There are three mountain ranges in Southern Utah. They are all incredibly dominant landmarks as they stand tall in contrast to the desert floor. I’d visited the Abajo and LaSal mountains, but hadn’t made it to the Henry’s yet. While adventuring in Capitol Reef National Park, once again the Henry Mountains were front and center, almost saying, please come visit me. Each time we saw them, we’d exclaimed “Oh Henry!”
One night we even found a place to disperse camp near Capitol Reef where Joan could sleep with Henry. According to the NPS, “The Henry Mountains soar about 7,000 feet over the surrounding terrain (along Capitol Reef’s Waterfold Pocket) to a height of 11,522 feet. The Henrys formed when magma intruded overlying sedimentary rocks, pushed them upwards, then cooled into granitic rock. Subsequent erosion stripped off the softer sediments and revealed the peaks’ hard, granitic core.”Temptation to see if a visit was possible became a no brainer as we passed through Hanksville. We stopped at the ranger station and the ranger said, you should be able to access at least the flanks. For us, that would be good enough. My car found the roads suitable, so up, up we went until we found a dispersed campsite with views of some of Henry’s higher peaks as well as down into Canyonlands and across to the LaSals and Abajos. We were greeted with the full moon rising. Could we ask for more? Joan has dreamed of this moment for a very long time. I was thrilled to make this dream come true.
According to NPS Capitol Reef literature, “The Henry Mountains were the last mountain range in the contiguous United States to be officially recorded and named. Explorer John Wesley Powell first documented them in 1869. There were eventually named in honor of physicist Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Today, the Henrys continue to be remote islands of rugged, forested roads that are the only way to access them. These isolated peaks are also home to one of only four remaining free-roaming, genetically-purebred herds of American bison.”
- March 30 – April 1, 2018