Posts Tagged ‘capitol reef’

Teasdale, Utah – Today!

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Teasdale, Utah

Teasdale, Utah

A view of Teasdale, Utah from Boulder Mountain. Thousand Lakes Mountain in the distance.

If there’s one thing you’ll find when visiting Capitol Reef Country—besides adventure—its solitude, and Teasdale is just the kind of small town to relish the slower pace of life. Base yourself here between adventures and soak up all the charm this tiny community has to offer.

Located at the base of Boulder Mountain’s northern slope at just over 7,000 feet, Teasdale also promises awe-inspiring scenery. Central to fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and more, it’s just minutes from Teasdale to Capitol Reef National Park, the Fremont River, and Thousand Lakes Mountain, and of course the Fish Lake and Dixie National Forests. The local forest ranger office can help you out with maps and information. Also check out local historic favorites, like the Teasdale Cultural Hall and the Nielson Grist Mill, and search for petroglyphs in the local canyons.


The community of Teasdale, Utah

You won’t find a gas station or grocery store here (those services are available at nearby Torrey or Bicknell) but Teasdale has some great lodging options.

For good eats with your lodging enjoy the western-themed Cliffstone Restaurant for breakfast and lunch-to-go at the Lodge at Red River Ranch.  This lodge offers pure Old West luxury surrounded by ancient cottonwoods and nestled beneath the gorgeous red rock cliffs.  The Muley Twist Inn is another great Teasdale lodging option, nestled in a pinion pine grove overlooking the beautiful Fremont River Valley and Thousand Lakes Mountain.  This quaint B&B is also wheelchair accessible.

If you’re traveling with a large group, the 60-acre Laforborn Guest Ranch has accommodations for you and your horses.  Best of all, it’s just a few miles to the Great Western Trail and Scenic Highway 12 so you can get in all the riding you want; they’ll even refer you to a local outfitter if you’re traveling sans equine friend.  And for perfect peace and solitude, consider the spacious cabins at Pine Shadows—with high-beam pine ceilings, kitchens, and incredible views of the sandstone cliffs of Velvet Ridge, these secluded cabins may be just the solitary retreat you’ve been looking for.   Another option to consider is the quaint Cactus Hill Ranch Motel with four clean and comfortable double  rooms.

Views near Teasdale

Rock formations in the Teasdale area. Boulder Mountain backdrop.

Find more information about Teasdale lodging and the surrounding area by clicking on the prior link.

Utah’s Top Getaway Destinations – Capitol Reef

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Recently Utah’s number one newspaper, the Deseret News, published a list of Utah’s Top Getaway Destinations.

Capitol Reef

Blue sky caps the majestic domes of Capitol Reef National Park

Perhaps it is no surprise that Capitol Reef was one of the first places to be mentioned in the article.   In fact the first two destinations shown are as follows:

> Waterpocket Fold: This is the formation that comprises much of Capitol Reef National Park
> Golden Throne: A large dome formation within Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is a 70 mile long formation that stretches north to south, and offers a myriad of outdoor adventure opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, cycling, photography, and more.

The Golden Throne hiking trail is accessible near the end of the Scenic Drive within the park. Follow the Capitol Gorge spur road.  The hike is two miles each direction for a total of four miles.

View this map (below) of trails in Capitol Reef National Park.     Read the story here.

Capitol Reef Trails

Capitol Reef Trails

Scenic Byway 12 / Burr Trail / Notom Road Loop

Friday, May 31st, 2013

The Scenic Byway 12/Burr Trail/Notom Road Loop brings you on an unforgettable journey through Capitol Reef Country’s rugged and diverse landscape. Begin the scenic drive in the Torrey,  Bicknell, or Teasdale area, and head south on Scenic Byway 12, then east onto the Burr Trail, looping back up Notom Road through the east side of Capitol Reef National Park and back to Torrey.

Torrey is one of the gateway communities to this scenic loop, a pretty community with a tree-lined Main Street where the town’s original log schoolhouse still stands.  Stop at the U.S. Forest Service Visitor Information Center for maps and information to get oriented before heading out on the loop.

View of Scenic Byway 12 at the summit with Boulder Mountain as a backdrop

Scenic Byway 12
As Scenic Byway 12 climbs Boulder Mountain, you’ll pass the Wildcat Guard Station, a seasonal information center housed in a charming 1935 log building. After about 30 minutes of driving, you’ll find Larb Overlook with views of the Henry Mountains and Navajo Mountain, and Steep Creek Overlook with visibility of up to 100 miles on a clear day. From 9,400 feet, Homestead Overlook offers dramatic sweeping views of the Waterpocket Fold, the Henry Mountains to the east, and the Kaiparowits Plateau to the west. It should take just about an hour to reach Boulder via the paved two-lane scenic road.

As you arrive in Boulder–a.k.a. the “last frontier in Utah”–make a brief stop at Anasazi State Park Museum, the preserved site of one of the largest native communities west of the Colorado River. Boulder is where Scenic Byway 12 and the Burr Trail intersect. Big signs ensure you won’t miss the turnoff.

The Burr Trail as is descends from the plateau and through red rock canyons..

Burr Trail
Between Boulder and Bullfrog, this old cattle trail passes through the colorful landscape and slickrock canyons of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park, with striking backdrops of the Henry Mountains, Waterpocket Fold, and Circle Cliffs. The narrow, paved Burr Trail twists and winds between craggy, light-colored Navajo sandstone domes, the petrified remains of ancient sand dunes. As you pass through The Gulch and into Long Canyon, the Wingate sandstone walls soar higher and the road narrows and transitions from asphalt to gravel and dirt as it crosses into Capitol Reef’s boundaries. There are great views of the Circle Cliffs, all five peaks of the Henry Mountains, and the craggy Waterpocket Fold. The junction to Upper Muley Twist Canyon and Strike Valley Overlook is right before the switchbacks.

Burr Trail Switchbacks
About 34 miles into the drive you reach the Burr Trail Switchbacks. This is where things really get interesting, a series of hairy switchbacks with incredible views of the Waterpocket Fold. Things level off in Burr Canyon, where the Navajo sandstone has eroded away and flat top mesas accent the desertscape as you approach Notom Road at the 36-mile mark.

Traveling along the Notom Road.

Notom Road
Bear north and continue at a leisurely pace along the Waterpocket Fold—plan about two hours for this section. The drive along this unpaved backway alternates between packed and loose red sand. You definitely want to check the weather forecast because this isn’t the best road to drive during or immediately following wet weather. The Oyster Shell Reef is to the west, and you get a glimpse of the steps of the Grand Staircase in some of the rock formations. The road turns two lanes and paved for the last 11 miles.

A view of a bed and breakfast with domes from Capitol Reef in the background. Along the Notom Road.

Capitol Reef Visitor Center
Wind up your visit with a stop at the Capitol Reef Visitor Center to learn about the park’s interesting geology, archaeology, and history, before heading back to Torrey for the night.

View more about this and other scenic drives.