Utah’s Scenic Highway 24 Features the Stunning Capitol Reef NP… The Backroads Series

Utah’s scenic Highway 24 is worth traveling over on its own, but Capitol Reef National Park makes it special.

Peggy and I said goodbye to Highway 50 in the small Utah town of Sigurd with Capitol Reef National Park as our destination. We had been to the Park before and were eager to return. Our previous trip covered only a small section of Highway 24, however. This time we were determined to drive the whole road as part of our backroads adventure and were pleased to discover it, too, was quite scenic. I’ll start with photos we took before and after Capitol Reef NP and then focus in on the Park. These photos were taken by both Peggy and me.

Three photos from along Highway 24 west of Capitol Reef National Park:

Three photos from along Highway 24 east of Capitol Reef National Park:

Most people familiar with the national parks of the Southwest will quickly recognize the Grand Canyon, Arches and Bryce. Maybe not so much Capitol Reef. That’s too bad; it’s quite stunning. Like the other parks of the Southwest, it is made up primarily of sedimentary rocks that were laid down over a period of 200 million years in ancient rivers, swamps, Sahara-size deserts and shallow oceans. Unlike the rocks in the other parks, which have a layered cake look— like the rocks east of the park shone above— Capitol Reef resembles a 100-mile warp in the earth. It’s a monocline known as the Waterpocket Fold. Sixty to seventy million years ago, an ancient fault in the area was re-activated and the layers of rock on the west side of the fold were lifted some 7000 feet higher than the layers on the east side. Erosion has since created the fantastic rock forms found in the Park today. Following are a few of the photos that Peggy and I took in the park:

And a final view. If you find yourself in Utah, Peggy and I highly recommend a visit to Capitol Reef National Park.


Blog a Book Tuesday: Steve and I split up the Sierra Trek route for a review, each covering 40 miles in 3 days. Steve claims he is chased by a hawk, comes across migrating rattlesnakes, and has to pee around his camp to scare off the bears. I wonder what he has been smoking. As for me, I begin to comprehend how crazy the idea is but come off the trip on an absolute high. My plan is to finish the final 20 miles the following weekend…

31 thoughts on “Utah’s Scenic Highway 24 Features the Stunning Capitol Reef NP… The Backroads Series

    • The things we remember, Ray. Food, a smile, an incredible view, a first kiss. My apple pie was in Banff, way back when I went on my first backpack trip ever. Then there was Zim’s apple pie in San Francisco even earlier, and a piece I had in a small town east of San Diego. I don’t remember the town, but the pie. Ah… 🙂 –Curt

  1. Just fantastic photos, Curt. I’d love to be on the road myself, but at present my car is in Bandera, I’m in Bulverde, and the order of the day is engine replacement. Mistakes were made in the installation of a new alternator, including breaking the water pump and failing to reconnect some hoses before putting me and Princess back on the road. I’ll get a rental, head for home, and then come back for my car once they have the new engine installed — and double checked their work!

    Anyway,I have my iPad all charged up, and your photos to enjoy. If nothing else, I may get caught up with my blog reading.

    • First, so sorry about the car, Linda. That can be a real bummer. Even more so when it’s because of sloppy work! The fan on our heater just went caput. Bad in winter but not as serious as your problem.
      Capitol Reef is impressive. This was our third trip through there, but I have never given it the time it deserves. Next time it will be a week instead of a day!
      I never get quite caught up on my blog reading responsibilities. Or I do for a day and then behind I go again. 🙂 –Curt

  2. Curt, the beauty of the places you visit touch me deeply. It is magnificent and
    yet spreads such quiet. They just are.
    That you and Peggy are excellent photographers does help a lot, you know where
    to direct your camera.

    I am not jealous but would have loved to see some of these places in reality.


  3. The colors at this park are outstanding — and varied. Thanks for letting us see what you saw — our pics are different. I’d love to return to Utah and do all the parks one more time. Maybe that should be on our bucket list!

    • I don’t think you can ever go wrong visiting Utah’s scenic areas, Rusha. 🙂 Each time we go, we see different things, as well as our old favorites. It’s always on our bucket list! –Curt

  4. These are phenomanal pics Curt. The ragged red color is always so vivid in my mind and memory. Gotta get to Bryce someday!!! How did I miss all of these?!!!! ❤️😜😜😜😜 WP reader? Maybe I have to go to email but am trying not to overload my inbox! ❤️

    • Things get buried on the Reader fast. If I don’t check it regularly, I get hopelessly behind in three or four days. I’m not much better on Emails. I usually check to see if there is anything I need to respond to, but… Usually when I get up to a thousand, I clean it out. Sigh. and thanks. Highway 24 is special. –Curt

    • Smiling about the Happy New Year Gunta. I have the same problem. After x number of comments, it becomes impossible to remember. 🙂 But there can never be too many, so right back at you. –Curt

  5. My husband and I went here a while back and we loved it. It was gorgeous and there was almost no one there. We went on a hike through the old highway and saw initials people shot with their guns from long ago. It was a great visit and I would love to see it again.

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