Capitol Reef National Park Facts

Capitol Reef National Park Facts
Capitol Reef National Park is a 241,904 acre park located in southern Utah in the United States. The park was originally named Wayne Wonderland in the 1920s as it is located partially in Wayne County. In 1937 Capitol Reef National Monument was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was established to protect the monoliths, buttes, ridges, and canyons of the area but did not open to the general public until 1950. It was not established as Capitol Reef National Park until 1971. The name 'Capitol Reef' was used as the name of the park because it refers to an extremely rugged section of a rocky spine called Waterpocket Fold contained within the park itself.
Interesting Capitol Reef National Park Facts:
The word 'capitol' is used in the name because it was given to white dome formations on the line of cliffs within the park's Waterpocket Fold. It looks similar to the American State Capitol Building.
The word 'reef' in the park's name is used because it refers to rocky land barrier.
Waterpocket Fold, located within Capitol Reef National Park, is a 65 million year old warp in the crust of the earth.
The original name given to the area - Wayne Wonderland - was given by two locals in the area in the 1920s named Ephram Pectol and Joseph S. Hickman.
Although there are paved roadways in the park much of it is not accessible by road or is only accessible by unpaved roads or trails which leaves much of the park untouched by modern amenities.
There are orchards in Capitol Reef National Park that visitors can pick fruit from (after paying a fee). These orchards were planted by Mormon pioneers who settled the area.
Highlights of Capitol Reef National Park include Capitol Dome (white sandstone formation), Chimney Rock (400 foot tall pillar of sandstone), Hickman Bridge (a natural 125 foot tall arch), Fremont Petroglyphs (1000 year old petroglyphs of the Fremont people), Behunin Cabin (red sandstone cabin built in 1882), Cathedral Valley (hundreds of feet high monoliths), and Fruita (small town in the park with over 2,500 fruit trees planted by Mormon pioneers).
Three popular hiking trails in the park include The Hickman Bridge Trail, the Chimney Rock Loop Trail, and Cassidy Arch Trail.
Wildlife that can be found living in Capitol Reef National Park includes the black billed magpie, black bears, kangaroo rats, marmots, pinion jays, porcupines, pronghorn antelopes, and Utah prairie dogs.
Visitors to Capitol Reef National Park can enjoy camping, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, rock climbing, biking, driving tours, and fruit picking as well as site seeing and wildlife watching.
There are a variety of different species of flora and fauna found in Capitol Reef National Park including 13 native species of fish, 5 species of amphibians, 15 species of reptiles, 71 species of mammals, 239 bird species, and 887 species of plants, of which 6 are threatened or endangered and 40 are rare and endemic (found only in this area).
It is estimated that approximately 784,000 people visit Capitol Reef National Park each year.

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