Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is an American national park in south-central Utah. The park is approximately 60 miles (97 km) long on its north–south axis and just 6 miles (9.7 km) wide on average. The park was established in 1971 to preserve 241,904 acres (377.98 sq mi; 97,895.08 ha; 978.95 km2) of desert landscape and is open all year, with May through September being the highest visitation months.

Partially in Wayne County, Utah, the area was originally named "Wayne Wonderland" in the 1920s by local boosters Ephraim P. Pectol and Joseph S. Hickman.[3] Capitol Reef National Park was designated a national monument on August 2, 1937, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to protect the area's colorful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths; however, it was not until 1950 that the area officially opened to the public.[3] Road access was improved in 1962 with the construction of State Route 24 through the Fremont River Canyon.[4]

The majority of the nearly 100 mi (160 km) long up-thrust formation called the Waterpocket Fold—a rocky spine extending from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell—is preserved within the park. Capitol Reef is an especially rugged and spectacular segment of the Waterpocket Fold by the Fremont River.[4] The park was named for its whitish Navajo Sandstone cliffs with dome formations—similar to the white domes often placed on capitol buildings—that run from the Fremont River to Pleasant Creek on the Waterpocket Fold. Locally, reef refers to any rocky barrier to land travel, just as ocean reefs are barriers to sea travel.[5]

Capitol Reef National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Map showing the location of Capitol Reef National Park
Map showing the location of Capitol Reef National Park
Location in the United States
Map showing the location of Capitol Reef National Park
Map showing the location of Capitol Reef National Park
Location in Utah
LocationWayne, Garfield, Sevier, and Emery counties, Utah, United States
Nearest cityTorrey
Coordinates38°12′N 111°10′W / 38.200°N 111.167°WCoordinates: 38°12′N 111°10′W / 38.200°N 111.167°W
Area241,904 acres (978.95 km2)
670 acres (270 ha) private[1]
EstablishedDecember 18, 1971
Visitors1,227,627 (in 2018)[2]
Governing bodyNational Park Service

Geography

Map of Capitol Reef National Park
Park map

Capitol Reef encompasses the Waterpocket Fold, a warp in the earth's crust that is 65 million years old. It is the largest exposed monocline in North America. In this fold, newer and older layers of earth folded over each other in an S-shape. This warp, probably caused by the same colliding continental plates that created the Rocky Mountains, has weathered and eroded over millennia to expose layers of rock and fossils. The park is filled with brilliantly colored sandstone cliffs, gleaming white domes, and contrasting layers of stone and earth.

The area was named for a line of white domes and cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, each of which looks somewhat like the United States Capitol building, that run from the Fremont River to Pleasant Creek on the Waterpocket Fold.

The fold forms a north-to-south barrier that has barely been breached by roads. Early settlers referred to parallel impassable ridges as "reefs", from which the park gets the second half of its name. The first paved road was constructed through the area in 1962. State Route 24 cuts through the park traveling east and west between Canyonlands National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, but few other paved roads invade the rugged landscape.

The park is filled with canyons, cliffs, towers, domes, and arches. The Fremont River has cut canyons through parts of the Waterpocket Fold, but most of the park is arid desert. A scenic drive shows park visitors some highlights, but it runs only a few miles from the main highway. Hundreds of miles of trails and unpaved roads lead into the equally scenic backcountry.

History

Native Americans and Mormons

CapitolGorgePetroglyphs
Petroglyph in Capitol Gorge
A136, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA, 2001
Navajo Dome formation
Fruita School House, Capital Reef National Park
Fruita School House
CapitolGorgeCapitolReefNP
Capitol Gorge

Fremont-culture Native Americans lived near the perennial Fremont River in the northern part of the Capitol Reef Waterpocket Fold around the year 1000. They irrigated crops of maize and squash and stored their grain in stone granaries (in part made from the numerous black basalt boulders that litter the area). In the 13th century, all of the Native American cultures in this area underwent sudden change, likely due to a long drought. The Fremont settlements and fields were abandoned.

Many years after the Fremont left, Paiutes moved into the area. These Numic-speaking people named the Fremont granaries moki huts and thought they were the homes of a race of tiny people or moki.

In 1872 Alan H. Thompson, a surveyor attached to United States Army Major John Wesley Powell's expedition, crossed the Waterpocket Fold while exploring the area. Geologist Clarence Dutton later spent several summers studying the area's geology. None of these expeditions explored the Waterpocket Fold to any great extent, however. It was, as now, incredibly rugged and forbidding.

Following the American Civil War, officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City sought to establish missions in the remotest niches of the Intermountain West. In 1866, a quasi-military expedition of Mormons in pursuit of natives penetrated the high valleys to the west. In the 1870s, settlers moved into these valleys, eventually establishing Loa, Fremont, Lyman, Bicknell, and Torrey.[4]

Mormons settled the Fremont River valley in the 1880s and established Junction (later renamed Fruita), Caineville, and Aldridge. Fruita prospered, Caineville barely survived, and Aldridge died.[4] In addition to farming, lime was extracted from local limestone, and uranium was extracted early in the 20th century. In 1904 the first claim to a uranium mine in the area was staked. The resulting Oyler Mine in Grand Wash produced uranium ore.

By 1920 no more than ten families at one time were sustained by the fertile flood plain of the Fremont River and the land changed ownership over the years. The area remained isolated.[4] The community was later abandoned and later still some buildings were restored by the National Park Service. Kilns once used to produce lime are still in Sulphur Creek and near the campgrounds on Scenic Drive.

Early protection efforts

Local Ephraim Portman Pectol organized a "booster club" in Torrey in 1921. Pectol pressed a promotional campaign, furnishing stories to be sent to periodicals and newspapers. In his efforts, he was increasingly aided by his brother-in-law, Joseph S. Hickman, who was the Wayne County High School principal. In 1924, Hickman extended community involvement in the promotional effort by organizing a Wayne County-wide Wayne Wonderland Club. That same year, Hickman was elected to the Utah State Legislature.[6]

In 1933, Pectol was elected to the presidency of the Associated Civics Club of Southern Utah, successor to the Wayne Wonderland Club. The club raised U.S. $150 (equivalent to $2,903 in 2018) to interest a Salt Lake City photographer in taking a series of promotional photographs. For several years, the photographer, J. E. Broaddus, traveled and lectured on "Wayne Wonderland".[6]

In 1933, Pectol was elected to the legislature and almost immediately contacted President Franklin D. Roosevelt and asked for the creation of "Wayne Wonderland National Monument" out of the federal lands comprising the bulk of the Capitol Reef area. Federal agencies began a feasibility study and boundary assessment. Meanwhile, Pectol guided the government investigators on numerous trips and escorted an increasing number of visitors. The lectures of Broaddus were having an effect.[6]

Roosevelt signed a proclamation creating Capitol Reef National Monument on August 2, 1937.[7] In Proclamation 2246, President Roosevelt set aside 37,711 acres (15,261 ha) of the Capitol Reef area. This comprised an area extending about two miles (3.2 km) north of present State Route 24 and about 10 mi (16 km) south, just past Capitol Gorge. The Great Depression years were lean ones for the National Park Service (NPS), the new administering agency. Funds for the administration of Capitol Reef were nonexistent; it would be a long time before the first rangers would arrive.[4]

Administration of the monument

Administration of the new monument was placed under the control of Zion National Park.[6] A stone ranger cabin and the Sulphur Creek bridge were built and some road work was performed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. Historian and printer Charles Kelly came to know NPS officials at Zion well and volunteered to watchdog the park for the NPS. Kelly was officially appointed custodian-without-pay in 1943.[6] He worked as a volunteer until 1950, when the NPS offered him a civil-service appointment as the first superintendent.[6]

During the 1950s Kelly was deeply troubled by NPS management acceding to demands of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission that Capitol Reef National Monument be opened to uranium prospecting. He felt that the decision had been a mistake and destructive of the long-term national interest. It turned out that there was not enough ore in the monument to be worth mining.[6]

In 1958 Kelly got additional permanent help in protecting the monument and enforcing regulations; Park Ranger Grant Clark transferred from Zion. The year Clark arrived, fifty-six thousand visitors came to the park, and Charlie Kelly retired for the last time.[6]

During the 1960s (under the program name Mission 66), NPS areas nationwide received new facilities to meet the demand of mushrooming park visitation. At Capitol Reef, a 53-site campground at Fruita, staff rental housing, and a new visitor center were built, the latter opening in 1966.[4]

Visitation climbed dramatically after the paved, all-weather State Route 24 was built in 1962 through the Fremont River canyon near Fruita. State Route 24 replaced the narrow Capitol Gorge wagon road about 10 mi (16 km) to the south that frequently washed out. The old road has since been open only to foot traffic. In 1967, 146,598 persons visited the park. The staff was also growing.[4]

During the 1960s, the NPS purchased private land parcels at Fruita and Pleasant Creek. Almost all private property passed into public ownership on a "willing buyer-willing seller" basis.[4]

Preservationists convinced President Lyndon B. Johnson to set aside an enormous area of public lands in 1968, just before he left office. In Presidential Proclamation 3888 an additional 215,056 acres (87,030 ha) were placed under NPS control. By 1970, Capitol Reef National Monument comprised 254,251 acres (102,892 ha) and sprawled southeast from Thousand Lake Mountain almost to the Colorado River. The action was controversial locally, and NPS staffing at the monument was inadequate to properly manage the additional land.[4]

National park status

The vast enlargement of the monument and diversification of the scenic resources soon raised another issue: whether Capitol Reef should be a national park, rather than a monument. Two bills were introduced into the United States Congress.[4]

A House bill (H.R. 17152) introduced by Utah Congressman Laurence J. Burton called for a 180,000-acre (72,800 ha) national park and an adjunct 48,000-acre (19,400 ha) national recreation area where multiple use (including grazing) could continue indefinitely. In the United States Senate, meanwhile, Senate bill S. 531 had already passed on July 1, 1970, and provided for a 230,000-acre (93,100 ha) national park alone. The bill called for a 25-year phase-out of grazing.[4]

In September 1970, United States Department of Interior officials told a house subcommittee session that they preferred about 254,000 acres (103,000 ha) be set aside as a national park. They also recommended that the grazing phase-out period be 10 years, rather than 25. They did not favor the adjunct recreation area.[4]

It was not until late 1971 that Congressional action was completed. By then, the 92nd United States Congress was in session and S. 531 had languished. A new bill, S. 29, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Frank E. Moss of Utah and was essentially the same as the defunct S. 531 except that it called for an additional 10,834 acres (4,384 ha) of public lands for a Capitol Reef National Park. In the House, Utah Representative K. Gunn McKay (with Representative Lloyd) had introduced H.R. 9053 to replace the dead H.R. 17152. This time, the House bill dropped the concept of an adjunct Capitol Reef National Recreation Area and adopted the Senate concept of a 25-year limit on continued grazing. The Department of Interior was still recommending a national park of 254,368 acres (102,939 ha) and a 10-year limit for grazing phase-out.[4]

S. 29 passed the Senate in June and was sent to the House. The House subsequently dropped its own bill and passed the Senate version with an amendment. Because the Senate was not in agreement with the House amendment, differences were worked out in Conference Committee. The Conference Committee issued their agreeing report on November 30, 1971. The legislation—'An Act to Establish The Capitol Reef National Park in the State of Utah'—became Public Law 92-207 when it was signed by President Richard Nixon on December 18, 1971.[4]

Climate

According to the Köppen climate classification system, Capitol Reef National Park has a Cold Winter, Semi-Arid Climate (‘’BSk’’). The plant hardiness zone at the visitor center is 7a with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 4.9 °F (-15.1 °C)[8].

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average Dew Point °F 16.8 19.9 21.8 23.5 28.0 30.5 38.7 41.0 33.9 27.4 21.6 16.9 26.7
Average Dew Point °C -8.4 -6.7 -5.7 -4.7 -2.2 -0.8 3.7 5.0 1.1 -2.6 -5.8 -8.4 -2.9
Source: PRISM Climate Group[9]

Geology

Big Thomson Mesa, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Waterpocket Fold from the ISS
Capitol Reef - Hickman Bridge
Hickman Bridge

The area including the park was once the edge of an shallow sea that invaded the land in the Permian, creating the Cutler Formation. Only the sandstone of the youngest member of the Cutler Formation, the White Rim, is exposed in the park. The deepening sea left carbonate deposits, forming the limestone of the Kaibab Limestone, the same formation that rims the Grand Canyon to the southwest.

During the Triassic, streams deposited reddish-brown silt that later became the siltstone of the Moenkopi Formation. Uplift and erosion followed. Conglomerate, followed by logs, sand, mud, and wind-transported volcanic ash, then formed the uranium-containing Chinle Formation.

The members of the Glen Canyon Group were all laid down in the middle- to late-Triassic during a time of increasing aridity. They include:

GoldenThrone
The Golden Throne. Though Capitol Reef is famous for white domes of Navajo Sandstone, this dome's color is a result of a lingering section of yellow Carmel Formation carbonate, which has stained the underlying rock.

The San Rafael Group consists of four Jurassic-period formations, from oldest to youngest:

Streams once again laid down mud and sand in their channels, on lakebeds, and in swampy plains, creating the Morrison Formation. Early in the Cretaceous, similar nonmarine sediments were laid down and became the Dakota Sandstone. Eventually, the Cretaceous Seaway covered the Dakota, depositing the Mancos Shale.

Only small remnants of the Mesaverde Group are found, capping a few mesas in the park's eastern section.

Near the end of the Cretaceous period, a mountain-building event called the Laramide orogeny started to compact and uplift the region, forming the Rocky Mountains and creating monoclines such as the Waterpocket Fold in the park. Ten to fifteen million years ago, the entire region was uplifted much further by the creation of the Colorado Plateau. This uplift was very even. Igneous activity in the form of volcanism and dike and sill intrusion also occurred during this time.

The drainage system in the area was rearranged and steepened, causing streams to downcut faster and sometimes change course. Wetter times during the ice ages of the Pleistocene increased the rate of erosion.

Visiting the park

CapReefMerged
Tower and rock layers at Capitol Reef

The closest town to Capitol Reef is Torrey, about 11 mi (18 km) west of the visitor center on Highway 24, slightly west of its intersection with Highway 12.[10] Torrey has a population of less than 200, with a few motels and restaurants. Highway 12, as well as a partially unpaved scenic backway named the Burr Trail, provide access from the west through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the town of Boulder.[10]

The park has one developed campground that requires reservations from March to October,[11] and two primitive free camping areas.[12] Backcountry camping elsewhere in the park requires a free permit available at the visitor center.[13]

Activities in the park include hiking, horseback riding, and driving tours. Mountain biking is prohibited on park trails but allowed on roadways.[13]

The orchards planted by Mormon pioneers are maintained by the National Park Service. From early March to mid-October, various fruit—cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, or apples—can be harvested by visitors for a fee.[14]

See also

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Park Service.

  • Harris, Ann G.; Tuttle, Esther; Tuttle, Sherwood D. (1997). Geology of national parks (Fifth ed.). Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. ISBN 0-7872-5353-7.
  • Frye, Bradford J, NPS. From Barrier to Crossroads: An Administrative History of Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. Cultural Resources Selections. 12. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Intermountain Region. OCLC 44648779. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  • Reader's Digest (1993). Explore America: National parks. Pleasantville, N.Y.: Reader's Digest Association. ISBN 9780895774477.
  • United States National Park Service (1989). Capitol Reef : official map and guide. Washington, D.C.: Capitol Reef National Park, National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior. OCLC 649825634.
  • United States National Park Service. The National parks : index 2001-2003. Washington, D.C.: Office of Public Affairs and the Division of Publications, National Park Service. OCLC 53228516. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  1. ^ "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Charles Kelly (September 1, 1995). "The Fathers of Capitol Reef National Park". State of Utah. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "History & Culture". Capitol Reef National Park. National Pak Service. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  5. ^ "Capitol Reef National Park – Geology". Capitol Reef National Park web site. U.S. National Park Service. 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "People". Capitol Reef National Park. National Park Service. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  7. ^ Proclamation 2246: Capitol Reef National Monument-Utah. August 2, 1937 – via Wikisource. 50 Stat. 1856.
  8. ^ "USDA Interactive Plant Hardiness Map". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University". www.prism.oregonstate.edu. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Capitol Reef National Park Maps: Brochure Map". nps.gov. National Park Service. February 6, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "Fruita Campground". nps.gov. National Park Service. February 26, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "Primitive Campsites". nps.gov. National Park Service. May 26, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Backcountry Camping". nps.gov. National Park Service. February 13, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  14. ^ "Fruita Orchards". nps.gov. National Park Service. January 1, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2018.

External links

Canyons of the Escalante

The Canyons of the Escalante is a collective name for the erosional landforms created by the Escalante River and its tributaries—the Escalante River Basin. Located in southern Utah in the western United States, these sandstone features include high vertical canyon walls, numerous slot canyons, waterpockets (sandstone depressions containing temporary rainwater deposits), domes, hoodoos, natural arches and bridges. This area—extending over 1,500 square miles (3,885 km2) and rising in elevation from 3,600 ft (1,097 m) to over 11,000 ft (3,353 m)—is one of the three main sections of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and also a part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with Capitol Reef National Park being adjacent to the east.

Cathedral Valley Corral

The Cathedral Valley Corral was constructed around 1900 by local cattlemen in the northern portion of what is now Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. It is one of the oldest examples of ranching use in the park. It coincided with a change in the use of the land, where cattle were grazed on the open range and collected into corrals for branding, vaccination and other procedures. The extensive use of open-range grazing practices led to the de-vegetation of portions of the area. The corral was used by the Jeffery and Morrel families. The corral site uses sandstone cliffs as part of the enclosure, with a wood fence closing off an alcove in a cliff. The pen is subdivided into a larger and smaller enclosure, with a cattle chute off the small pen.The Cathedral Valley Corral was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 13, 1999.

Charles Kelly

Charles Kelly is the name of:

Charles Kelly (American football), American football coach

Charles "Chip" Kelly, American football coach

Charles Kelly (footballer) (1894–1969), footballer who played in the Football League for Tranmere Rovers and Stoke

Charles Kelly (historian) (1889–1971), American historian and superintendent of Capitol Reef National Park

Charles A. Kelly (died 1962), American murderer; last person executed by Iowa

Charles E. Kelly (cartoonist) (1902–1981), Irish cartoonist and founder of the magazine Dublin Opinion

Charles E. Kelly (soldier) (1920–1985), United States Army soldier and recipient of the United States Medal of Honor

Charles H. Kelly (1833-1911), President of the Methodist Conference in 1889 and 1905

Major Charles L. Kelly (died 1964), United States Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War

Civilian Conservation Corps Powder Magazine

The Civilian Conservation Corps Powder Magazine in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, was used in the 1930s to store explosives for use by Civilian Conservation Corps laborers in the construction of improvements to the park. Much of the CCC's work in the park involved the quarrying of sandstone blocks and slabs, which required explosives. The magazine was built about 1938 in association with CCC Camp NM-2, later called NP-6, located to the west of Fruita at Chimney Rock. The Fruita ranger station and the powder magazine are the only structures remaining from the CCC tenure in the park.The magazine consists of a single room, partially built into a hillside. Walls are native red sandstone, coursed, with a stone slab for a roof. The building measures 10.5 feet (3.2 m) by 7.5 feet (2.3 m), with a dirt floor.The magazine was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 13, 1999.

Elijah Cutler Behunin Cabin

The Elijah Cutler Behunin Cabin was built to house Elijah Cutler Behunin's family in 1883-84 in what is now Capitol Reef National Park in Wayne County, Utah, United States.

Fremont River (Utah)

Fremont River is 95-mile (153 km) long river in southeastern Utah, United States that flows from the Johnson Valley Reservoir, which is located on the Wasatch Plateau near Fish Lake, southeast through Capitol Reef National Park to the Muddy Creek near Hanksville where the two rivers combine to form the Dirty Devil River, a tributary of the Colorado River.

Fruita, Utah

Fruita is the best-known settlement in Capitol Reef National Park in Wayne County, Utah, United States. It is located at the confluence of Fremont River and Sulphur Creek.

Fruita Rural Historic District

The Fruita Rural Historic District is a historic district in the Capitol Reef National Park in Wayne County, Utah, United States, that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geology of the Capitol Reef area

The exposed geology of the Capitol Reef area presents a record of mostly Mesozoic-aged sedimentation in an area of North America in and around Capitol Reef National Park, on the Colorado Plateau in southeastern Utah.

Nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 m) of sedimentary strata are found in the Capitol Reef area, representing nearly 200 million years of geologic history of the south-central part of the U.S. state of Utah. These rocks range in age from Permian (as old as 270 million years old) to Cretaceous (as young as 80 million years old.) Rock layers in the area reveal ancient climates as varied as rivers and swamps (Chinle Formation), Sahara-like deserts (Navajo Sandstone), and shallow ocean (Mancos Shale).

The area's first known sediments were laid down as a shallow sea invaded the land in the Permian. At first sandstone was deposited but limestone followed as the sea deepened. After the sea retreated in the Triassic, streams deposited silt before the area was uplifted and underwent erosion. Conglomerate followed by logs, sand, mud and wind-transported volcanic ash were later added. Mid to Late Triassic time saw increasing aridity, during which vast amounts of sandstone were laid down along with some deposits from slow-moving streams. As another sea started to return, it periodically flooded the area and left evaporite deposits. Barrier islands, sand bars and later, tidal flats, contributed sand for sandstone, followed by cobbles for conglomerate, and mud for shale. The sea retreated, leaving streams, lakes and swampy plains to become the resting place for sediments. Another sea, the Western Interior Seaway, returned in the Cretaceous and left more sandstone and shale only to disappear in the early Cenozoic.

From 70 to 50 million years ago the Laramide orogeny, a major mountain building event in western North America, created the Rocky Mountains to the east. The uplift possibly acted on a buried fault to form the area's Waterpocket Fold. More recent uplift of the entire Colorado Plateau and the resulting erosion has exposed this fold at the surface only within the last 15 to 20 million years. Ice ages in the Pleistocene increased the rate of precipitation and erosion. The cracked upper parts of the Waterpocket Fold were especially affected and the fold itself was exposed and dissected.

Glass Mountain (Utah)

The Glass Mountain is a geologic formation in Lower Cathedral Valley of Capitol Reef National Park consisting of large selenite (gypsum) crystals forming a mound or plug 15 feet high. Gypsum was deposited as sea water evaporated 165 million years ago and then buried under other sediments. The gypsum migrated upwards through fractures in the sediments forming layers and, very rarely, domes like the Glass Mountain. There is only one exposed selenite plug within the park and one other just outside which has been reduced to ground level by collectors.

Hanks' Dugouts

The Hanks' Dugouts are a series of pioneer dwellings in southern Utah, in what is now Capitol Reef National Park. The dugouts were constructed as temporary housing for the Ephraim K. Hanks family, Mormon pioneers who established the now-vanished Floral Ranch on Pleasant Creek in April 1883. The remains of three dugouts and one other structure remain at the site. All above-ground construction has collapsed. The dugouts were abandoned in 1888 when the Hankses built a four-room frame house, although the homestead claim of Hanks' widow claims that a one-room log house was built at the time of settlement. The site includes debris such as ceramic and glass, and pieces of a wagon. The settlement reflects a typical early Mormon homestead of the time.The site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 13, 1999.

Lesley Morrell Line Cabin and Corral

The Leslie Morrell Line Cabin and Corral are located in the Cathedral Valley section of northern Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. The cabin was built in the 1920s on Lake Creek by Paul Christensen at his sawmill as a summer residence for Christensen and his family. Christensen sold the cabin to Leslie H. Morrell around 1935, who took the cabin apart and rebuilt it at its present site for use as a winter camp for cowboys on the Morrell ranch. The use continued until 1970 when the area was sold to the National Park Service. It is one of the best-preserved relics of ranching activities in the park.The cabin was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 13, 1999.

Moenkopi Formation

The Moenkopi Formation is a geological formation that is spread across the U.S. states of New Mexico, northern Arizona, Nevada, southeastern California, eastern Utah and western Colorado. This unit is considered to be a group in Arizona. Part of the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range, this red sandstone was laid down in the Lower Triassic and possibly part of the Middle Triassic, around 240 million years ago.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Capitol Reef National Park

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Capitol Reef National Park.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in a Google map.There are ten properties and districts listed on the National Register in the park.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted October 11, 2019.

Sulphur Creek (Utah)

Sulphur Creek is a slot canyon canyoneering route found in Capitol Reef National Park in the state of Utah. It is a 6.25 mile hike one way and has been categorized by the state of Utah as an easy hiking trail. The canyon contains waterfalls, pools, overhangs and red sandstone, and a shallow stream that runs through it year-round. The route begins from the Chimney Rock trailhead and ends at the Visitor Center. The rocks at Sulphur Creek are some of the oldest exposed rocks in Capitol Reef.Sulphur Creek confluences with the Fremont River at the town of Fruita, Utah, located within Capitol Reef National Park.

Teasdale, Utah

Teasdale is a census-designated place in western Wayne County, Utah, United States, between the Dixie and Fishlake National Forests and near Capitol Reef National Park. The population was 191 at the 2010 census. Teasdale lies along local roads south of State Route 24, southeast of the town of Loa, the county seat of Wayne County. Although it is unincorporated, Teasdale has a post office, with the ZIP code of 84773.

Torrey, Utah

Torrey is a town located on State Route 24 in Wayne County, Utah, United States, 8 miles (13 km) from Capitol Reef National Park. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 182.

Utah State Route 24

State Route 24 (SR-24) is a state highway in south central Utah which runs south from Salina through Sevier County then east through Wayne County and north east through Emery County. At a total of 163.294 miles (262.796 km), it is the longest state route in Utah. A portion of the highway has been designated the Capitol Reef Scenic Byway as part of the Utah Scenic Byways program.

Waterpocket Fold

The Waterpocket Fold is a geologic landform that extends from southern Wayne through Garfield and ending in northern Kane counties of southern Utah, United States. The geologic structure is a south-southeast trending fold in which the east side is dropped relative to the west side. This monoclinal fold extends for nearly 100 miles (160 km) in the semi-arid plateau of the central part of the state. The structure defines the Capitol Reef National Park in southern Utah.The feature can be observed in three scenic routes in the park. One route leads to a famous landmark known as the Golden Throne. The northern portion of the Waterpocket Fold lies north and east of the town of Fruita, three miles (4.8 km) west and just southeast of the Middle Desert. Utah State Route 24 crosses the fold east of Fruita and Notom Road runs south through Notom and runs parallel to the east (downdropped) side of the structure to its intersection with Utah State Route 276 just north of Lake Powell. The southern end of the structure extends to the Colorado River just southwest of Halls Crossing.

Climate data for Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center, Torrey, Wayne County, Utah (1981 – 2010 averages).
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 39.8
(4.3)
45.0
(7.2)
53.5
(11.9)
63.2
(17.3)
72.6
(22.6)
83.3
(28.5)
88.6
(31.4)
86.1
(30.1)
78.4
(25.8)
64.8
(18.2)
49.7
(9.8)
39.4
(4.1)
63.8
(17.7)
Daily mean °F (°C) 28.7
(−1.8)
33.5
(0.8)
41.3
(5.2)
49.2
(9.6)
58.0
(14.4)
67.6
(19.8)
73.9
(23.3)
71.8
(22.1)
64.0
(17.8)
51.6
(10.9)
38.7
(3.7)
29.2
(−1.6)
50.7
(10.4)
Average low °F (°C) 17.7
(−7.9)
22.0
(−5.6)
29.2
(−1.6)
35.2
(1.8)
43.5
(6.4)
51.9
(11.1)
59.3
(15.2)
57.5
(14.2)
49.6
(9.8)
38.4
(3.6)
27.7
(−2.4)
19.0
(−7.2)
37.7
(3.2)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.56
(14)
0.37
(9.4)
0.58
(15)
0.49
(12)
0.61
(15)
0.48
(12)
0.94
(24)
1.21
(31)
0.83
(21)
1.02
(26)
0.54
(14)
0.32
(8.1)
7.95
(202)
Average relative humidity (%) 60.6 57.0 45.5 36.2 31.6 25.0 28.0 32.8 32.5 38.9 49.9 59.7 41.4
Source: PRISM Climate Group[9]
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