Capitol Reef is kind of the red headed stepchild of Utah’s National Parks. I can’t say I was too excited to visit there in the first place, especially since it is literally out in the middle of nowhere and is a fairly significant drive from Salt Lake City (where I dropped my friend back off), and from Bryce Canyon (where I was headed next)… buuuuuuuut since I’m determined to see all of the national parks, I went out of my way to get there.
I stayed in Bicknell, UT which is a small little dirt town outside of Capitol Reef, at some place called the Aquarius Inn Motel, which was quite the experience. Not only was there a VCR hooked up and ready to roll inside my room, but the motel itself rented out VHS tapes! Even though I felt like there was a strong possibility I would be raped and murdered by the cow folk while I slept, it was still fairly close to the park, and very cheap. There was a breakfast place next door (wish I could remember the name), that may have been part of the motel in some way, that had one of the most amazing breakfasts I’ve ever had, and it only cost $3.50!
The best part of this portion of my trip was definitely waking up unraped and unmurdered, since Capitol Reef National Park left a lot to be desired. The road you drive on is scary as hell and is prone to washouts during flash floods. Unfortunately the day I was there it was overcast with sporadic rain, so being swept away by a flood was definitely my main concern. I half assed a couple of hikes, one towards Hickman Bridge, and the other towards the Cassidy Arch, but both times it started to rain so I had to turn around due to the reasons above.
I did complete one short hike out to Chimney Rock, but it was pretty meh. There’s really nothing in this park that you can’t catch at Arches or Canyonlands. If I were to have come here without seeing either of those parks it might have been fun and interesting rather than the lackluster time that it actually was. To be fair, the weather prevented me from doing a lot of the hikes I had wanted to do, so had it not been for that then perhaps my opinion would be different.