Capitol Reef National Park

Location: Torrey, Utah
Date: April 16, 2011

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef National Park in south-central Utah protects Waterpocket Fold - a 100 mile long buckle in the Earth's crust.  The most visited section of the park is along state route 24 east of Torrey.  South of Torrey, state route 12 goes all the way to Bryce Canyon, and is one of only 27 roads in the country designated an All-American Road.

Sulphur Creek Canyon

Along route 24 are several features including Chimney Rock, Panorama Point/the Goosenecks, petroglyphs, Hickman Bridge, Capitol Dome, and the Fruita Historic District.  The Goosenecks is an overlook from above Sulphur Creek Canyon that is along a 0.2 mile trail.  The Hickman Bridge is a natural bridge along a trail one mile from the road and 400 feet up the canyon.

Hickman Bridge

A 10 mile paved scenic road goes south from the visitor center through the Fruita Historic District to the Capitol Gorge.  The Fruita Historic District along the Fremont River is the location of Native American  as well as Mormon pioneer settlements.  The district received its name from its productive apple, peach, pear, cherry, apricot, and other fruit orchards.  These orchards are still maintained by the park, and visitors are free to eat as much fruit as you want while in the orchards, but to pick large quantities you must obtain a permit.

Waterpocket Fold at Chimney Rock area

There are many other trails in the park in addition to several backcountry roads.  A couple of high clearance roads go to Cathedral Valley in the northern section of the park, while an unpaved but accessible road goes through the southern part of the park.

Capitol Dome

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