In something more than ten visits to Capitol Reef over the last 40 years I had never had the opportunity to get into the Cathedral Valley area in the Northern part of the Park, because I never had a suitable vehicle. This year we brought a Toyota 4Runner so could go anywhere legal. We did two overnight trips into Cathedral Valley -- actually planned for more time up there but the insects and wind were pretty unbearable! It is wonderful country, and we mostly had the whole place to ourselves, as there was very little traffic other than us.
The big problem I struggled with constantly is how to convey the scale of the place. Everything is enormous, and enormously impressive. I just don't quite have a handle on how to get this across...
D800, 70-200 F4 at 98mm, F11 at 1/125, ISO 500, tripod
Here is a detail from the right center of the above shot. I think it gives a sense of what this combination of camera and lens can do. Those cliffs were a couple of miles from my shooting position, so there is some image degradation from haze and smoke in the air, but I still am impressed...
Nice images. I know exactly where you were standing when you took these. In fact, this overlook is simply overwhelming in terms of all that you see on the valley floor and in the formations. I agree with you that the scale is very difficult to convey. I love Capitol Reef.
And this is no-see-ums season there so I'm sure you suffered the consequences!
Just wondering something else. Taking a four wheel drive truck is obviously a necessity but how do you know where to go? Are there suggested trail guides so you don't find yourself driving along a mesa and suddenly run out of ground to go and the next foot forward is 300 feet straight down!!
Tue 09-Jul-13 03:17 AM | edited Tue 09-Jul-13 03:18 AM by Wingman
Thanks for all the positive comments! This wonderful National Park is in Southern Utah -- north of the Grand Canyon and between Bryce Canyon and Canyonlands/Arches National Parks. This road does require high clearance in a couple of spots but is generally quite good. It is an old ranch road -- well marked and totally non-dangerous and non-scary. The overlooks I've shot these photos from are generally short easy and well marked walks from the road. The road forms a loop of about 40 miles or so. There is a lovely primitive campground (no water) at about the halfway point of the loop road. Most people drive the whole thing in a day and think they've seen Cathedral Valley. It's much better to spend a night or two up there, and spend some time with the place. As you can see from my pictures, sunsets and sunrises are very rewarding.