Red stone cathedrals
According to Anycountyprivateschools, Capitol Reef National Park is located in the US state of Utah. The national park was founded in 1971. The protected area had previously been designated a US national monument in 1937. The heart of Capitol Reef National Park is the ” Waterpocket Fold “. This is a geological rock formation, a crustal fault, extending north to south for approximately 155 km. This long and narrow fault, which shows many differently colored layers of sediment, was formed about 65 million years ago.
The area of the Capitol Reef National Park amounts to 979 km². More than half a million tourists come to the sanctuary every year, although the national park is a bit off the main tourist routes. The national park is open all year round. The capital, Salt Lake City, is about a four-hour drive north of the national park.
Before the arrival of the white settlers, the Paiute Native Americans lived in the region. Numerous testimonies were discovered in the national park, such as unique rock drawings, but also historical settlement remains from the time of the “Indian” settlement; which were secured for posterity by the designation of the national park. Prehistoric writing and images of animals have been discovered on rocks, testifying to better hunting grounds in the region. Capitol Reef National Park got its name from the first pioneers who came to the country. The imposing Capitol Dome, a large sandstone cliff in the national park, is said to have reminded them of the Capitol in the capital.
Cathedral Valley in Northern Capitol Reef National Park
To the north of Capitol Reef National Park is Cathedral Valley. The road there is in bad condition. In addition, you have to cross the Fremont River on the way. A four-wheel drive vehicle is therefore mandatory. In the Cathedral Valley there are solitary rock formations that are strongly reminiscent of church buildings in their shape and were named accordingly by the Mormons. In the Fremont Valley, prehistoric settlement remains and rock carvings can be discovered on high canyon walls.
Leisure activities in the national park
The network of hiking trails in Capitol Reef National Park is very well developed. The Capitol Reef National Park is popular for mountain biking and jeep tours. Wildlife watching and photographing nature and the peculiar rock formations is also popular. For leisure activities in the dry regions of the protected area, a sufficient supply of drinking water should always be carried.
Numerous viewpoints in the national park
The Fruita Visitor Center is located just off State Route 24 near the abandoned Mormon settlement of Fruita. The State Route meanders through the national park. Once you have passed the “ghost settlement” Fruita, you reach a 15-kilometer scenic drive that runs along the rock massif. Along the highway one discovers many of the visual highlights of Capitol Reef National Park. Approaching from the west, the eye first encounters Chimney Rock. A detour leads the visitor to very nice viewpoints in the national park, the Sunset Point and the Gooseneck Overlook at Sulfur Creek. The road ends in Capitol Gorge Canyon. A trip during sunset is recommended as the rocks are bathed in a fascinating light.
Fruit from Capitol Reef National Park
A special feature is being able to pick fruit from the orchards in the national park for your own consumption. In the Capitol Reef National Park there are around 2,600 nut and fruit trees in the fertile region of the protected area. The fruit trees are the legacy of a former Mormon settlement at Fruita within the national park. The fruit trees are still looked after and cared for and the harvest is used. In the area of the former Mormon settlement there is a serviceable campground with signs “Fruita Campground”. Other campgrounds in the national park are “Cedar Mesa” and “Cathedral Valley”.
Four Corners Monument – Utah
Junction of the border of four states of the USA
The Four Corners Monument is located at the meeting point of the borders of the states of Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico in the southern United States. Monument Valley is nearby. At the Four Corners Monument is a small visitor’s podium centered on the boundary marker. Like Monument Valley, the boundary marker is within the United States ‘ Navajo Territory.
The final border point today was set during the United States’ state formation in 1863. At the time, what is now Arizona was separated from New Mexico, and some boundary changes took place. There used to be a sandstone pillar at the crossroads of the four states. In a 1992 redesign of Four Corners, the boundary point was re-marked with an aluminum-bronze disc. In 2010, the structure around the disc was redesigned again.
The four-country corner is the (only) highlight
Although the Four Corners Monument is located in the middle of nowhere of the state lines, the place has developed into a popular, well-visited tourist destination in the USA. A small visitor center is available at the monument. Local Ute and Navajo Native Americans offer souvenirs and crafts for sale at Four Corners.
Four Corners is an interesting site in itself due to where the four state lines meet, but other than that there isn’t much for visitors to see. Access to “Four Corners” is not free.