Capitol Reef National Park encloses a 100 mile long ridge of rock that was thrust up from the earth millions of years ago. The strata forced upward folded back on itself, trapping water in the process -- a "waterpocket fold." Erosion subsequently created marvelously-colored and wildly-varied rock formations of great beauty out of the ridge. (The "reef" describes the barrier created by the rock while "capitol" refers to several dome like rock formations resembling the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.)
Capitol Reef offers hiking opportunities and some good scenic drives. Early settlers in the region planted orchards of cherries, apricots, peaches, pears and apples that are open for picking from late-June to October. The campground is pleasantly situated near the orchards in a grassy, well-shaded area.
Capitol Reef is located in south central Utah some 60 miles south of I-70. It is not near any substantial towns. Its isolation makes it the least visited of Utah's national parks and the lack of crowds definitely adds to the experience.
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