"Glen Canyon National Recreation Area" Top 5 Page for this destination Arizona Things to Do Tip by richiecdisc

Arizona Things to Do: 555 reviews and 1,035 photos

  no, not just a mirage
by richiecdisc

It is not hard to imagine the colorfully hued rock formations of Utah being submerged under a sea of blue. They would perhaps fit better there than sitting incongruously on the planet's exterior. Capitol Reef National Park's name comes from its hallmark feature, the Waterpocket Fold. This 100 mile unbroken buckling of the Earth's surface was called a reef by early settlers referring to its impenetrability. Yet, the least famous and visited of Utah's National Parks is much more than this unusual wrinkle on the planet's crust; it is valley full of life with a river flowing through it. The Fremont River sustained the Navajo from whom the sandstone forming the park's colorful features takes its name and Mormon's who forged a land of fruit and plenty in an otherwise unlikely place.

The park's lack of visitors is one of its great pleasures, with one of the more developed but least used hiking networks among Utah parks. Combine this with surreal scenic drives as well as well-preserved remnants of early Mormon settler life and one can easily be wooed by an idyllic pastoral quality, where fruit orchards and rainbow rocks mix effortlessly in a place the Navajo so eloquently called The Land of the Sleeping Rainbow.

Directions: Located right off scenic route 89 in the north of the state, heading for the Utah border. It's five hours from Phoenix but we visited this area via Utah later in the trip.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 13, 2009
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