Canyons, Cow Skulls, & Rusty Trucks in Capitol Reef, Ut | Pt. II

Yep, you read that right. This is the continuation of the Capitol Reef trip I took on Memorial Day weekend of 2022! It’s hard to describe where all of this was since there are no waypoints I can guide you to. But perhaps that’s better since everyone can explore Capitol Reef in their own way. If there are defined points or National Park sanctioned hikes, trails, and viewpoints, I’ll be sure to spell them out! For now, let me tell you about the beautiful scenery we discovered on the first morning spent in Capitol Reef, just outside of Cathedral Valley.

An absolutely beautiful canyon.

This beautiful canyon wash is only a few hundred feet from the side of the road. It’s gorgeous and worth the stop for sure! It may be hard to see as you approach from the road, but there are a few different areas for you to pull your car off the road, walk over to the cliff area, and peer down into the canyon. These kinds of trips are often driving trips, where you stop and get out, explore the area, take some photos, get back into your car, and do it all again when you find more cool areas!

Sandals are necessary for this environment. Luckily, we weren’t too hot, even in late May!
A camera selfie by the beautiful canyon!

After we had seen this area, we loaded back up into the car and drove further on don’t the road. It gets pretty bumpy around this area of the park, and there are lots of ups and downs until it finally mellows out into a vast canyon floor. From here, the road is flat for miles, and the conditions improve, allowing you to drive faster. Still be wary of random rocks, dips, bumps, and wedges in the road!

While we were driving along, Mercedes spotted a wooden structure off the beaten path. I couldn’t see it, but we decided to pull off and follow an old farmer’s road for about a quarter of a mile. It dropped us into this clearly abandoned area where we found the mecca of all desert imagery: an old cow skull.

An old structure, possibly a corral for cows!
It really does exist. Skulls, alone, in the desert, without a body. It’s not fiction, it’s real!
She is happy that I successfully did not touch the cow skull!

From here, we walked back to our car and back to the main road where we found an old rusty truck that must’ve gotten caught in wet sand or a full-blown sandstorm. It’s so cool seeing old trucks, lost in the desert dune seas. From my unofficial eye-balling estimate, it was buried probably a foot or more underground!

A truck lost to the desert sea.
Bullet holes riddle the side of this truck. There were evens some that looks fresh!
A closer look at the front of this truck.
Buried in the sand, lost to the dune sea; a peek into lost decades, unknown to thee.

Rusty old trucks are cool, aren’t they!? You won’t have to look too hard to find this old relic. If you look at the photo above, you can see the main road just behind the truck. Definitely stop to check it out if you’re here!

That’s all for this blog – be sure to follow along for Part III coming soon! I’m hoping to pound out these blogs quickly, and then move on to my newest adventures, which happened over July 4th. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Temple of the Sun and Moon!

See you on the next one!

Parting shot:

The wind picked up and the clouds moved in. TIme for a sweatshirt!

Next blog: Capitol Reef, Part III: Bentonite Hills.

5 thoughts on “Canyons, Cow Skulls, & Rusty Trucks in Capitol Reef, Ut | Pt. II

  1. There’s a certain kind of beauty to desolate landscapes: they evoke isolation, perhaps even fear, but also simplicity and resilience in the face of harsh nature. Cow skulls and rusty trucks aside, the backdrop of Capitol Reef is absolutely sublime, and I’m glad you two had a fun time exploring the details (and eccentricities) of the area!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree Rebecca!! It’s just so…desolate, and you wonder how life can exist here but it finds a way. It’s so beautiful, in all its rugged ways. I love it way too much!


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