Capitol Reef National Park Overview
Only a few decades ago, Capitol Reef and the Waterpocket Fold Country comprised one of the remote corners of the lower 48 states. Easy road access came only with the construction of a paved Utah Highway 24 through the Fremont River Canyon in 1962. On August 2, 1937, in Proclamation 2246, President Roosevelt set aside 37,711 acres of the Capitol Reef area, making it a National Monument. This comprised an area extending about two miles north of present Utah Hwy 24 and about ten miles south, just past Capitol Gorge.
Traveling westbound on Interstate 70: Take Utah State Highway 24 West towards Hanksville (exit 149). Stay on Highway 24 for 95 miles to reach the park Visitor Center.
Traveling on Interstate 15: Take US Highway 50 East at Scipio (exit 188) towards Salina for 30 miles. At the junction with Utah State Highway 89/259, turn right (south) and travel 8 miles. Turn left (east) onto Utah State Highway 24 towards Sigurd. Continue on Highway 24 for 82 miles to reach the park Visitor Center.
Geology & Ecology
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.
Capitol Reef National Park encompasses nearly a quarter-million acres in the slickrock country of Utah. Plant and animal life are diverse because of a variety of habitats, such as pinyon-juniper, perennial streams, dry washes and rock cliffs.
Capitol Reef Activities
A picnic area near the visitor center provides tables, fire grills, restrooms, drinking water and shade trees. From May to September, the park offers a variety of ranger-guided programs at no charge. These include guided walks, talks, and evening programs at the campground amphitheater. Bicycles are restricted to maintained roads open to vehicular traffic. A handout available at the visitor center identifies and describes recommended routes. Fishing is permitted in the Fremont River with a valid Utah fishing license.
Capitol Reef Park Hours
The park and campgrounds are open year-round. The Visitor Center is open daily (except for some major holidays) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours during the summer season. Ripple Rock Nature Center is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sundays and Mondays.
All area information provided above was obtained from Lake Powell USA Visitors Guide, Lake Powell National, National Parks Service, BLM, and Powellguide.com.
Park Contact Information
Capitol Reef National Park
HC 70 Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775
General Information: (435) 425-3791 x111
Fax: (435) 425-3026
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