May 2, 2013

Stud Horse Peaks

Our last ride in Capitol Reef country was to Stud Horse Peaks, shown above.  The highest is 7000 ft in altitude.  This area is west of the park boundary, so Daisy was allowed to run with us.  She was quite pleased. 
The name of the peaks may have originated because of wild horse herds that once lived in the area.  Legend has it that a stallion would stand on the peaks and keep guard over his mares.  Frankly, this seems unlikely since the "peaks", which are actually more like mesas, are a couple of hundred feet above the valley floor, a long way for the stallion to travel away from the herd, and a long rumble downhill over rocky terrain if he actually saw danger and needed to race to the rescue.
We found this structure not far from our trailhead.  If it's for sale or rent, are you interested?  A little work might be required before you move in, but it could keep the rain off (if you're lucky).  Daisy approves!
Need a new truck cab?  This one's available.  Spare tire included, and zero carbon emissions guaranteed.  A running board was lying a hundred yards away.  Maybe a little looking would turn up enough to piece this baby together and take her for a spin. 
Apparently, an "adit" mine (horizontal mine shaft) is up on these mountains somewhere, according to the USGS maps.  This explains why someone went to the trouble of carving out a road.
The old road is now abandoned and the mountainside is slowly but surely taking it back. 
The washout depicted here is only the beginning.  In places, huge boulders had fallen across the road bed.
We rode as high as we could and were rewarded with a fine view of the reddish Circle Cliffs, and past them all the way to Boulder Mountain.
Here's a view of Boulder Mountain (11,330 ft) framed by tree branches.  It's about 30 miles away.
Returning to the trailhead, we realized that we'd had a pretty fine view, even from our parking spot.  That's what I love about the western U.S..  The views are good nearly everywhere!


  1. That looks like my kind of house, but the truck would need a few repairs. ;) As always, beautiful views.

  2. Fantastic vistas as always. I must say I was really impressed with your desert blooms post. Having been to Arizona numerous times in recent years to see my son and family perhaps better timing to see these kinds of flowers would improve my attitude towards the desert.

  3. Amazing place, beautiful photos:) Greetings

  4. Gorgeous, gorgeous photography. I love seeing old places and things. Imagine the stories that could be told if only they could talk.

  5. It doesn't take long for Nature to reclaim its own. Stunning views and so nice that Daisy could go along this time.

  6. To me, it really is another world. Strange and beautiful, one I would love to visit, but probably won't. So seeing it all through your eyes is just more than fun.

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  7. the views are great from mostly anywhere. I love living in the west too.

  8. Hey, Janie - we're going to Capital Reef next - wonder if we can rent that fixer upper? We'll be visiting Boulder Mountain, too - I like hiking there. I'll show Bob your pics. Cold here in Bryce but thankfully no snow. (16 " and still snowing in Breck!)

  9. That is for sure. The views are awesome from every direction... NEAT!!!! Glad you made it up Stud Horse Peaks as far as possible. Great views.

    We drove over Boulder Mountain when we were out west in 2011. Fabulous area!!!!

    Glad Daisy could go with you. I'm sure she loved it.


  10. The great views in any direction from almost any point is what most impressed me when we were in Utah a couple of years ago. I really want to get back there.

  11. I think I will pass on the housing and transportation options. They are interesting to look at nevertheless.

  12. It's true that the views are good just everywhere in Utah. Too bad someone went to all that trouble to make a road and now it's disappearing. Wait! Maybe that's a GOOD thing. I think I'll pass on the truck and the abode, even if Daisy does approve of it. :)

  13. wow such lovely views..I wold visit USA only for these views(and for Yellowstone & yosemite national Park)!!!

    I find urban america too boring(especially new york, LA, Vegas)

  14. I'm getting caught up on your blog. Looks like you have had some great adventures lately! I have had a lot of nothing to blog about, three weeks in Oklahoma and kind of gloomy in Telluride with rain/snow. I'll get back out there at some point! :)

  15. I really need to visit your world!!! So much space and so much to see!!


  16. Such an interesting area and always beautiful scenery. Have a great weekend Janie, I wonder what trails you will be riding :)

  17. What a cute little shelter. I would agree - the views are good just about everywhere one looks out west!




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