Grand Circle Road Trip: Day 4
The drive to our next destination took us along the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This area is massive and covers almost 1 million acres. There's so much diversity in the terrain and we enjoyed viewing it from the road.
The Burr Trail was one of the things I was most looking forward to seeing. It's considered Utah's most scenic drive and Utah is a pretty amazing state as far as scenery goes. We decided to brave the trail in our 2 wheel drive mini van as there had not been any rain and the roads were dry.
The trail did not disappoint and delivered an old piece of Americana in road trip fashion. It was like taking a step back in time into uncharted territory with no one on the road but you. No cell service, quiet, peaceful, open road and an old fashioned map to lead the way.
Each turn revealed new spaces that I had seen before in pictures, but never in person. This shot right here is what I think of when it comes to the Burr Trail. It's iconic and I've seen it a thousand times, but to see it in person is a completely different thing. From here the canyon walls close in on the road, arches appear out of nowhere and the sun comes and goes as the walls of rock hide the trail on both sides.
The Burr Trail switchbacks are crazy and a little scary. I didn't take many pictures because of the anxiety but we all laughed because we were on the edge of these very narrow roads when we came across a little old lady in a big beat up car. We said, if she's got it, then we've definitely got it.
The descent into Capitol Reef was something I'll remember forever! The water pocket fold was in site and we were about to see it up close.
The Capitol Reef sign popped up quick and it was so small we could have missed it. This isn't the big sign you see at the main entrance, it's the small Burr Trail sign off the beaten path.
The water pocket fold is a unique feature at Capitol Reef and features a 100 mile step in the earth's crust along Notom-Bullfrog Road.
The visitors center was quite small, but we never miss one. There's so much to learn about the history of Capitol Reef and we're filling up those National Park Passports.
The small town of Fruita is the heart of Capitol Reef. We stopped by the Gifford House to try one of their famous homemade pies and they did not disappoint. It was a nice reward after a long day in the van.
On the way out of Capitol Reef we stopped to look at the petroglyphs panel.
These historic carving are preserved and can be viewed from a distance. My kids loved seeing the artwork on the rock. We didn't hang around Capitol Reef too long because we had an exciting State Park to visit. After a day in the car we decided to venture to Goblin Valley State Park.
Utah's Big 5 National Parks are amazing, but they have some pretty cool state parks too. Goblin Valley is unlike anything else. The sandstone shapes make you feel like you're walking on Mars.
Before heading in the valley to play I made the kids stop and take a photo. This place was like a big playground and a perfect pit stop.
The sandstone was dry, hard and slightly dusty making it perfect to run around.
This place was one for the imagination. Very quickly small rock formations became houses, lookout towers, other planets and anything the kids could imagine them to be.
We even found the E.T. rock pictured in the background.
After what seemed like hours we were ready to hit the road again. Moab, Utah here we come!
Up Next: Day 5