Capitol Reef National Park

Located at south-central Utah


In south central Utah, Capitol Reef National Park is located and it is a United States of America National Park. This park is narrow but long and it covers almost 100 miles; and the Capitol Reef National Park was first established in 1971. There is almost 241,904 acres of land which preserves the park; and the park is going to be opened throughout the entire year. However, the months of May, June, July, August and September are going to be the months which are the most popular.

In the 1920’s, the park was called Wayne Wonderland, this was the name given by the locals Joseph S Hickman and Ephraim Pectol. However, the Capitol Reed National Park does have many amazing monoliths, buttes, canyons and ridges that are home in the canyon; and there is a 75 mile stretch of a long thrust called the Waterpocket Fold. This is a beautiful spine which comes from the Thousand Lake Mountain through to Lake Powell; and this is the most protected and preserved parks of the park also.

This area is near the Fremont River and it was named because of the line of cliffs and white domes from the Navajo Sandstone. This area does look like the American States Capitol building; and the easy road access was helped along with the construction of State Route 24 in 1962 which went through Fremont River Canyon.

There aren’t many paved roads which invade the beautiful landscape and in fact most of the park’s back country and trails are left undisturbed. There are many amazing sites to choose from including the arches and towers and the park does have a very desert feel to it. The scenic drives are going to allow the visitors to see some of the very scenery to choose from; and a lot of the scenery is going to be very close to the main high way also. There are beautiful trails and unpaved roads which stretch hundreds of miles.

Capitol Reef National Park facts
Capitol Reef National Park – Beautiful landscape

The History of the Mormons and Native American Settlers

Over the years, there were Mormons and Native American settlers that came to the capitol reef park. It is thought that the Native Americans lives near the Fremont River to the north of the National Park thousands of years ago. They were thought to grow crops of maize, lentils and squash which were stored in granaries – their grains were; and in the 13th century, the culture of the Native Americans changed. This may have been because of the very lengthy drought the area had and soon after the settlers from the Fremont Settlements and fields were left – abandoned really by all settlers.

In 1872, Alan H Thompson explored the area of the Waterpocket Fold; this was closely followed by Clarence Dutton who studied the area and its geology for many years. The Water pocket fold was not explored to a lengthy extent but it was an amazing area because it was very rugged as it is today. However, once the American Civil War was over, the Mormon missionaries moved to the area. This was in 1870’s and new settlers moved to the area.

The Mormon missionaries settled at the Fremont River Valley and established Fruita. During the early part of the 20th century, lime was extracted; this came from uranium and limestone. It was in 1904 when the first uranium mine was established in the area. There was a lot of hard work going in Fruita however, over the years, the land changed suddenly and the park was isolated once more.

It was in 1921 when the first effects to protect the land. There was money raised over time to help protect and restore parts of the park; and during the 30’s very little money was raised for the park. However in 1937, President Roosevelt signed a bill that created the Capitol Reef National Monument; this happened on the 2nd of August. The park covered 37,711 acres and when the depression rolled around the park suffered from funds.

Torrey in Utah is the closest town to Capitol Reef National Park as the town lies only 8 miles away from the park. It’s just west of the park, from the visitors centre and the town is quite small also. However, there are many great restaurants and motels to stay at for those who wish to visit the park or who want to stay overnight.

Capitol Reef National Park Information
Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park.

Inside the park, there is a very large camp ground which can be used by the visitors. Though for anyone who wishes to use this, it can be filled up very quickly, mostly by the early afternoon. This usually happens in the summer time and at most weekends also. Though, even if visitors don’t get into the camp grounds, the nearby town is still a great location to stay at.

Overnight camping inside the park is going to require a permit; visitors are going to be able to gain this permit from the rangers at the visitors centre. Don’t worry, its simple to get! There is however a very popular area in which many use, the Burr Trail Scenic Back way is great and this is going to allow visitors to gain access to the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument to the town of Boulder.

There orchards were planted by the Mormon pioneers who came to the area and today the orchards are still there at the park. However, they are maintained by the National Park Service; for a small fee, visitors can harvest their own fruits as there are many different fruits which grow in the orchards. Though this is quite fun to do and something that many love to try out.

There are many different activities in the park to choose from including horseback riding, a driving tour as well as hiking; however mountain biking is not allowed inside the park. However, there are options for those who wish to go mountain biking with a few trails which are just outside the park for visitors.


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Canyonlands National Park

Beautiful Canyons and Plateaus


The great American National Park, the Canyonlands, is found in Utah near the town of Moab to be exact. This is a very beautiful land area and the American park has some of the most amazing sights and scenery to view also. There is a fabulous, very unique and colourful landscape in the park which is preserved and protected also.

In the Canyonlands National Park, there are countless canyons to view which are tremendously beautiful and some of the landscape has eroded and sunk into these canyons also. However, there are many beautiful buttes and mesas to view which are found near the Green River and the Colorado River also.

The Canyonlands Park is divided into four sections – four districts really. Each district is very unique in its own way as they all have their very own characteristics and features that allow each of them to stand out dramatically from the others. There is the Needles region, the Island in the Sky region, the Maze region and the Rivers region also. There are two main river canyons in the park and they are also the biggest which are the Green River and the Colorado River also.

Recreational Activities In Canyon Lands National Park Today

Canyonlands are a very popular area and a favourite location for recreational purposes. There are at least 440,000 people who come to the park every year and it is a very popular location to visit also. Though the park is going to be great for many to use when it comes to those who loves to go hiking, or back packing; and it is also great for mountain bikers and four wheel drivers also. There are many amazing trails to use and many of them are going to have a lot of amazing sites to view.

Canyonlands National park Facts
Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National park

The Colorado River and the Green River are both very popular for kayaking and for rafters to use. Though the Cataract Canyon does offer for great powerful white water rapids and this is a very popular spot to use also. Though, the Island in the Sky district is close to the town of Moab and that brings in most of the visitors in the park today. This is the most visited spot in Canyonlands; and then it is the Needles district and the rivers draw fewer visitors and finally the Maze. The Maze doesn’t bring in many visitors but it’s still a lovely spot to visit.

The Climate of Canyon Lands National Park

The two rivers, the Colorado and Green join in the park and this have created the divided within the park. The park is looked over by two co-operating weather stations. This has been in the works since 1965 and both stations work together to help gather all relevant weather news for the visitors. The National Weather Service records all official data about the desert climate; and it has been reported that there are less than ten inches of rainfall throughout the entire year.

There are also very dry summers which are also very warm; and during the winter times, the climate is rather cold and sometimes wet. There are occasions when there is snow seen falling in and around the park; however this doesn’t happen very often. The temperatures can vary however from highs of 2.8 degrees Celsius to minus 6.3 degrees Celsius; these temperatures were recorded in the month of January. In July the temperatures can reach anything from 32.6 degrees Celsius down to a low of 18.8 degrees Celsius.

On average, the temperatures in the park are going to hit a high of almost 32 degrees Celsius. These temperatures are going occur for over 40 days of the year. For 120-125 days of the year also, they will have temperatures of zero degrees Celsius. However, for the rest of the year, the weather can at times be mixed and varied.

The highest temperatures recorded are of 41 degrees Celsius; this occurred on the 15th of July in 2005. The lowest temperatures recorded were in 1989; and on the 6th of February, the temperatures dipped to minus 25 degrees Celsius also. There are at least 9 or 10 inches of rain that fall in the park ever year; and since there are limited amount of rain, it helps to contribute to the dry desert-like atmosphere the park has.

One of the wettest years to date in the park, was in 1984. There were at least 14 inches of rain that fell over the park however, over the years, the amount of rain fall has varied. In 1989, there were only 5 inches of rain; this makes it the driest year of the park also.

Canyonlands National park information
False Kiva in Canyonlands

Though, in the park, there is around 22 inches of snow that fall every year. In 1975, 47 inches of snow fell which makes it one of the largest snow falls in the history of the park. In 1978, almost 27 inches of snow fell and that was just in one month alone! Things can vary with the weather in the park.

The Paradox formation was created because of erosion and because the seawater trapped in the subsiding basin, causing an uplift mountain range. However, the area did fill with water once again when flooding occurred. However, the formation wasn’t damaged in any way.

Erosion increased as the Colorado River canyon reaches the salt beds and extended over the river canyon also. This helped to form such things as the Grabens though erosion rates have been very slow rates compared to other regions.

Canyonlands national park is certainly going to be one of the very best national parks today. The park is home to many beautiful sights and it is an amazing and lovely place to visit. Visitors are going to come to the park because of the endless scenery and the rich history of the park also. This is a beautiful place and anyone visiting the park would be lucky to do so.


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