Tag Archives: national park

Capitol Reef National Park

How’s it going?

As usual, my summer is cruising. July is looking hectic (and fun!), so before I get too far ahead of myself I want to rewind to the beginning of May. I spent a weekend exploring Capitol Reef National Park in Utah with a couple of good friends. Capitol Reef is relatively isolated, and doesn’t get near as much attention as some of the other Utah Parks. We hiked in and slept under the open (billion star) sky the first night, and the second, we camped just outside the park so that we could enjoy a campfire and walk in for sunrise on some of the ‘temples’ in the Park. Lots of laughs, chips and whiskey were shared on this trip…

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Three sets of animal tracks in the mud. It’s not every day…

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We slept right there…

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Some of the best hikes I have experienced are in Utah. There are always fun challenges, like “chimneying” down walls in a slot canyon, walking through water, or hopping over giant boulders (or going under them).

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Just driving through the Park. The vehicle in the top photo here was partially buried by what appeared to be a flood at some point.

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Ah, Cathedral Valley. A MUST-SEE when visiting this Park.

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An unexpected attraction in the Park (there were several of these, including a massive sinkhole), was Glass Mountain. This 15 foot mountain is made of large selenite (gypsum) crystals… From Wikipedia, “Gypsum was deposited as sea water evaporated 165 million years ago and then buried under other sediments. The gypsum migrated upwards through fractures in the sediments forming layers and, very rarely, domes like the Glass Mountain. There is only one exposed selenite plug within the park and one other just outside which has been reduced to ground level by collectors.” Oh my gosh, it was so cool.

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Camp vibes.

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Sunrise on Temple of the Moon and Temple of the Sun. Worth it.

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Desert roads heading back to I70…

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New Mexico | Part Two

Did ya miss Part One? Click here!

White Sands National Park is unlike any place I have visited before. The gypsum sand dunes are surprisingly easy to walk on, and almost have a clay-like texture. You can bring dogs into the park, too, which is awesome…Merle loved running around on the dunes. We obtained a backcountry permit from the visitor’s center, and walked a mile into the sand and set up camp. This allowed us to fully enjoy sunset and sunrise on the dunes. Being that we were at White Sands in January, we settled in for a damp, chilly night. These adventures are always worth it.

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Little tent, lots of sand.

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Settling in for sunset.

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A couple enjoying sunset on the dunes.

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Crazy city light reflecting in the night sky from Alamagordo.

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…then I woke up at the crack of dawn, shook the ice off the tent, and crawled out to witness sunrise over White Sands. This was the first of many great decisions that day.

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Thanks for scrolling through, hope you enjoyed the snaps!

Emily

 

 

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