I absolutely love it when I stumble upon the unexpected when viewing a national park. One of the hidden treasures at Capitol Reef National Park is the Goosenecks overlook. It really is a different view than most of Capitol Reef, and it’s a bit off the beaten path so that many people may miss this beautiful natural wonder (it’s at the end of a 1 mile dirt road that begins at Panorama Point). For those that travel through Capitol Reef, don’t let the dirt road discourage you from making the drive. As a reward, you will be greeted with views like this:
The information sign at Goosenecks gives the following description:
When Sulphur Creek was young, this scene was a low plain.
The stream looped leisurely across gently sloping land, overflowing and changing direction with each flood. Imperceptibly, the Waterpocket Fold began its slow, upward warp.
Trapped in its channel, unable to detour, the water ran steeper, and sliced a deepening trench through layers od soft rock. Where loops almost meet, “Goosenecks” form — the stream’s last course, incised in stone. Now the creek flows 800 feet below the rim.