Founded in 1971, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, is home to a dramatic geologic “fold” in the Earth’s crust. From the ground, the fold resembles cliffs and buttes, but from the air, the long parallel waves of rock become evident. What this means to visitors is spectacular and unique rock formations.
Visitor Rating (write your own review below)
|Scenery||Brilliant-red rock juxtaposed in strange formations|
|Uniqueness||Formations similar to others in the Utah area|
|Wildlife||Weren’t there long enough to see much|
|Diversity||Many trails, rock formations extremely varied|
ILNP Park Review
In a Word “Vibrant”
“Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” -Psalms 33:8-9
Our Visit Our visit to Capitol Reef during June was purely an accident! We were taking the scenic route from Bryce Canyon to I-70 when we literally ran into Capitol Reef National Park. It certainly was a pleasant surprise!
Our Weather The day was bright and hot, but not unpleasantly so
Overall Impression Capitol Reef is not a well-known park, but it’s beauty is surprising. Like most of southern Utah, the rocks are a brilliant red. However, these rocks leave you feeling like you’ve just visited the Martian landscape. This is a great Park to explore if you want to avoid the inevitable crowds which surround more popular Parks. I’d definitely like to spend more time here.
Favorite Spot View of The Castle from the Visitors Center
Minimum Time Required About 20 minutes. The quickest way to see Capitol Reef is to drive right through on Highway 24. There are many incredible rock formations like The Castle and good photo opportunities right off the road. You’ll be surprised at the dramatic change between red cliffs and the more mounded “slickrock” like Capitol Dome which occurs about halfway through the drive. If you have a couple of extra minutes, stop at the visitors center and pick up a brochure to learn the history of the area.
A Longer Visit If we’d had more time, 1/2 to a full day, we would have taken the appropriately marked “scenic drive” off the main road. We would also spend some time in Waterpocket Fold and explore the Temple of the Sun. There are also some historic buildings and petroglyphs (prehistoric rock paintings) in the area.
Suggestions We wouldn’t recommend planning a trip to Capitol Reef by itself. However, it is strategically located on one of the most beautiful drives in America. The best way to see Capitol Reef is to plan the scenic drive into your trip to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. If you’re travelling from the east, take I-70 to Highway 24, drive through the park and take Highway 12 towards Bryce–you won’t be disappointed!
Nearby Towns Torrey, Bicknell (Utah)
Other Nearby Attractions Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Official NPS Website Capitol Reef NP
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