Matt and Joanne’s Page

March 31, 2008

Utah National Parks (Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches)

Filed under: Climbing, Roadtrip — Matt Stamplis @ 11:07 am

So…..I mentioned in the last post that my Mom, Zach, and Liz visited us while we were in Zion. So here’s a few pictures of us together!

We all hiked up together to the Emerald pools, a really nice sandy beach with a tall waterfall pouring over the sandstone cliffs above. A few days earlier, while Joanne and I were climbing Moonlight Buttress, everyone else did the Angel’s Landing hike. I was really impressed that my Mom made it to the top! (The trail gets very narrow ~ 3ft wide with 1000 foot drops on both sides – exciting!)

We spent most of the week with the family in Zion but we made a day trip to Bryce Canyon to check out the whimsical mud spires in that park.

Here’s one of my better pictures of the scenery at Bryce. It kind of reminds you of sand castles frozen in stone. We hiked the Navajo Loop + Queen Garden’s Loop for a closer look at some of the scenery.

Everyone hanging out on the trail…

Liz and Zach goofing off on the hike back up to the rim.

So after 5 days of enjoying some extra company, Joanne and I were left alone again with Yogi. We decided to pack up and head out towards Moab, UT. But first we made a detour and short stop at Capitol Reef National Park.

The park is named after these white sandstone domes, which early settlers thought looked like capitol buildings in Washington, D.C. This viewpoint is seen when walking through Capitol Gorge, a very scenic drive + hike.

Spring time is here in the desert: the Manzanitas are beginning to bloom.

The campground at Capitol Reef is one of the nicest we’ve stayed out and is unique for one particular reason: Mormon pioneers planted many fruit orchards in this area and today, the Park’s guests can enjoy them as they ripen. The park has over 3000 trees, including apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, cherries, and more! Unfortunately, the trees are just starting to bloom. The best times to come for fruit are early June (cherries) and early September (Apples, Peaches).

So we left the orchards behind and headed towards Moab with a stop at one more national park: Arches! Arches is a really magnificent park. Although it’s not a particularly large park with limited number of hiking trails it provides fantastic scenery. And of course, lots and lots of arches. There’s probably no other place in the world with so many natural arches in one place.

The Devil’s Garden is one of the most amazing hikes I’ve ever done. It passes by 6 or 7 arches and passes through some amazing landscapes. We hiked the 2.5 miles to the Dark Angel (the tower on the left in the picture above) and climbed it. The weather was a bit less than ideal: we reached the top of the tower in 50 mph winds – our ropes were whipping all over the place.

Landscape Arch needs to be seen to be believed. This arch spans the length of a football field and is only 6 feet thick at one point. About 10 years ago a huge chunk of it broke off (caught on videotape by a tourist!) so it might not be around much longer.

Navajo Arch was probably my favorite arch, just because of it’s peaceful setting. It’s in a cave like alcove and even has a log sitting under it to relax on.

Not all arches are created equal: this tiny arch is being dwarfed by Joanne.

We also hiked out to Delicate Arch in the middle of a strange snowstorm. I took some pictures but Joanne doesn’t want me posting them because she doesn’t have a nice smile 🙂

This will probably be our last post for awhile since we’re headed off into the Moab desert (Indian Creek) and there won’t be cell phone reception or internet. Don’t worry Mom, we’re doing fine!



  1. Dear Joanne,
    Nice job of capturing the view from unthinkable angle. From spiderman’s eye view.

    I saw you before in PG5.2 Penang, in Intel, but I have left Intel since due to business divestiture.

    I guessed you know Tony Tan, Alvin Ding . We used to joke that you were Alvin Ding’s sister… Anyway,(no offense intended),Tony asked me to challenge his intelligence with the most cryptic riddle, I did a riddle to guess a personality, “who has a finger that is stronger than Tony’s leg”. Answer is “you”, just amazing to see you hanging with a few fingers from the rocky wall and still able to capture that beautiful view.


    Comment by woodyooi — April 24, 2008 @ 8:10 pm

  2. Hi Woody,
    Sorry I don’t think I remember you. Maybe I know you by a different name?? Anyway, thanks for thinking of me whenever you think of Tony’s leg 🙂
    Just so you know, I’m not in Intel anymore too but who knows if I’m going back or not after I’m done travelling.

    Comment by joannestamplis — May 9, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: