Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The Golden Throne

Saturday August 30, 2014
Fruita Campground
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah


Thank you all so much for your friendship, kind thoughts and wishes on the last post.  There is nothing we can do about any of this other than turn around and go back to the doctors.  So we are carrying on crossing our fingers that injections are not the only possible next step since that will bring our travels to a halt.  Multiple Myeloma is a vicious disease and a sneaky one.




In order to reach the Golden Throne trailhead you have to take the scenic drive all the way to the end and then drive 2.5 miles down a dirt road.  The trail head is actually called Capitol Gorge since it is the trailhead for both the Capitol Gorge and the Golden Throne trails. 

We arrive just as the color is coming into the sky. We are the only car in the parking lot. The map is somewhat worn but we can see that the trail is winding and goes UP. It’s a round trip of 4 miles.











We are going to the base of the Golden Throne.  Sounds pretty exciting doesn’t it?  A golden throne! 






The trail becomes narrow and and winds around the edge of the cliffs above the dirt road which brought us in.  When the rains come, this road is a wash and impassible.  They suggest you check the weather before coming on either of these hikes as people have gotten stranded in here unable to get out.







When it’s on the flat, the trail widens out and is often marked with cairns or what I call the stone highway.    That really helps since these rock faces are large and you might think you should turn to the right rather than the left. 

Someone asked in a previous comment what cairns were. They are a stack of rocks that tells you where the trail goes if there is no path. They sometimes also mark special places.




Much of the trail is very rocky and often narrow.  Yes go right up that narrow little thing and between those rocks.




It isn’t long before we are high above the road.  The view is enough to take your breath away.



This rock was right off the path to the left and seemed to be just about ready to fall into the deep ravine we were walking around.





Pause for a rest at a flat spot before more up hill.




Another stone highway, thank you!




After about a mile of up, we get our first sight of what we think is the Golden Throne.  Looks more like a dome to me and I kept calling it the Golden Dome rather than the Golden Throne.



I zoom in.  It’s definitely golden.  Does it look like a throne to you?  


The trail winds around and gives us several different views of the throne.





In addition to the tricky trail and the fabulous views there are wonderful things right along beside us and just below us.










Sometimes you have to get down really close to take a good look.  Here the trail goes out beyond that slanting rock just on the edge of the canyon.





The dead tree art is really striking.




The red line just below those gorgeous red rocks is the trail.  I’m zooming back from around the bend and up the other side.





Be sure to wear good boots for these rocky up hills.















We’re moving in on it.





The golden throne has a beauty of a top knob.




I’ve made it to the end of the trail and watch David coming up with the Golden Dome in the background.





The sign ‘End of Trail’ really does make you laugh when you get there.   I’m sure glad they didn’t take us up on top of the Golden Throne.  To the base is enough climbing for me.




We spend perhaps an hour up here enjoying the stunning views in every direction.  We find a super picnic spot with a throne view and enjoy our for snacks.   I lay down on this big rock and just breathe in the beauty.





What an amphitheater!





We’ve had this gorgeous spot all to ourselves for a very long time now when we hear voices coming up the trail and decide it’s time to head back.  People seem to always give themselves away.  I wonder if they ever see any wildlife with so much talking, and so loudly too.

Back down we go.









The colors of the dirt and the rocks are so spectacular that I can’t help but want to show you just how amazing they are.  These shots were taken from a variety of spots along the trail.















Lizards are our only wildlife today but we see numerous ones and they really are beautiful.   Look at his colors.







We come around to where we can see the road again but it still looks very far away.







Well look at the parking lot now.  I’m sure glad we are coming back rather than going up.  I can’t even see Ruby.




The hike is over but the fun isn’t.  I couldn’t get any pictures of the absolutely fantastic road in here this morning because we were driving right into the sun and didn’t want to delay our start on the trail.  But now take a look at this.


















We turn around so I cam get a picture of the warning sign coming in.  You sure wouldn’t want to be on this road in a flash flood.



These shots were taken on the paved scenic drive which begins at the campground and goes to the dirt road.  They aren’t kidding about scenic.





That’s what we did for the morning and here’s what we did for the afternoon.   And by the way, the peach pie was absolutely superb!!   Pictures of it on another day.   We tried the cherry first because David makes the best cherry pie in the world and we wanted to compare.  His only rival is Grand Traverse Pie Company.  




  1. That is an amazing Golden Throne. But how does one flush it??? ;c)

  2. Dang, you all are in GREAT shape!! Doing all that climbing up and up... Thank you again for the beautiful documentation!! I love Mr. Lizard and his "ya, what do you want?" look, not to mention the colors! Nature is so amazing!!

  3. Beautiful doesn't even do it justice! Wow!

  4. Stark and beautiful! The lizard seems to be taking things in stride.

    Cairns remind me of the inukshuks you see here in our Arctic (and all over these days). The Inuit placed them here and there for the same reasons.

  5. Another beautiful place. I think you need a lot of imagine to the see the names in many of the scenic spots:)

  6. Wow, that was a spectacular hike, it is exactly like the kind we love. Your pictures are gorgeous!

    How far do you have to travel on the dirt road to the parking area from the paved road? Sherman is 27 1/2' long so not sure if we could get in there or not or if we would have to ride bikes from the paved road.


  7. Absolutely stunning landscape photos.Makes me wish we were out west hiking!

  8. Must have missed a day and had to go back and read prior post. So sorry this has happened again to you guys... You have been squeezing everything out to the vary last drop on your adventures and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and the wonderful pictures you take. Am sure this will not stop, even with this latest set back. Am on your cheering team, and am sure things will work out, am thinking of and praying for your every endeavor. Take Care and God Bless

  9. I'm so glad you like Capitol Reef we absolutely loved our week there and we didn't do the hiking you did...another dog unfriendly spot. I think its a totally under-rated National Park and can't wait to go back.

  10. Love all the colors of stratification and the marvelous views. I really need to schedule Capitol Reef in before the end of my season.

    I want to add to all the positive energy sent out by your readers/friends. Life is good every day we have it.

  11. ..When I read the title my first thought was your new "Princess Toilet".......Best wishes to you both..
    I get to go into the hospital Wednesday for a Microdiscectomy procedure....Hopefully I will get fixed, it's only been a year next month w/o hiking and biking for me....
    Oh well, the world keeps spinning..eh?

  12. Absolutely on our TODOS list. We love rocky hikes and those were the most amazing rocks I have ever seen!!! It appears that no matter where you are you have amazing views...even in the lounge chair with a book;o)))

  13. You guys have been to some beautiful places, but I think to me, this is the most beautiful place yet. I love the close up of the rock layers. The one picture reminds me of a hamburger. You can see the different layers, bun, lettuce, meat cheese, and tomato. See it?

    So how was the campground? Judging from your light clothing, it looks like the weather must have been about perfect.

    You would hate hiking with us, because we are those dreaded talkers!

    I hope someday we can get up there. It's gorgeous!

  14. I am kind of bummed that we skipped capitol reef this summer. The rest of our party just did not have the time, we will just have to do it on our next trip out west.

  15. What an amazing hike & stunning scenery! Thank you for taking us along with you!

  16. The colors on that trail were wonderful, weren't they! That one section that had almost purple-red rock plus green AND all the shades of tans and browns and even yellows just blew me away. When we hiked it the lighting was so poor I never felt I got a good representative photo.

    Feet up with a good book after a morning of hiking is a perfect day!

  17. I just read this post and your last post, so sorry to hear David's in need of some medical care and you'll be cutting your plans short. And after I just emailed you asking about your upcoming destinations! Hopefully they will come up with an easier solution and he will respond quickly to treatment so you guys can get back to exploring as soon as possible, I know how much joy you both take from your adventures.

    And I have to comment on how gorgeous Capitol Reef is and how handsome that blue spotted lizard was. I know I've said it before, but Utah is just amazing. Enjoy it a little extra for me. ;)

  18. The many colors of rock and earth are incredible - I love that the lizard dressed up in his pretty blue spots. Getting out there early really seems to be working - I see so much better in the quiet :-) Nope, not seeing a "throne", but the dome is certainly spectacular (and definitely golden!)

  19. Again, just stunning. Don't think there's a view there that isn't! Good thing for the cairns to guide your way. I've been watching a show on NBC, Running with Bear Grylls. He takes 'celebrities' to places in Utah where they live 'off the land' for 2 days with him. Lots of the same scenery and hiking :)

  20. This was our first hike after arriving. We did it in the late afternoon and the throne was glowing. Thanks for all the wonderful memory photos. What breath taking views! Love, love those red rocks:)

  21. Fabulous, Your hikes never stopped to amaze me. The stunning beauty you shared with us is just out of this world. Sometimes the name all this rock formations makes you scratch your head and find an analogy.My story about Baraboo pales in comparison to your amazing scenery.

  22. Such beautiful colors in those rocks!

  23. Our first RV trip was from Kingsport, TN to Utah & Wyoming for. 5 week vacation back in 1995. We loved Capitol Reef, Zion & Bryce. I hadn't realised it had been that long ago! Your pictures bring back such great memories. Prayers & Best Wishes for y'all as you head back for medical help. One day at a time! Love your blog, so much info, beauty & inspiration. Tom & Lynn

  24. The colors there are spectacular! Love the lizard! The road looks very much like the roads that go through Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

  25. The landscape and the colors are just breathtaking! You've really captured the magic in your photos. And yes, the golden throne definitely looks golden!

  26. I definitely want to visit Capitol Reef within the next year or two. Absolutely drop-dead gorgeous!


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