Scenic USA - Utah
Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of historic sites, points of interest, and a large
sampling of America's parklands. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided, but in no means should they be considered an endorsement.
Capitol Reef National Park, famous for its heavily wrinkled landscape, offers a dramatic drive through the narrow and winding Capitol Gorge. Carved open by a branch of the Fremont River, Capitol Gorge provided early pioneers and bad-guy Butch Cassidy an alternate route, bypassing Fremont River crossings.
Here in the remote Capitol Reef National Park, the landscape is dominated by banded sandstone layers, multi-colored cliffs, slot canyons, natural arches and domes. A large, white Navajo sandstone dome, looking like America's Capitol Building Dome, inspired the capitol part of the name. The reef, a long formidable ridge running 100 miles along the Waterpocket Fold, presented a difficult barrier for early pioneers. Despite difficult travels, the fertile soils of the Fremont Valley encouraged a successful Mormon settlement at Frutia.
Here at Capitol Reef, visitors are introduced to remnants of the Mormon settlement and its history. A long list of hiking trails is another way to enjoy the majestic sandstone scenery and the park's scenic wonders. Although Route 24 passes through the park and offers a quick overview of the park, visitors are encouraged to take a closer look at the rugged topography. A ten mile scenic drive heads southward through the park from Route 24, leading toward the western face of Capitol Reef, Grand Wash, Cassidy Arch, Sliprock Divide and Capitol Gorge.
Here, the road ends at a parking lot and visitors may continue on foot through the canyon. For those with more time and a strong desire to see more, a trip through the northern section of the park to Cathedral Valley is in order.
Copyright ©2011 Benjamin Prepelka
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