Cohab Canyon Trail in
Capitol Reef National Park

runs along a rocky drainage in a hidden canyon through part of Waterpocket Fold, a massive warp in the earth’s crust that inspired the park’s name.

Although somewhat in the shadow of the other National Parks in southern Utah (Arches , Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Zion), you will stand in amazement as you gaze upon Capitol Reef’s massive rock cliffs which runs nearly 100 miles through southern Utah, land of the brightly colored red rocks.  

The long natural rock barrier together with the white domes of Navajo Sandstone atop it, inspired the name Capitol Reef.  Alan H. Thompson, one of the  surveyors in the 1872 John Wesley Powell expedition, crossed the imposing Waterpocket Fold and became one of the first Euro-americans to explore the area.

An 1854 trip north of this area by explorer John C. Fremont inspired the name for the Fremont River which traverses the park.  Along this river archeologists first discovered the Freemont Culture, a pre-Columbian native American people who lived in what is now Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Colorado from AD 700 to 1300.

Eroded holes throughout the rock walks tower over each side of the trail, almost seemed as if they had been sculpted by Antoni Gaudí.  After pausing to take some photographs, I ran along the path to catch up to my family, and for a moment felt magically transported to Mexico’s mysterious Copper Canyons, described so vividly in Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall.

Rocky Mountain Joe®  Boulder, Colo., USA

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