So our pal Kelton Russenberger took us to Capitol Reef National Park for some hiking and camping on his day off from Bryce Canyon National Park. This was one of the many beautiful view while driving into the park on the gravel road towards Cedar Mesa.
Hitting a trail.
So this hidden treasure that many overlook for the sexier nearby parks (like Zion, Bryce, etc.) is pretty neat. Being a geology and geography nerd, I was simply astonished to be in a waterpocket fold, which is a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth), that extends almost 100 miles in the park!
The sun warms up the Valley at dawn. Folks brought rope (and we took our vertical gear) to rig the spot where we would have rappelled. But I couldn’t bring myself to go down to the Diving Board to see the view that could have been. It would have broken my heart.
So instead we decided to leave Yosemite. But first thing first, get off the huge rock called El Cap.
Since we travel all the way to Yosemite with our backpacking gear, we decided to do a trip to the top of El Capitan.
Here is Robin Mitchell blazing the way along Yosemite Creek during our 12-mile hike to reach the summit of El Cap, where we planned on spending the night.
Chris hikes towards the summit of El Cap. You can see the opposite wall of the Valley in the background.
We arrived in Yosemite National Park today. Looking up at El Capitan from the Valley floor made me sad we were not able to rappel and climb her.
Took a paved trail to see Vernal Falls.
The trail was a shit show. This really fat man, who looked to be in his late 20s, was with his fat wife and two fat small children. They were hiking up the same trail as us. They had one empty water bottle for the four of them on the hot June afternoon. They all looked like they were going to stroke out at any moment. He approached us and said “You two look like you know what you’re doing in the outdoors.”
“Can I drink this water?” as he pointed to the river we were hiking by. Chris said “Sure, if you want to get diarrhea.”
He scrunched up his face and turned on his heal quickly towards his waiting family.
We checked for an open campsite for the night at Arches . . . they didn’t have one. So we found this outside the park along the Colorado River. Yeah, there were a lot of mosquitos.
But we were camped right next to some awesome petroglyphs!
Arches National Park, Day II
Chris and I spent the entire day hiking the rest of the trails in the park to see all the obscure arches in Arches National Park. Above is me standing in an unnamed arch we found while hiking to Sand Dune Arch.
Waking up in the morning at our beautiful campsite an Aspen grove in White River National Forest, elevation about 10,000 feet. The plan . . . to spend several days up at high elevation — sleeping, hiking, caving — to get acclimated to it. So when we arrive in Yosemite, at 7,500 feet, it won’t kick our asses nearly as bad.
Our view from a day hike.
And then we got to go caving again with Ken Headrick. He meet up with us after work and took us into Groaning Cave, Colorado’s longest cave at 10 miles, for a short 2.5-hour trip.