The Navajo Knobs trail at Capitol Reef

This fabulous out-and-back walk (hike in American) was, as it turned out, pretty much on our limit. 4.6 miles each way, climbing 1,620 ft, but with long descents making it at least 2,000 in all.

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The landscape is stupendously out of this world. In spite of the endless variety of colours and textures the basic pattern was there for the whole walk – great zig-zags along the vast sheets of sandstone – tilted at the same roughly 25° angle as rest of the entire area. Thus we made our way round one great gully cut into the mountainside after another – some seven or eight of them in all.

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Here we are walking down to the right and we are going to have to walk up that daunting slope in the distance and eventually scramble to the hardly-discernable Navajo Knobs at the highest point. Where there is actually a natural seat. (If you double-click to enlarge the picture the Knobs are the two little bumps on the extreme left – they are higher than the peaks to the right but look smaller because they are further away )

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This really merits a few more pics for the long walk down:

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And here it all is from the viewpoint on the way back to Torrey…

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…with a telephoto close-up of the Knobs where we sat three hours earlier, next to that gallant little pine tree.

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And so we hobble to the Broken Spur hot tub and thence to another excellent supper, with that excellent local Evolution beer, an explicit tribute to Charles Darwin. What a complicated country this is!

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