Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef was the 3rd national park out of Utah’s Mighty 5 I visited within 1 year. Formed about 65 million years ago (even before dinosaurs roamed the Earth) by a massive “water fold” in the earth, Capitol Reef used to be a formidable barrier for East-West travel stretching for 90 miles North to South in Utah. The Spanish and the French who approached it from the West couldn’t find a way through. It was a famous hide out for a long time for Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch. It wasn’t until the 1850s that the lands around Capitol Reef and Grand Staircase Escalante were explored, mapped, and documented by white settlers (read Mormons searching for land where they could live undisturbed). #utah #lifeelevated #mighty5

East Entrance

Hickman’s Bridge Trail – rated moderate, I’d say everyone can do it if you take your time.

You CAN’T walk over this “bridge” but you CAN walk over Cassidy’s Arch.

The famous water fold and rising of the land. Not to forget all these parks around Utah and Colorado lie on the edges of the Colorado Plateau.

The Great Wash and the Narrows Trail were Butch Cassidy’s famous hide out! Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch were the largest outlaw group in the West at times numbering over 100 people. They knew the ins and outs of the narrows and the canyons very well and used them to escape the posses sent to capture them. The stories of Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch I read reminded me of the Brazilian outlaw Lampiao and his gang roaming the sertao of Northeastern Brasil about the same time.

Narrows and Great Wash is an easy trail with very beautiful views that brought back memories of all the Western movies Dad used to watch when I was a kid.

Cassidy’s Arch trail is 1.5 miles, rated strenuous and on the map it says it takes about 3 hours round trip. We were expecting rain so I knew I had little time left to run up, take a peek and make it down in record speed. The trail is not hard but it is a goat path and there is a large elevation gain over a short period of time in the beginning (1000ft in 30min). Since there are massive vertical drops, I’d say it is not for the faint of heart or those afraid of heights.

First view of the arch

Yes, you bet I walked over that arch!

As I was looking down at the cars from Cassidy’s Arch, raindrops started falling from the sky. The car parking was at the bottom of a wash and a flash flood was very likely. I had 1000 ft descent over slick rock in front of me, but damn I had to get the car out of that dirt road before it flooded. Run, Forest, run, once again… (no, I don’t run my trails by choice…unless it starts raining in the desert…) #runforrestrun

Driving out of the park after hiking 3 trails in 3 hours, it finally started raining and there is nothing more beautiful than stormy skies in the desert! ⛈

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