There is a secret here at Capitol Reef National Park.

There is a world that waits beyond the sites and sounds of the highway.

Capitol Reef is one of one of the most overlooked national parks, even though it is included in The Big 5 of Utah. Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Zion, and Capitol Reef are included in this Grand Circle road trip. But time and time again I hear people say they just drove right through.

I know better.

Like many national parks, there is a mysterious quality about Capitol Reef that brings out the explorer in all of us. Have you ever climbed up a waterfall or explored slot canyons? Have you listened for echos, or walked in the footsteps of ancient people or the pioneers that made this home? If it tempts your curiosity, then this is the perfect spot for you.

We are notorious for slowing down and while this way might not necessarily be a better way,  it is ours.

Grand Wash was a great place to start.

To think at anytime, these washes could have water in them. For now we will just climb over waterfalls and go with our own flow.

We will climb up to Cassidy Arch, with the hope that the rain continues to stay away. If you look close you will see that I made it. Meanwhile, there was an echo coming off the wall behind me saying, close enough, enough, enough. He took the photo anyway.

Pleasant Creek took us into a remote area of the park that was a little wetter, and paramount for life in this otherwise dry place.

Along the way, we checked to see if anyone might be home. This ranch, while dated and a little rough around the edges, told us of another time, and introduced us to their way of life.

Many of the canyon walls, along the washes, had names inscribed from before this was a National Park. It was a Pioneer Register, and the only way they could share that they had passed through. These particular names were surveyors from that time. To think, now we walk it with cameras in our cell phones.

And there are always wildflowers, rain or shine.

Wind Kisses, Donna

Ann-Christine thank you for the inspiration about favorite spots..for me.

More on Capitol Reef:

Cathedral Valley here.

Surprise Canyon

Waterpocket Fold