by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Capitol Reef

National Park - Utah

Capitol Reef National Park is in Utah's south-central desert. It surrounds a long wrinkle in the earth known as the Waterpocket Fold, with layers of golden sandstone, canyons and striking rock formations. Among the park's sights are the Chimney Rock pillar, the Hickman Bridge arch, and Capitol Reef, known for its white sandstone domes. In the north are the towering monoliths of Cathedral Valley.

location

maps

Official Visitor Map of Capitol Reef National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Capitol Reef - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Capitol Reef National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Trails map of Lower Calf Creek Falls at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (NM) in Utah. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Grand Staircase-Escalante - Lower Calf Creek Falls

Trails map of Lower Calf Creek Falls at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (NM) in Utah. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Motor Vehicle Travel Map (MVTM) of Fremont River Ranger District (Teasdale Portion) in Fishlake National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Fishlake MVTM - Fremont River Teasdale Portion 2020

Motor Vehicle Travel Map (MVTM) of Fremont River Ranger District (Teasdale Portion) in Fishlake National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Motor Vehicle Travel Map (MVTM) of Fremont River Ranger District (North) in Fishlake National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Fishlake MVTM - Fremont River North 2020

Motor Vehicle Travel Map (MVTM) of Fremont River Ranger District (North) in Fishlake National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Map of the Daily Lottery Permit Application Geofence Perimeter for Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument (NM), Arizona Strip BLM Field Office area and Kanab BLM Field Office area in Utah and Arizona. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) - Daily Lottery Permit Application Geofence Perimeter

Map of the Daily Lottery Permit Application Geofence Perimeter for Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument (NM), Arizona Strip BLM Field Office area and Kanab BLM Field Office area in Utah and Arizona. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Visitor Map of Burr Trail Scenic Backway and Wolverine Loop Road at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (NM) in Utah. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Grand Staircase-Escalante - Burr Trail Scenic Backway and Wolverine Loop Road

Visitor Map of Burr Trail Scenic Backway and Wolverine Loop Road at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (NM) in Utah. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Travel Map of Wayne County West, Utah in the BLM Richfield Field Office area. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Wayne County - Travel Map West

Travel Map of Wayne County West, Utah in the BLM Richfield Field Office area. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Travel Map of Fremont River area in the BLM Henry Mountains Field Station area. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Fremont River - Travel Map

Travel Map of Fremont River area in the BLM Henry Mountains Field Station area. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.nps.gov/care/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_Reef_National_Park Capitol Reef National Park is in Utah's south-central desert. It surrounds a long wrinkle in the earth known as the Waterpocket Fold, with layers of golden sandstone, canyons and striking rock formations. Among the park's sights are the Chimney Rock pillar, the Hickman Bridge arch, and Capitol Reef, known for its white sandstone domes. In the north are the towering monoliths of Cathedral Valley. Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles. From I-70: Take exit 149, then take UT-24 west toward Hanksville; continue for 43.8 miles (70.5 km). Turn right to continue on UT-24 west and continue for 37.3 miles (60 km). From I-15: take exit 188 then US-50 east toward Scipio. Left on UT-50; continuing 0.7 miles (1.1 km). Turn right onto US-50 east; continue for 24.4 miles (39.3 km). Turn right onto UT-260 south and continue 4.2 miles (6.8 km), then right on UT-24 for 71.3 miles. UT-12: North on highway 12 to Torrey, UT. Right onto UT-24. Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center Capitol Reef National Park visitor center sits at the intersection of UT-24 and the Scenic Drive. From I-70: take exit 149 then travel UT-24 west toward Hanksville and continue for 43.8 miles (70.5 km). Continue right on UT-24 west for 37.3 miles (60 km). From I-15: Take exit 188, then US-50 east toward Scipio; turn left onto UT-50 and continue for 0.7 miles (1.1 km). Turn right onto US-50 east/ North State Street and continue for 24.4 miles (39.3 km). Turn right onto UT-260 south and continue for 4.2 mile. Turn right onto UT-24 east for 74 miles. UT-12: North to UT-24. Right at Torrey. Backcountry Camping A free backcountry permit, available at the visitor center, is required for camping outside of campgrounds. Capitol Reef offers many hiking options for serious backpackers and those who enjoy exploring remote areas. For more information on possible backpacking routes, route descriptions and maps are available on our hiking and backpacking page. Fruita Campground The 71 site Fruita campground is the only developed campground in the park, offering picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms, water and a dump station. A $25 nightly fee is charged. It is open year-round. From March through October, campsites are able to be reserved on www.recreation.gov. From November through February, campsites are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Campground nightly fee 25.00 Cost per site, per night for the Fruita Campground Pendleton Barn in the Fruita Historic District Pendleton Barn in the Fruita Historic District Explore the historic Gifford House and Pendleton Barn along the Scenic Drive. Cathedral Valley at night Cathedral Valley at night Capitol Reef National Park is a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park signifying the highest quality night skies. "The Castle" landform visible from the Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center "The Castle" landform visible from the Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center Capitol Reef National Park has 19 distinct geologic layers that tell a story from the Permian (as old as 270 million years old) to the Cretaceous (as young as 80 million years old.) Petroglyphs found along Hwy. 24 Petroglyphs found along Hwy. 24 Petroglyphs found along Hwy. 24 depict people, animals and other shapes and forms on rock surfaces. The figures are often elaborately decorated with headdresses, ear bobs, necklaces, clothing items and facial expressions. Group Campsite The Group Campsite is a secluded site located near the Fruita Campground and can accommodate a maximum of 40 people. It may be reserved through www.recreation.gov up to one year in advance. The Fruita Group Campsite is open from mid-April to mid-October. It is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday nights for maintenance. The nightly rate is $125. Group Site Nightly Fee 125.00 Nightly cost to stay at the group site in Fruita Capitol Reef Group Campsite A grassy area shaded by tall trees with covered areas for picnic tables. The group campsite can be reserved for groups up to 40 people Primitive campsites at Cathedral Campground It is located approximately halfway on the Cathedral Valley Loop Road. About 36 miles (57.9 km) from the visitor center, this primitive, no-fee campground has 6 sites, each with a picnic table and fire grate. There is a pit toilet, but no water available. The campground is open year-round; however, visitors should check road conditions with the Capitol Reef Visitor Center prior to planning an overnight stay. The campground is at ~7,000 feet (2,133 m) in elevation, No reservations; first-come, first-served. Primitive Camping 0.00 There is no fee for Cathedral Valley Campground. Cathedral Valley Campground a dirt road passes a metal picnic table under juniper trees A campsite at Cathedral Valley campground Primitive campsites at Cedar Mesa Campground It is located approximately 23 miles (37.0 km) south of Utah State Highway 24 on the Notom-Bullfrog Road and is at 5,500 feet (1,676 m) in elevation. This primitive, no-fee campground has five sites, each with a picnic table and fire grate. There is also a pit toilet, but no water is available. The campground is open year-round, but visitors should check with the Capitol Reef Visitor Center for road conditions prior to planning an overnight stay. No reservations; first-come, first-served. Primitive Camping 0.00 No fee for the Cedar Mesa Campground. Cedar Mesa Campground a tent is set up on a red dirt campsite with a fire pit and picnic table A campsite at Cedar Mesa campground Gifford House and Pendleton Barn Wingate Sandstone cliffs behind historic barn and farmhouse Windgate sandstone towers above historic Fruita farms and homes Hickman Bridge A hiker stands beside Hickman Bridge, a natural sandstone bridge Hickman Bridge, a natural sandstone bridge, is a popular hike in the park. Strike Valley Exposed layers of rock in the Waterpocket fold The Strike Valley shows colorful layers in the Waterpocket fold. Capitol Reef Visitor Center with "The Castle" Cliffs known as "The Castle" tower above the Capitol Reef Visitor Center The Capitol Reef Visitor Center sits below cliffs known as "The Castle". Capitol Reef Peach Orchard Fruit tree with peaches in front of red sandstone cliffs The Capitol Reef Orchards, planted in the pioneer era, remain a popular place for visitors today. Pioneer Women of Capitol Reef Discover the lives of early pioneer women who settled in Fruita, Utah (now in Capitol Reef National Park). These women were teachers, homesteaders, mothers, and midwives. Learn more about Rena Holt, Mary Jane Behunin Johnson Cooper, Nettie Behunin Noyes, and Thisbe Read Hanks. black and white engraving of wagon, oxen, tent, and people. Modern Women of Capitol Reef Learn about the lives of modern women who lived in the Capitol Reef region. Learn about Cora Oyler Smith, Elizabeth Russell Lewis Sprang King, Harriette Greener Kelly, and Alice Knee. Black and white artwork of people on horses and whimsical sandstone domes. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Capitol Reef National Park, Utah Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. rock formations Desert Varnish Ever wondered what those dark lines were on the rock walls of canyon country? These black, brown, and red streaks are called desert varnish. streaks of black desert varnish on a red rock wall Paleontological Modeling Example—'Equisetites' 3D Equisetites – Fossil Horsetail Capitol Reef National Park, Utah rock with fossil plant Landbird Monitoring in Northern Colorado Plateau Network Parks, 2018 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2018. Small, bright-orange bird with yellowish underfeathers. PARKS...IN...SPAAAACE!!! NASA astronauts have quite literally an out-of-this-world view of national parks and take some pretty stellar pictures to share. Travel along with the space station on its journey west to east getting the extreme bird’s eye view of national parks across the country. And one more down-to-earth. View of Denali National Park & Preserve from space Active Process Monitoring Example—Hickman Bridge Trail 3D Hickman Bridge Trail Capitol Reef National Park, Utah trail along river Veteran Story: William Bouley Bill Bouley served in the US Army for 20 years. Today he continues in public service as a Safety Manager for several parks and monuments in southern Utah. Bill Bouley, in uniform, with a helicopter in the background The Colorado Plateau The Colorado Plateau is centered on the four corners area of the Southwest, and includes much of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Hazy Fajada Butte, Chaco Culture National Monument Traits, Tradeoffs, and Pivot Points: How Climate, Plant, and Soil Properties Affect Vegetation Growth on the Northern Colorado Plateau As the northern Colorado Plateau heads into a hotter, drier future, there will be ecological winners and losers. Figuring out how different vegetation communities will fare is tricky. A recent study aimed to identify which vegetation communities might come out ahead, which might lag behind, and what might make the difference. Desert grassland in red rock setting. Pink wildflowers grow in foreground as storm brews in the sky. Park Air Profiles - Capitol Reef National Park Air quality profile for Capitol Reef National Park. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Capitol Reef NP as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Capitol Reef NP. The Castle Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. Short-term Forecasting of Vegetation Condition: Potential Management Uses If strong, site-specific relationships between various climate and environmental factors can be developed at management scales, then it should be possible to make near-term forecasts of vegetation condition by tracking weather and water balance. Park managers could use this model to help predict the months and years in which projects that depend on good growing conditions, such as restoration activities, might be most likely to succeed. Person in hat crouches to ground, looking closely at plant transect Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Northern Colorado Plateau Park Waters Pesticides, antibiotics, and personal care products are all being found in streams and rivers. But would you expect to find them in a national park? On the northern Colorado Plateau, scientists found that even in isolated areas, these "contaminants of emerging concern" are not uncommon. Find out what we found where--and how you can help. Ripples in cave water Triassic Tracks in the Moenkopi Formation In-depth article about Triassic tracks in the Moenkopi Formation found in Capitol Reef National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Raised lines indicating three toed animal tracks in tan rock, with permanent marker for scale. Biological Soil Crust of Southeast Utah Be careful where you step because the dirt is alive! This bumpy, lumpy, crust black soil is called biological soil crust and is made up of living organisms. bumpy black soil crust with lichen Tafoni A bouquet of tiny arches? A miniature cave system? Known as honeycomb weathering or "swiss-cheese rock," tafoni (singular: tafone) are small, rounded, smooth-edged openings in a rock surface, most often found in arid or semi-arid deserts. many small holes in a rock Giant Stromatolites of Capitol Reef National Park Learn about giant fossil stromatolites in Capitol Reef National Park. Brown rock outcrop with annotation of six meters, white sandstone and green shrubs behind Lichens of Southeast Utah Those bright colors you may see on sandstone and biological soil crust are alive! Lichens grow in every size, shape, and color in Southeast Utah. scaly gray lichen growing on dark soil crust The Adverse Effects of Climate Change on Desert Bighorn Sheep Climate change has and will continue to have a negative impact on the population of desert bighorn sheep. For the remaining herds to survive, management may always be necessary. Protecting wild lands is key to the survival of these amazing animals. Desert bighorn sheep, NPS/Shawn Cigrand Ellen Powell Thompson Ellen Powell Thompson, sister of John Wesley Powell, was an explorer in her own right. She and her husband joined the 1871 Powell Expedition, and three new plant species she discovered on the trip were named for her. black and white photo of a women in a dress What We’re Learning and Why it Matters: Long-Term Monitoring on the Northern Colorado Plateau Knowing which key natural resources are found in the national parks, and whether they're stable or changing, helps decisionmakers make sound choices. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network is building that knowledge. After more than ten years of monitoring, we've learned a lot about park ecosystems, how they're changing, and what they may look like in the days to come. Find out what we’ve learned and how it’s being used to help managers plan for the future. Man stands in a stream, looking down at a handheld gauge. Fruit Varieties Overview of fruit available in historic Fruita Orchards in Capitol Reef National Park. Clump of ripe apricots on a green tree branch, with cliffs and blue sky in the background. Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2019 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2019. Bald eagle Water Quality in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network: Water Years 2016–2018 Once a month, ecologists collect water samples at dozens of monitoring sites in and near ten National Park Service units across Utah and Colorado. This consistent, long-term monitoring helps alert managers to existing and potential problems. Find out the results for 2016-2018 in this brief from the Northern Colorado Plateau Network. A monitoring crew of three samples a clear river flowing over brown rock and sand A Closer Look at When Grasses Need a Drink: Soils, Precipitation, and Desert Grasses The results of a recent study may help land managers to prioritize grassland conservation and restoration efforts. Park managers can’t do much about climate, but with the right information, they can make choices based on how different grassland communities behave in different soil types. In this study, cool-season grasses showed more resilience to drought than warm-season grasses. A field crew member takes measurements on a grassland transect. Grassland Health on Grazed and Ungrazed Lands at Capitol Reef National Park, 2009–2018 At Capitol Reef National Park, long-term monitoring is helping track grassland condition and recovery from grazing. From 2009 to 2018, there was some evidence of continued recovery of vegetation and soils in the park’s retired Cathedral/Rock Springs allotments. Continued monitoring will be crucial to providing managers with the information they need for effective decisionmaking and resource allocation. Globemallow with a red rock wall and blue sky in background. Monitoring Bacterial Contamination in Streams at Capitol Reef National Park At Capitol Reef National Park, the Northern Colorado Plateau Network is helping the State of Utah to determine possible sources of E. coli contamination in the Fremont River. Water quality in the park is generally good but E. coli contamination has been a recurring issue on Fremont River tributaries. Possible sources of contamination include livestock, wildlife, and humans. Monitoring results are helping reveal which sources are more likely than others. Person standing at edge of creek flowing through red rock canyon Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66 million years ago) was the "Age of Reptiles." During the Mesozoic, Pangaea began separating into the modern continents, and the modern Rocky Mountains rose. Dinosaurs, crocodiles, and pterosaurs ruled the land and air. As climate changed and rapid plate tectonics resulted in shallow ocean basins, sea levels rose world-wide and seas expanded across the center of North America. fossil dinosaur skull in rock face Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Defining the Southwest The Southwest has a special place in the American imagination – one filled with canyon lands, cacti, roadrunners, perpetual desert heat, a glaring sun, and the unfolding of history in places like Tombstone and Santa Fe. In the American mind, the Southwest is a place without boundaries – a land with its own style and its own pace – a land that ultimately defies a single definition. Maize agriculture is one component of a general cultural definition of the Southwest. Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Series: Photogrammetry Applications and Examples Photogrammetry is the science and art of using photographs to extract three-dimensional information from a series of well-placed images. Paired with either a standard ruler or GPS locations of camera positions provides the scale in completed models. This Series provides examples of photogrammetry projects for a variety of resources in National Parks. fossil redwood stump trio Triassic Period—251.9 to 201.3 MYA The brightly colored Triassic rocks of Petrified Forest National Park yield not only the petrified trees but many other plant and animal fossils. fossil footprint on stone Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66 million years ago) was the "Age of Reptiles." During the Mesozoic, Pangaea began separating into the modern continents, and the modern Rocky Mountains rose. Dinosaurs, crocodiles, and pterosaurs ruled the land and air. As climate changed and rapid plate tectonics resulted in shallow ocean basins, sea levels rose world-wide and seas expanded across the center of North America. fossil dinosaur skull in rock face Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2020 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2020. Small beige bird with black beak and feet, brown back. Monitoring From Space: Using Satellite Imagery to Measure Landscape Conditions on the Ground Scientists from the Northern Colorado Plateau Network travel thousands of miles each year to collect data on plants, soils, and water across network parks. But it would be impossible to cover every square inch of the Northern Colorado Plateau with boots on the ground. Instead, we simultaneously monitor the parks with boots in space—satellite data that provide information at a much broader scale. Satellite and Earth in space Scavenger Hunt Want to learn more about Capitol Reef National Park? Find all the audio posts in Capitol Reef to discover the human history of the park. Can’t visit in person? Listen to the audio posts on the park website and complete the scavenger hunt online. Map with stars on it marking locations of audio posts. Localized Drought Impacts on Northern Colorado Plateau Landbirds Birds of the desert southwest, a climate-change hotspot, are among the most vulnerable groups in the US. To help park managers plan for those changes, scientists evaluated the influence of water deficit on landbird communities at 11 national parks in Utah and Colorado. The results will help land managers to focus conservation efforts on places where certain species are most vulnerable to projected climate changes. A man wearing a clipboard looks through binoculars at dawn in field of sagebrush Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Mind the Gap: Modeling Missing Data for Complex Survey Designs Long-term environmental monitoring usually requires complex sampling designs. By necessity, these designs sample a limited set of conditions on just a fraction of the landscape, which results in missing data. This article summarizes recent research that applies Bayesian modeling to three case studies in national parks. This approach allows park ecologists and analysts to move beyond missing data to support data-driven management and monitoring of natural resources. Two technicians record observations along a transect tape on sandy ground dotted with shrubs. Water Resources on the Colorado Plateau Describes the origin, uses, threats to, and conservation of water on the Colorado Plateau. Dark green body of water winding through red rock formations with brilliant sun overhead. A 20-year Partnership between the Utah Geological Survey and the National Park Service to Inventory and Monitor Fossil Resources in Utah's National Parks The Utah Geological Survey has worked in partnership with the National Park Service to document the fossils of Utah’s national parks for 20 years, helping to bring to light and protect a wide variety of fossils. photo of a person pointing at trace fossils in rock above on an over hanging rock Series: Park Paleontology News - Vol. 14, No. 1, Spring 2022 All across the park system, scientists, rangers, and interpreters are engaged in the important work of studying, protecting, and sharing our rich fossil heritage. <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/newsletters.htm">Park Paleontology news</a> provides a close up look at the important work of caring for these irreplaceable resources. <ul><li>Contribute to Park Paleontology News by contacting the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/common/utilities/sendmail/sendemail.cfm?o=5D8CD5B898DDBB8387BA1DBBFD02A8AE4FBD489F4FF88B9049&r=/subjects/geoscientistsinparks/photo-galleries.htm">newsletter editor</a></li><li>Learn more about <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/">Fossils & Paleontology</a> </li><li>Celebrate <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossilday/">National Fossil Day</a> with events across the nation</li></ul> photo of 2 people kneeling in shallow water at the base of a steep slope Assessing Night Skies, Air Quality, and Scenic Views at Capitol Reef Capitol Reef National Park: Do you like stargazing at night or looking across the landscape at a beautiful view? If the answer is yes, then we have a place for you! Capitol Reef has some of the darkest night skies in the country, and its daytime scenic views are colorful and expansive. Dark night skies, scenic views, and air quality are all valuable resources, and the NPS recently conducted an assessment to see how these resources are doing in Capitol Reef. Balanced rock silhouetted by the night sky and the milky way. What do You Hope to Hear in a National Park? Capitol Reef National Park: Some visitors spend time in national parks enjoying the natural quiet and listening to sounds of nature—falling water, singing birds, chirping insects, or the wind rustling in the trees. At Capitol Reef National Park, natural sound is a significant resource and an important component of wilderness. A ”soundscape” is composed of all the various natural and cultural sounds that help create a sense of place. What do you expect to hear in Capitol Reef? A landscape scene with a woman running down a deserted road with sandstone cliffs in the background. Not Too Dense, Not Too Sparse: Pinyon-Juniper at Capitol Reef is Just about Right Capitol Reef National Park: Pinyon-juniper woodlands cover as much as 15% of the land in five southwestern states (Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada) and are the predominant vegetation type in Capitol Reef NP. These woodlands provide valuable wildlife habitat and other ecological benefits. A recent assessment looked at the condition of these woodlands in the park. Read this article to learn more! A mature pinyon pine with a twisty trunk; other trees and a blue sky with clouds in the background What do a Tadpole Shrimp and a Mule Deer Have in Common? They Both Rely on the Water Resources of Capitol Reef Capitol Reef National Park: A handful of perennial (year-round) and many, many more ephemeral (temporary) water sources occur in Capitol Reef. These springs, seeps, tinajas, and streams provide important habitats and rare sources of water in this arid region. As part of a recent study, the Natural Resource Condition Assessment Program partnered with Utah State University to determine what is and is not known about these resources. A small tinaja (pool of water in the rock) amongst rocky hills and scattered vegetation. Assessing the Condition of Fish in Capitol Reef Capitol Reef National Park: Capitol Reef is home to both native and non-native fish. One native species, the roundtail chub, no longer occurs in the park. Capitol Reef contains only a small portion of the streams passing through it, so activities outside the park can have a large effect on fish in the park. The Natural Resource Condition Assessment Program partnered with Utah State University to evaluate the condition of fish and to identify gaps in information. Read more: A stream bordered with green vegetation; rock formations in the background. Condition of Selected Natural Resources at Capitol Reef: 2022 Assessment NRCA Overview: Understanding the condition of natural resources in our national parks is vital for their management and protection. A recent Natural Resource Condition Assessment for Capitol Reef National Park evaluated eleven resources at the park, although we focus on only a subset of these in this article: night sky and air quality; soundscape; springs, seeps, and tinajas; streams and their riparian areas; pinyon-juniper woodlands; and fish. A colorful scene of stratified geologic features eroding under a blue sky Series: NRCA 2022: Condition of Selected Natural Resources at Capitol Reef Capitol Reef National Park, in southcentral Utah, encompasses approximately 381 square miles, nearly all of which is managed for its rugged and remote wilderness value. Capitol Reef is known for its spectacular display of geologic features, and it hosts one of the largest concentrations of rare and endemic plants among national park units. The articles in this series describe the conditions of a group of resources in the park. A landscape scene at Capitol Reef with red sandstone cliffs Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2021 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2021. Small dove with black spots on back of wings, long tail, and brownish-gray body. Virtual Field Trip of Sleeping Rainbow Ranch in Capitol Reef National Park Documenting historic sites is necessary to the mission of the National Parks Service. However, their mission is to also preserve and protect those areas. These SPARK beacons are an unobtrusive way to bring history, interpretation, and images to a site—directly into the hands of the visitors. Sleeping Rainbow Ranch Virtual Tour Expansion Team Invasive Exotic Plant Monitoring at Capitol Reef National Park Invasive exotic plants are one of the most significant threats to natural resources in the national parks today. To provide early warning of weed invasions, the Northern Colorado Plateau Network monitors target plants in park areas where they are likely to first establish: along roads, trails, and waterways. Find out what we learned at Capitol Reef National Park in 2021. Man wearing backpack with transect tape stands next to a red rock stream using a GPS unit.

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