There are so many national and state parks in Utah worth visiting, that I picked a route that winded me along scenic routes to see only a handful of them. I had planned to spend at least a night in Capital Reef National Park, Goblin Valley State Park and then Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
I told a little about the drive from Bryce Canyon to Capital Reef in yesterday’s blog entry. Further along the way, as I was stopping at what I thought was a roadside viewpoint, I found instead, that I was pulling into a dirt parking lot set above a cafe nestled into the canyon wall! Kiva Koffeehouse is this beautiful little building, open and airy inside with the front and sides baring windows that showcase the surrounding canyon. For only a few dollars, I was able to get a bite to eat, really good coffee and distinctly Utah views…
The views just got better as I neared Capital Reef. I didn’t really know what to expect, not having done a lot of research on the park. Upon arriving, I was quite excited to spend some time there exploring this red desert land. Only, there wasn’t a campsite to be found!
I tarried an hour or so, photographing and taking a look at some of the historic buildings still standing in the park, before taking as scenic a route as I could find to continue on East. I figured I’d come across a campsite sooner or later.
I came to Goblin Valley State Park a couple of hours later and their campsite was full as well. I was told there were public lands without campgrounds I could camp on, but I decided against.
Another couple hours (or nearly so) brought me to Arches National Park. Guess what? Full campground. But, they were able to give me a map of the local campgrounds, though they stated all the closest ones were probably full as well. On my way to those campgrounds, I passed Slickrock RV Park and decided to try my luck. Sweet deal- book 2 nights and a tent site drops to $16/night (pool, hot tub, laundry, showers, wifi). Not too shabby if I’m going to be hiking through the dust all day! At such times, a more natural and beautiful campsite may be trumped for showers.
I spent the morning hours in Arches National Park and am waiting out the heat of the day in camp (the temperature fluctuates about 40 degrees between night and high afternoon!).