Capitol Reef National Park is filled with colorful canyons, ridges, buttes and monoliths. The Waterpocket Fold, a wrinkle on the earth, is the backbone of the park and measures about 100 miles.see more »
Capitol Reef National Park
Land of the Sleeping Rainbow
Capitol Reef National Park splashes color for 100 miles from its northern to southern boundaries. The central geologic feature, the Waterpocket Fold, is a bulging uplift of rainbow-hued sandstone "reefs" and canyons. Much of Capitol Reef is an inviting wilderness of sandstone formations such as Capitol Dome, Hickman Bridge, and Temple of the Sun and Moon in the backcountry of splendid Cathedral Valley. Rock art petroglyphs are abundant in the midst of Capitol Reef's red rocks and tell the story of the early indigenous people, the Fremont Culture. Close by are the large orchards of Fruita, an early pioneer settlement - and now headquarters for the park - where a variety of fruit may be picked in season. The visitor center and campground are open year-round. Several easy hiking trails and a 25-mile scenic drive are found in this area. Cathedral Valley and other backcountry regions are reached by traveling on dirt roads, so make sure to inquire locally about current road conditions. The park is 11 miles east of Torrey or 37 miles west of Hanksville on Hwy 24.