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Free Traveling Guides » States » Utah » Utah National Parks

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Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

capitol reef

The Capitol Reef National Park contains towering white and red rock walls, along with deep river canyons. The outstanding feature of this park is a multi layered, 100 ft-high reef-like wall of uplifted sedimentary rock, a section of which resembles the grand dome of the US Capitol. The sharply defined sedimentary layers on display here trace over two hundred million years of geological activity.

Capitol Reef National Park offers an assortment of activities to visitors. Beneath the very prominent Castle, the visitor center has explanatory exhibits and an irresistible campground, set amid the cherry, apple and peach orchards of the abandoned Mormon community. One of Capitol Reef's best hikes is along the gravelly riverbed through Grand Wash-a beautiful and cool canyon, where, it is said, Butch Cassidy used to hide out.

Stretching for over a hundred miles north to south, the seemingly impenetrable barrier of Waterpocket Fold is sliced through in a number of places by deeply incised river canyons-some only twenty feet wide, but hundreds of feet deep-often accessible only by foot. Few other paved routes run through the park, so to reach the spectacular back country canyons you may have to put up with many miles of dusty roads.

Visitors to the park also engage in activities like guided walks and evening programs, fishing on the Fremont River above the park, and rock climbing.

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