Grand Circle Road Trip: Day 4
Grand Circle Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle  Road Trip
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.  
Grand Circle  Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle  Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle  Road Trip
Grand Circle  Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle Road Trip
Grand Circle Road Trip
On the way out of Capitol Reef we stopped to look at the petroglyphs panel.
Grand Circle Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle Road Trip
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. 
Grand Circle Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle Road Trip
The sandstone was dry, hard and slightly dusty making it perfect to run around. 
Grand Circle Road Trip
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.
Grand Circle Road Trip
Grand Circle Road Trip
We even found the E.T. rock pictured in the background.
Grand Circle Road Trip
Grand Circle Road Trip
After what seemed like hours we were ready to hit the road again. Moab, Utah here we come!
Up Next: Day 5
August 18, 2021 — Heather Moore