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Trip Report to Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands

Trip Report to Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands

Sep 18th, 2011, 05:23 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Trip Report to Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands

Just returned from a fantastic trip to Capitol Reef and Moab and want to thank everyone so much for all their help and guidance. I ESPECIALLY want to thank you for all your encouragement to do Delicate Arch. I’m happy to report that I did the hike and it was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be, and the reward…….what can I say that hasn’t already been said before?

Day 1 - Spent two nights at Muley Twist Inn in Teasdale. Beautiful b and b with a great wraparound front porch with rocking chairs. The owner was an art and home-ec major, which means that the décor and food were wonderful. Ate dinner the first night at Café Diablo. Very good. Wish we had sat outside though.

Day 2 - Visited “Robber’s Roost” bookstore. Great little shop, wonderful atmosphere. Hiked Grand Wash Trail. Wasn’t able to do Capitol Gorge as the road was closed due to rain. Apple pie at Gifford Farmhouse and visited the old schoolhouse, the orchard, and viewed the petroglyphs. Then a beautiful drive on Highway 12 to Boulder and part of the Burr Trail. We were amazed at how the landscape changes. Early dinner at Hell’s Backbone, which we greatly enjoyed. Sunset at Sunset Point. Count me among those that love the Capitol Reef area, away from all the crowds.

Day 3 - Spent some time at Goblin Valley, which was quite interesting and bizarre. Tried to do Little Wildhorse Canyon but was advised against it as there was a chance of rain. We walked over to it, thinking maybe we could just peek in a bit, but didn’t realize that you have to climb up over an obstacle to get to it. We weren’t sure we were even in the right spot and since there was a weather warning, we decided to skip it. We took the Scenic Byway 128 into Moab. Those scenic drives don’t mess around. Wow. Fisher Towers was just beautiful. Stayed at Gonzo Inn -- very comfortable beds.

Day 4 - Moab Music Festival grotto concert. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime magical experience.

Day 5 - Delicate Arch. Yay! I did it! As I said before, what a payoff! We also did Landscape Arch. Rested up at the hotel and then came back for sunset at the Windows. Equally beautiful was the full moon at Balanced Rock.

Day 6 - Pretty cloudy today. Dead Horse Point in the morning. We didn’t do sunrise, but I can only imagine how amazing that must be. We also did Mesa Arch at Island in the Sky, Shafer Canyon overlook and Grand View Point, at which point it started to pour. We drove out to Red River Ranch to check out the movie museum and then back to the hotel where we ordered a pizza.

Day 7 - Back to Salt Lake City where we had lunch at The Red Iguana. Great Mexican food close to the airport.

It was a wonderful trip - beautiful part of our country. Thanks again to everyone for helping me plan it. We will have to come back again and this time do Zion and Bryce.
blackmons is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 02:50 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Glad you had a wonderful trip, Thanks for reporting it makes me want to plan another trip to the area.
emalloy is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 07:19 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Having been in Capitol Reef are three times and all three times planned on eating at either Hell's Backbone Grill or Cafe Diablo and I just got into the sights more than the food. Could you elaborate a little on those two?
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 07:19 AM
  #4  
 
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Capitol Reef area**
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 07:22 AM
  #5  
 
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I am glad you did Delicate. Did you do it a sunset?

Little Wildhorse has a fairly big parking area. You have to walk a little ways in a wash then you come to the entrance, which does look tough, but it isn't at all once you figure it out. It is hard to figure out where to start. I imagine there weren't many people there since rain was a factor. It is easy to see when other people are coming and going in and out. It is usually busy.
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 07:23 AM
  #6  
 
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Thanks for reporting back! Looks like you covered a lot of ground and hit all the high points of the area!

Utahtea
utahtea is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 07:40 AM
  #7  
 
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I too am interested in when you went to Delicate Arch.

Any chance of seeing photos?

Good to see you had an excellent trip.
Myer is offline  
Sep 19th, 2011, 11:25 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Thank you so much for your report. It sounded like the perfect vacation. You got in all the important stuff. SO glad you took the challenge for Delicate Arch. We knew you'd be glad.
InSandy is offline  
Sep 20th, 2011, 08:24 AM
  #9  
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We did the hike to Delicate Arch in the morning -- I think it was about 9:00. As much as I would have loved to see the sunset, I wanted to do the hike when it was cooler and I had energy. I was worried that if I waited until sunset I would have already been worn out from all the other sites. I thought it was still absolutely beautiful in the morning.

I've never posted pictures before so I hope this works. I'm not a photographer. I took way too many shots of some things and then none of others. Here's the link. I guess you have to copy and paste it. If anyone has a better method, let me know.

http://tinyurl.com/3gqg3cf

I also don't remember the details of our meals at the two above-mentioned restaurants. Cafe Diablo's food was extremely inventive. Lots of creative combinations, beautiful presentations, very fresh. There's a little garden out front that they make use of in their entrees. Despite the upscale dining, the atmosphere is very casual. There was a large group of motorcyclists while we were there. Unfortunately, we were seated in the back room which I don't think had much atmosphere. There were tables outside under heat lamps that would have been nicer. Hell's Backbone was great. We were there quite early so there were no crowds and no wait. The setting is very nice. They were setting up for a wedding outside our window. It's mostly organic food, also very fresh and creative. I believe I had the trout. I bought their cookbook while I was there, which the owner autographed. I guess this spot has been discovered by Oprah. Both places were very expensive, but we really wanted to experience them and did mostly picnics the rest of our trip, which is my favorite thing to do anyways!

Thanks again for all your help planning a trip in this beautiful part of the country.
Laurie
blackmons is offline  
Sep 20th, 2011, 09:02 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Great pictures! Now I can't wait to get back. Thank you for sharing.

Utahtea
utahtea is offline  
Sep 20th, 2011, 11:13 AM
  #11  
 
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Great photos!!!!

Thanks for sharing.
Myer is offline  
Sep 20th, 2011, 12:46 PM
  #12  
 
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Nice Pics!!
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 20th, 2011, 06:14 PM
  #13  
 
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I love all your cairn shots
And you are a great photographer. Loved the angles and interesting inclusions.
InSandy is offline  
Sep 20th, 2011, 06:48 PM
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Love the pictures! That is such a beautiful part of the country. It sounds like you had a great trip.
Toucan2 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2011, 06:23 AM
  #15  
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Thanks. Hard to get a bad picture! Sun, clouds, morning, evening -- it's all good. I love how the colors are constantly changing with the light and time of day. Truly magical.
blackmons is offline  
Oct 1st, 2011, 12:53 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Thanks, so much, for your great report and beautiful pictures! We have been to this area once before at the end of Dec. and, now, are returning to Moab for a week at the end of Oct. If you have any other ideas, please let us know.
virginiafish is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 05:18 AM
  #17  
 
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I just got back to your TR to see your pictures. They are great and I really want to do Delicate Arch next time, hopefully this fall.

Thanks for posting them!
emalloy is offline  
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