Bentonite Hills in Capitol Reef National Park, UT | PT. III

Ah, the famous Betonite Hills in Cathedral Valley. I’ve seen dozens and dozens of photos from similar places, but I’m not sure I’ve actually seen photos from the ones in Capitol Reef! These hills are absolutely stunning. We were lucky enough to camp alongside these hills for a night in the Utah desert, and it was absolutely wonderful. They’re just magical; they’re different from any landscape you’ve seen in Utah!

Near our first campsite in the Capitol Reef backcountry.
Morning coffee is a must for this one! And for me, I must say. Camp coffee is the best coffee!
Doesn’t get much better than this!

From our campsite, we packed up our car and drove for a long while until we reached the hills. Driving times are tough on the Hartnet and Cathedral Valley roads since the roads are ever-changing and will depend on how much you stop to see sights, take photos, hike, and quite literally how fast you can and how fast you are driving. I would try to budget a whole day for driving the Cathedral Valley loop, especially if you’re getting a few hikes in!

When you’ve finally reached the bentonite hills, it becomes obvious. I mean, it looks like you’ve just taken a rocketship to Mars! These formations are absolutely incredible! Definitely get out and grab a few photos. We spent a good half hour here exploring the hills, taking photos, and absorbing the incredible view.

If you’re heading north on the Hartnet Cathedral Valley Road, you’ll see this view from your car. Make sure you take photos!
A happy Justin walking on Mars! Remember to practice “Leave No Trace” while you’re exploring!
The hills are seriously expansive!!

These hills stretch into the distance for miles and miles. It truly feels like you’re on another planet! There aren’t any defined hiking trails, and technically, this area is all outside of the park on BLM/Forest Service land. There are paths where people have walked previously, so, if you’re going to do any walking, remember to follow those trails to minimize your impact. Desert climates are really sensitive and are easily destroyed!

The hills stretch far beyond this point. It’s just so breathtaking!
The colors are the most striking part of this whole landscape. The rounded edges make it that much cooler!
As you can see, we had this place to ourselves. No one was around for miles and miles and miles…

From here, we wrapped up and continued our drive through Cathedral Valley. There was a whole lot more to see out there, and the drive was just getting started.

Make sure you catch up on my first Capitol Reef blog, The Temple of the Sun and Moon, and Part II of my series! Follow along for another half dozen or so Capitol Reef blogs!

See you on the next one!

Parting shot:

Walking off into Mars.

Next blog: Part IV of Capitol Reef. Monoliths are coming soon!

5 thoughts on “Bentonite Hills in Capitol Reef National Park, UT | PT. III

  1. Wow, you two had the place all to yourselves! And the desolate, reddish landscape really makes you look like you’re on Mars! Certainly an otherworldly experience…on Earth itself! Glad you had fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s