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Capitol Reef National Park Overview

Capitol Reef National Park is a long thin park that stretches over 100 miles from Glen Canyon in the south to Cathedral Valley in the north. The main geologic feature of the park is Waterpocket Fold, a giant wrinkle in the Earth's crust. This large reef of rock was formed 65 million years ago by the same forces that later uplifted the Colorado Plateau. The fold consists of "an eroded jumble of colorful cliffs, massive domes, soaring spires, stark monoliths, twisting canyons and graceful arches.

Main road access to the Park from the east or west is obtained via Utah 24 which winds its way along the Fremont River between Torrey and Hanksville; or from the south (from the Bullfrog Marina at lake Powell) via the partially paved Burr Trail Road. The unpaved, but well graded Bullfrog-Notom road runs along the backbone of Waterpocket Fold from Burr Trail to Utah 24 and provides access to hikes in the reef. There are a few maintained trails in the Park, located near the visitors center on Utah 24, as well as several pictograph panels created by Fremont Indians; however, the main reason for hikers to visit are the many interesting canyons that cut through the reef forming deep and sculpted narrows. The visitors center sells a spiral bound notebook outlining many of these hiking opportunities (entitled "Exploring Capitol Reef" (? - unfortunately I don't own this book and only found out about it after visiting the area).