Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

After an awesome hike at Lower Calf Creek Falls and night camping in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Kai and I hit the road early so we could squeeze in a morning exploring at Capitol Reef National Park. We planned to stay in Moab that night, so we had a lot of driving ahead of us, with a beautiful national park stop planned to break up the drive!This was the portion of the trip we were most excited to cruise through. If you follow Route 12 to UT-24 between Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park, you will be treated to a stunning, scenic drive that winds down through a canyon, up into a mountain pass, through aspen groves, white caps, and changing climate zones.A massively fun adventure with the roof down and music pumping!It was spectacular to watch the greenery change and become sparse as we gained elevation, with the feeling the air get thinner and cooler on our faces as we drove.At one point, we were in tanks and shorts, surrounded by snow on the ground outside the car, only to drive down another long, winding road and find ourselves back in the hot, rocky dessert! Which pretty much sums up our trip, weather wise! Quite manic, with some days in shorts and tanks, and others in scarves, warm jackets and thick hats!As we rolled into Capitol Reef National Park, we debated which hike we should do. Grand Wash, Hickman Bridge and Cohab Canyon had all been recommended to us, but in the end we decided to hike Hickman Bridge as it promised stunning scenery and access to a large arch at the end of the trail.

Hickman Bride Trail is a moderate to easy 2 mile round trip hike. The trailhead is just two miles east of the Capitol Reef visitor center, and is fairly easy to climb if you’re able bodied. We hit the trail, Kai in charge of snapping photos for a change! Honestly, although there wasn’t much elevation gain, the landscape evolved around us, and was diverse enough to make the hike adventurous and fun, despite its short nature.We scurried under huge overhangs. And up a rocky ravine to a huge, natural arch.

it was the first arch we’d seen on the trip (Arches National Park is coming up!!) and so we took ample photos to commemorate the moment! For our return hike, I hopped behind the lens :) The day was glorious, and despite wanting to mosey on to Moab, we moseyed slowly, taking in all of the beautiful scenery of Capitol Reef National Park. HELLO WORLD! :D After a lazy hour meandering along Hickman Bridge Trail, we hit the road once again, east bound!One of my favorite parts of driving in Utah were the street signs! They were all adorable beehives!! Why you ask?!The beehive is actually the state symbol of Utah, as the honeybee to represents hard work, which the early Mormon settlers saw as an example of a properly run society. Kai thought I was crazy when I kept pointing out the beehives, but low and behold, that’s exactly what they were!

On to Moab!

xo Ali

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