowstorm (Whoops!).

This park qualifies as a four Roo site
For information on the Roo rating system just click on the Roos!

A highway runs through this park so there are no entrance fees. The Ranger Station is small and a bit old fashioned, but the personell were very friendly and helpful. I got the feeling from my visit that this park isn't as well traveled as most of the parks we visited in Utah.

There are picnic areas available in this park if you seek tables, otherwise there are many nice tun-outs where people were enjoying their lunches during our stay.

This park has some wonderful trails. We had planned to stay only one night until we saw the great day hikes the park offered. The Hickman Bridge trail is two miles round trip. The hike has numbered Me on a really big arch areas of interest so be sure to grab the brochure. This trail leads to a lovely arch. Goosenecks Overlook and Sunset Point trails are in the same area and the total distance if you hike both is under a mile. This hike offers some interesting geological viewpoints as well as some great photo opportunities.
Cohab Canyon trail is a nice hike. It leads to the campground, other trails, and to the Hickman Bridge parking area. We hiked this trail from the Hickman bridge area. The first .25 mile is quite a climb but it's worth the view. The entire trail is 1.75 miles long, but we took another trail,

The Frying Pan Trail leads from Cohab Canyon to The Cassidy Arch and on to another trail. We took the trail this way to the Cassidy Arch (named for Butch Cassidy). The photo of the arch is Cassidy Arch and if you look really closely you'll see me on top! We returned the same way we came, though there is a shorter trail to this area, the way we went was a bit over 8 miles. There were many climbs and descents and I am embarrassed to say that this hike just about left me dead on the trail. It's beautiful, but it is a long 8 miles.
There were many other hikes here under my present limit of 10 miles but we had to move on to the next park. My family plans to return here next spring and I'll complete the trail info then!

The campgrounds were very open so they lacked privacy but everyone was very friendly and we found camping here a pleasant experience. Do be careful to pack up your food well during the day while you are away from your site. There are a herd of deer (yes, deer) that roam through the campground in the late afternoon and the birds aren't shy either. There are some friendly horses corralled near the campground. My son loved the horses and the deer.The Chimney at Capitol Reef There is water at the Ranger Station, at the campgrounds, and at several of the trail heads. The campgrounds also provide flush toilets and running water.

There is a turn-out in the park just for petrogliffs, and you'll read about and see some ruins on the Hickman Bridge Trail.

There is one fee area in the park. This is for the scenic drive. The rock formations here are incredible and the colors of the stone are very photogenic. If you can't hike to the Cassidy Arch you can still see it from a distance on this drive. This little side trip is about 2 miles each way.
The photo on the left is Chimney Rock. You can hike up to it but this photo was taken from the road.

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