Blake and I have been talking about going to Cathedral Valley for a few months. It is located on the remote north end of Capitol Reef. This park has been one of our favorites because while we were dating we took several day trips down and did a lot of exploring here. Cathedral Valley isn’t on the main road through the park. It is actually a little tricky to get there: you must have a 4X4 high clearance vehicle because the road to the valley is a dirt road. After making our way through mountain roads, we descended into Upper Cathedral Valley. We found a campsite under what is known as Cathedral Mountain. Because this area is so remote we didn’t see any one else here. If you are looking for some solitude, this is the place!
I recently bought a new tripod to test out my new found love for taking star photos. This was one of the reasons we thought this place would be so great; the sky is clear with no light pollution and there are beautiful rock formations. We stayed up until about 11 taking photos and then decided to lay down for a bit and wait for the sky to get darker. Our plan was to wake up around 12-12:30 and take more but we both slept through the alarm. Luckily, we woke up around 2:30 and got up to take more photos. Both Blake and I were in awe at the night sky; the stars were so vibrant and the milky way looked like a cloud.
When we woke up, we drove about 10 miles to the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon. These are both giant sandstone monoliths. They were incredible to see; when you look at photos of Capitol Reef, these are usually among the most impressive attractions. To get back to the main section of the park, it is another 20 miles on the dirt road with some sketchy washes to drive through. We were so impressed with the area of the park and can’t wait to go back.