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How to Get There Capitol Reef is located in south-central Utah, in the heart of red rock country. If you’re visiting this park on its own (like I did), the closest major airport is Salt Lake City, about 3.5 hrs away. You can also add it to a Zion/Bryce itinerary (Bryce is only 2 hrs away) or an Arches/Canyonlands itinerary (Canyonlands is only 2.5 hrs away). Technically, this is a 3.5 day… Read More

[Capitol Reef National Park and Hankville, UT – Mar 26, 2022] For my second day in the park, I rearranged my hikes a bit based on info I got from the ranger at the visitor center the day before. A big part of my schedule hinged on getting to Gifford Homestead around 9 am when they opened. I intended to have their pies for breakfast! I also wanted to get their cinnamon… Read More

Big Bend National Park is in southwest Texas and includes the entire Chisos mountain range and a large swath of the Chihuahuan Desert. Due to the remote nature of Big Bend, two of the days are travel days and two of the days are fully spent in the park. Fear not, the two travel days allow you to explore plenty of things along the way! How to Get There The two closest… Read More

[Big Bend National Park, Dec 27, 2021] For our second full day in the park, we decided to take the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. With stops at some of the scenic viewpoints and short hikes, we expected it to take about 5-6 hours. The 31-mile point-to-point drive begins in the Chisos Mountains section of the park and winds down to the Rio Grande. From there, you can come back the way you… Read More

[El Paso & Lajitas, TX – Dec 24 & 25, 2021] To cap off 2021, we decided to sneak in another national park. Big Bend had been on my list ever since we went to Texas’ only other national park, Guadalupe Mountains, in early 2020. Both parks are in West Texas and only about 3.5 hours apart. However, we had already packed 3 national parks into that 3-day itinerary (the other two… Read More