November 17 2014
Written By
Paul Jaworski
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The Great 59 - Part 9: Capitol Reef National Park

The Great 59 is a series on America’s National Park Service.

Capitol Reef National Park

State: Utah

Created: December 18th, 1971

Size: 241,904 Acres

Capitol Reef National Park has a rare feature about it that sets it apart from the other National Parks on our list, it’s called the Waterpocket Fold. The scientific name for the fold is “a geologic monocline“, but for the layman its simply a giant wrinkle on the earth that extends almost 100 miles.

Another unique aspect of Capitol Reef is that it is home to a few orchards that the early settlers planted many years ago. You can actually pick fresh fruit when the season is right and enjoy freshly baked pies at the Gifford House Museum and Store.

What To Do:

Camping – You can rest your bones at the 71 spot Fruita Campground located just south of the visitor center.

Fishing –You can fish along the Fremont river in the park as long as you have a valid Utah Fishing license, but we all know that you don’t need a license to fish, you just need a license to get caught fishing.

Pick Fruit– If you plan your visit during the fall you can pick fresh apples and pears right off the tree at the largest orchard managed by the National Park Service.

Rock Climbing – You can rock climb the giant sandstone walls within the park and even create your own path to share with people if you’re skilled enough.

Places Of Interest:

Gifford House/Store- This isn’t necessarily the most eventful part of the park, but it is where they bake fresh pie and that’s important.

Burr Trail– This trail cuts right through the fold and offers beautiful views, hiking opportunities, and a scenic drive if you are just passing by.

Cassidy Arch – There are a few different trails you can take to this arch, just ask at the visitor center for your options. The interesting thing about this arch, as compared to other arches in the world, is that you can actually walk across it.

The best time to go to Capitol Reef is in the fall, because you can enjoy everything it has to offer and still pick fruit right off the tree.


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