Walking off the Ledge Into Capitol Reef
Tucked between the popular kids — Zion and Moab — Capitol Reef Country is a morning drive from Salt Lake City. Once there, use this 4-day itinerary to choose from gorgeous hikes and adventurous rappelling then eat well at nearby Torrey and Boulder.
Travel & Leisure sits on your table, and you secretly watch reruns of "House Hunters International," but you book the same hotel, lounge by the same pool and watch the kids splash around and grouse that there's nothing to do.
"…But it’s easy and I know it and…" Keep going. I've got time.
If you long for adventure but aren’t the adventurous type — or you want to be and just don’t know where to start — then consider a trip to Capitol Reef Country. Never heard of it? Capitol Reef National Park?
That's precisely why you should go.
Tucked between the popular kids — Zion and Moab — Capitol Reef Country (anchored by the towns of Boulder, Torrey and Escalante and abutting Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument) is a morning drive from Salt Lake City. It’s still off the beaten path but has a surprising range of activities and amenities to satisfy kids and grandparents, dirt bags and foodies.
This accessibility and variety mean you can choose your level of adventure and stretch from there. You could forage for food, but Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder is one of the state's best and is, in itself, a destination. Opt to sleep under the stars in one of the darkest spots on the continent or under luxury sheets in a historic schoolhouse. Rise and ride by car, bike or Harley Davidson along Scenic Byway 12, designated an All-American Road, and understand why travelers from Lewis & Clark to Clark Griswold have been drawn to exploring the West. Hike the gorgeous Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase–Escalante or go canyoneering in Capitol Reef (both are easier than they sound, and the pics will blow up your Instagram).
Planning. Pick where you want to sleep and explore from there. If you want to stay in one place, then choose day trips. If you want to keep moving, then select accommodations along the way and head out each morning. Just don't plan too much! You’ll want to be a bit spontaneous, because that is the heart of adventure. Most importantly, Capitol Reef Country took millennia to create. So, slow down, look around and absorb the details, the ones that no magazine, travel show or fabulously written website could capture.
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