Local authors publish book on Capitol Reef area

In 2012, my husband and I visited the Capitol Reef area in Utah, a site so remote that we were told the nearest traffic light is 78 miles away. The views were spectacular — massive domes, soaring spires, graceful arches, box canyons, sandstone cliffs and natural bridges under the vast blue desert sky.

But this remoteness can be intimidating and overwhelming. Therein lies the value of an informative new book by local authors Rick and Lynne Stinchfield, titled “Beyond Capitol Reef: South-Central Utah: A Hiking and Touring Guide to the Area Surrounding the Capitol Reef National Park.”

The Stinchfields’ recommendations are detailed because they know the area so well. They have volunteered at the park for six weeks every spring and fall for the past 12 years, exploring not only the park, but also several thousand square miles of the public land that surrounds it.

In this guide, they describe the extremes of the area — from short, easy hikes to longer day trips and overnight treks; scenic drives on paved highways to backcountry excursions requiring rugged 4WD vehicles. You also will learn about the natural history of the region, with an emphasis on geology that takes advantage of Rick Stinchfield’s training as a geologist. The book is organized by region and cross-indexed by activity.


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This story was posted on August 27, 2015.