In Mid-May, I made a brief visit to Capitol Reef National Park to capture more images of the canyon country and the dark night skies.
To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Capitol Reef 2018-05 location gallery here. Click on any image below to see a larger version.
On my way West, I camped overnight at Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP and photographed the Milky Way above the canyon. The skies at this National Park are so dark that it was difficult to get any starlight to illuminate the canyon walls. But the starry arc of the Milky Way stood out in bright relief.
The next day, I continued West to the main section of Capitol Reef National Park. The only campground in this part of the Park was already full, which turned out to be OK, since the campsites there are too close together for my taste. Instead of “KOA camping,” I stayed in a B&B on Notom Road, just outside the park. During the hot daylight hours, I drove the full length of the Scenic Road and took several shots of the very impressive bluffs of the Waterpocket Fold. It’s easy to see why these rock walls made this area one of the last to be fully explored in the lower 48 states.
My chosen nightscape shooting location in this part of the park was the Chimney Rock trailhead, where I shot a stacked composite panorama of the Milky Way.
My final stop on this outing was Cathedral Valley, in the less-visited northern part of the Park. With the exception of one primitive campground, the camping in this part of the park is all dispersed.
The night skies in this deserted part of the park are especially dark, and a panorama above the Temple of the Sun showed the Milky Way at its best.
To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Capitol Reef 2018-05 gallery here.
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