Day 6 – Capitol Reef Resort and National Park, Utah

Today we did our first hike. The day started very cold. So cold in fact, that we dressed in double layers at first but by the time we had eaten breakfast and driven to our first stop the weather had changed to hot and we had to strip off layers. 🌞

We started by visiting the Gifford Homestead and Museum in Fruita. Fruita was settled by the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and the first settler is believed to have been Nels Johnson who arrived in 1880. Nels recognised that the mild temperature in the area and the continuous water supply made the location ideal for growing fruit trees. The early residents of Fruita planted fifteen orchards containing cherry, apricot, peach, pear, apple, plum, mulberry, almond and walnut trees. Fruits from those orchards are also used today in the freshly baked pies available in the store at the Gifford Homestead. The pies are very famous and usually sell out by lunchtime. That’s why we arrived early!

Gifford Homestead

Gifford Barn

Old Plough

We bought five, two strawberry and rhubarb and one each of cherry, peach and berry. Of course, we just had to eat one straight away while it was still warm and that was one of the strawberry and rhubarbs with vanilla ice-cream. We were not disappointed, it was delicious!

Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie

Si and his pie!










After that we did the self-guided scenic driving tour of Capitol Reef National Park. The Scenic Drive is amazing and was used by ancient peoples for centuries and in about 1884 the ancient trail was developed into a wagon road. It was used by the settlers, Mormon church leaders, miners and by cattle and sheep ranchers.

Scenic View

Scenic View












Is this a Rhino?

Located deep in Capitol Gorge at the end of the road that can only be used by 4WD vehicles, it’s just a short hike along the flat, dry stream bed to get to petroglyphs and the Pioneer Register (early travellers along the stream bed wrote their names on the canyon walls and this became known as the Pioneer Register).

Well, as usual with us and hiking, it didn’t go exactly according to plan! Regular followers of the blog will remember our 2013 visit to Yosemite where we intended to hike halfway to Yosemite Falls but we missed the marker telling us to turn around and we kept going until it finally dawned on us that we had made a mistake and I was at the point of collapse. 😂

Help! I’m exhausted. (On the way to Yosemite Falls – Photo 2013)

We were staying at a B&B and when the owner saw the state of us she gave us dinner and a bottle of wine for free.

Well, we set out along the trail and were told it was about a two-mile trip to see the petroglyphs. Along the way we saw the Pioneer Register but no petroglyphs. The walk was strenuous, mainly through sand and when we had walked 1.3 miles and had not seen any and people were heading back saying they hadn’t either, we realised we may have missed them.

By now, it’s midday and very hot so we turned around and started back. We met a family who told us the petroglyphs were actually at the very beginning of the trail! Yet another hiking mishap!

Sand on the Trail
















Pioneer Register some dating back to 1883!

Pioneer Register








We finally found them and here are the photos to prove it!










For dinner this evening we went just across the road to eat at a sister restaurant to the one here at the resort. Si decided on his usual ribs but unfortunately, had to complain as they were dry and very difficult to cut. The rest of the meal was okay but nothing special. The restaurant was listed as ‘fine dining’. 🤔

Still, at least we have the other four fruit pies we can eat!!

Thanks for joining us on our travels.


8 thoughts on “Day 6 – Capitol Reef Resort and National Park, Utah

  1. On our west coast trip back in 2018 the biggest thing we noted was that in general restaurant food had really taken a turn for the worse. Disappointing! Regarding your questionable hiking success rate I would strongly recommend downloading Osmand off line maps, has all the paths you’ll ever need and easy to follow. Use it all the time, never let us down. That aside looks like you’re having a fab time

  2. Good to see you back in your hiking boots, trekking in the Wild West, expecting to see John Wayne ride by on horseback 🐎. You forget how young a Country USA is seeing those settlers name written in 1883 and after. When you think how far back our (UK) history goes. Hope you don’t get lost getting back to your Shack 😂. Pies look yummy, shame about the ‘fine dining’ meal xx

    • Hi Ann, thanks. We are out riding tomorrow so perhaps we’ll see the Duke then!! 😂Will be posting some pics of our ‘shack’ shortly!! We are gradually working our way through the pies. Yummy, yummy! xx

  3. Looks great guys! Really interesting to see the photos of the Pioneer register. Well done on your trek I am very impressed! Looks like you’re having a great trip so far.

  4. OH my I remember that hiking mishap back in 2013! That photo of you exhausted made me laugh! I’m glad there was a smile on your picture this hike! Also that there were many other families so you didn’t waste too much of your time! I hope your meals improve from here on out! At least you had the pies as backup!! yay!

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