When God created the earth...he spilt his painters pallet over 'Wayne Wonderland'!
For many years the place known today as Capitol Reef National Park, was a tiny quiet Mormon settlement.
According to brochures and on-line information,
"In the early 1880s, settlers moved into Capitol Reef country. Tiny communities sprung up along the life-sustaining Fremont River
By 1920, the work was hard but the life in Fruita was good. No more than ten families at one time were sustained by the fertile flood plain of the Fremont River and the land changed ownership over the years. The area remained isolated."
It wasn't until 1962 that the state of Utah paved Highway 24 that now runs through this stunningly beautiful area.
Until then Hwy. 24 was a dirt road that followed the Fremont River Canyon that took you to the little towns known today as: Cainville and Hanksville East of the Park and Torrey West of the Park!
In 1995 the tourist population that visited Capitol Reef National Park was up to 706,265 visitors. I can't find what the census are as to date...but I know that it has increased because I live here in this area and I do know that the accommodation facilities have grown in number.
If you noticed the picture that appears on Epinions for advertisement of Capitol Reef National Park, it is known as the 'Waterpocket Fold'. If I may, I will quote to you what Geologists describe as a Waterpocket Fold,
"The Waterpocket Fold defines Capitol Reef National
Park. A nearly 100-mile long warp in the Earth's
crust, the Waterpocket Fold is a classic monocline:
a regional fold with one very steep side in an area
of otherwise nearly horizontal layers. A monocline
is a "step-up" in the rock layers. The rock layers
on the west side of the Waterpocket Fold have been
lifted more than 7000 feet higher than the layers on
the east. Major folds are almost always associated
with underlying faults.
The Waterpocket Fold formed
between 50 and 70 million years ago when a major
mountain building event in western North America,
the Laramide Orogeny, reactivated an ancient buried
fault. When the fault moved, the overlying rock
layers were draped above the fault and formed a
More recent uplift of the entire Colorado
Plateau and the resulting erosion has exposed this
fold at the surface only within the last 15 to 20
million years. The name Waterpocket Fold reflects
this ongoing erosion of the rock
"Waterpockets" are basins that form in many
of the sandstone layers as they are eroded by water.
These basins are common throughout the fold, thus
giving it the name "Waterpocket Fold". Erosion of
the tilted rock layers continues today forming
colorful cliffs, massive domes, soaring spires,
stark monoliths, twisting canyons, and graceful
Now, I know that was long...but I want you to know just what kind of beauty I am talking about and I am no Geologist, so I did the next best thing...described through a quote.
The Color: Is almost unexplainable but here I go!
*Red to reddish brown to purplish
*Yellowish to orangish to rusty brown
*Light blue, greenish gray, and off-white
*Dark gray, brownish gray to black
*Canary yellow to yellowish green
*Bright green and azure blue
*Green to greenish gray splotches
*The red to dusky brown to black
A picture says a million words...yet you read it in your own language. If you are into geology...visit Capitol Reef National Park.
Here is what C.R.N.P can provide you with:
Natural history ****(A Favorite)****
Orchards ****(A Favorite)****
Teacher info****(A Favorite)****
***You will notice I noted three of my favorites.
First: Natural History
C.R.N.P has a Utah Natural History Organization...with it comes culture. There are people that work at the Visitor Center of C.R.N.P that are trained to tell you what you desire about the natural history of the area.
Fremont River was named after the Fremont Indians that lived there as the first dwellers before the tiny town of Fruita was settled by the Mormon pioneers. Within the Visitor Center your eyes will feast upon some of the remains that were so much a part of their culture.
The name of the tiny settlement is Fruita, named after the numerous fruit orchards that grew there and continue to grow today.
I love to go there in the fall and harvest some of the most delicious fruit ever. The cost is very cheap...you do have to do your own picking if you want to pick a lot for canning; however, the personnel will pick some of the fruit and give it away free if as a visitor you are passing through want a small bag to nibble on!
Third: Teacher Information
Now if you are a teacher and you want your students to take a step back in history...This Is The Place..."pun intended!"
In the fall each year C.R.N.P has a week called Harvest Week. People dress up in the area they are demonstrating and demonstrate the old cultures of the people that settled in this beautiful place.
Talk about fun and exciting...I totally recommend that if you live near by and teach children...try this out! To find more information out about this event, just contact the Visitor Center.
If you don't live near by and happen to want to visit Utah and the beautiful Parks in the fall...make sure you add C.R.N.P to your loop...it is well worth the effort.
Located:In South central Utah!
I've so often heard and also read other reviews that C.R.N.P is off the beaten path of the other parks that are neighbors:
*Zions National Park
*Bryce Canyon National Park
*Escalante Staircase National Monument
*Canyon Lands National Park
*Arches National Park
Granted it would be quite a drive...but not impossible to do the loop.
C.R.N.P is located just about 80-90 miles North of the Escalante Staircase National Monument, about 1 hours drive, with Bryce Canyon National Park just 1.5 hours west of there.
It is located about 3-3.5 hours Southeast from Canyon lands National Park.
The only con about Capitol Reef National Park being located where it is...is that it is a smaller scale facility. The day hikes and overnight regulated hikes are just like any other park along with the site seeing. But you have to really want to come here and see this beauty, because it is out of the way and off the beaten path...but not so isolated as other reviewers make it seem.
C.R.N.P has the Visitor Center that has flush toilets there and down the road in the picnic area there are more flush toilets located. The camp grounds within the visitor center area also have flush toilets. This little Park has come a long way in a few years.
It is one of the newer parks...so it hasn't hit the big scale.
The camp grounds within the visitor center area have grass, trees and running water. The Fremont river runs through them...it is a sight to behold.
It is off the beaten path but that allows less population of people. It is not an overly crowded Park.
There is no Entry Fee that you will encounter as in other Parks...simply because Hwy.24 runs through it and the local traffic has to pass on this Hwy. daily. Less fees means less facilities.
There are no restaurants or eating facilities in the Park...but in the cute little town of Torrey just 11 miles west of C.R.N.P you can find restaurants, motels, R.V. Parks, convenience stores with gas stations and one general store and bakery. There is a Subway Sandwich Franchise in one of the convenience gas stations!
Two of the restaurants in Torrey are favorites to many national visitors! So there you have it...we are up scale after all!
The average in the Winter months...December-February is 40-48 degrees.
The average in the Spring months...March-May is 56-76 degrees.
The average in the Summer months...June-August is 87-89 degrees.
The average in the Fall months...September-November is 81-53 degrees.
The summers are hot and dry...so plan on drinking a lot of water and applying a lot of sunscreen. Wear long sleeves and hats...the sun loves to shine on this beautiful place.
Capitol Reef National Park is one of the places in this whole world that you are really going to experience Heaven.
The evenings are breath taking, as the sun sets in deep pinks, blues and reds and with that come nights,usually star filled skies...when the moon is out...you are in awe of such marvelous beauty.
There is nothing like rising with the sun in this picturesque place...the sun speaks upon the mountains with a soft whisper of coral pink with sun rays of whitish yellow bringing with it a breath of fresh air.
Have I caught your attention yet! I hope that I have been able to describe this beauty and wonder in words...but then it is impossible to get in all in...come and visit...I promise, you'll love it!
I totally recommend Capitol Reef National Park to you and anyone that wants to know more about it! I know that I am bias...but then, I live in a Heavenly place!
I rate Capitol Reef National Park 5 stars because of its beauty and the simple quiet life it provides for the individual in each of us. You can find beauty in rock formation, hikes, drives, petroglyph's, wild flowers, desert floors to mountain views, deer that roam among you as you camp, history and tasty fruit...in the right season. C.R.N.P is a hidden beauty...it is up to you to discover what it is that you will love about it!
To contact the park, dial (435)425-3791. You will be transferred to the voice mail system, which will then provide instructions on contacting the staff member or division you would like to reach.
You can also read more about Capitol Reef National Park on-online at http://www.nps.gov/care/.
Read all 11 Reviews
Write a Review
Best time to go: September-November
Recommended for: Anybody
Review Topic: Overview