Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

< Previous | List | Next > Quickly visit Kodachrome Basin State Park, head on to Grosvenor Arch, then (attempt to) drive the Burr Trail into Capitol Reef National Park

One of the chimneys at Kodachrome Basin State Park We left Tropic around 9am, and after a very short drive reached Kodachrome Basin State Res. I don't know if it was the morning light, or the relative blandness of the park compared to Bryce, but we quickly left again, having only spent a short time here.

Drove on towards Grosvenor Arch on a dirt road. I don't even know where I first read about this arch - certainly not in any printed guide, but somehow the detour seemed worthwhile. When we arrived, there was only one other car (typical greeting, "how' you doing?" to which I never know what to answer - just "hello", or rather "fine, and you?"), and the weather couldn't have been nicer. Clear blue sky, but not too bright, this must have been almost ideal conditions for photo shooting. Which I did. We drove back towards Highway 12 and stopped a few times along the way, since in this part of the world it's not only the destination that matters, but the entire trip...

Back on Highway 12, which really deserves the name "Scenic Byway", we headed east. Stopped a few times at unmarked spots, at Boynton overlook... Didn't have time to hike to Calf Creek Falls.

We had lunch in Boulder at the Burr Trail Trading Post & Grill, and then proceeded on the (probably newly paved) Burr Trail towards Capitol Reef National Park. Burr Trail is really a spectacular canyon, with the road in the middle and spectacularly shaped rock on both sides, offering a new photographic opportunity every hundred meters.

Heading towards Capitol Reef National Park on Burr Trail The Burr Trail meets the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park. Sadly, we couldn't follow the route I had planned much further. Just a few minutes after passing the "Welcome" sign of the national park, a truck with NPS rangers approached and made motions that we should stop. We were told that we couldn't proceed, since further along, an RV was stuck, and it was impossible to go around. Not wanting to be accident sightseers (or getting stuck just as well), we turned around straight away. So instead of taking the Notom-Bullfrog Road into the Park, we would have to drive back over the entire length of Burr Trail, and then drive through Dixie National Forest to reach Torrey, where I had booked accommodation for the night.

Motel/Hotel Accommodation: Sleep Inn (Moab, UT): $80.33 plus 12.25% tax