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.

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).

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).

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 $20 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 20.00 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. The sooner you make your reservations, the better your chances of getting your preferred dates.The Fruita Group Campsite will open April 1 and close October 20. It will be closed every Tuesday and Wednesday nights for maintenance.The per person rate will be $4.00, with a minimum nightly fee of $75.00. 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 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 2019. Red and white cliffs against a blue sky, green trees and shrubs at lower elevations. 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
General Information Visitor Center Operations Kid-friendly Activities Camping Safety Rules and Regulations Pets Capitol Reef became a national monument on August 2, 1937, conserving and protecting significant natural and cultural resources. The boundaries were later changed, and Capitol Reef became a national park in 1971. Today the park encompasses 243,921 acres (381 square miles). The park is open year-round and the visitor center is open daily, except for federal winter holidays. Brochures, books, and maps are available for sale. Rangers answer questions and provide information about travel, trails, road conditions, and weather. Kids of all ages can complete activities in the Junior Ranger booklet and earn a badge (allow 1-2 hours to complete). All campgrounds operate on a first-come first-served basis. Occupancy is limited to eight people per site. • Always carry plenty of water in warm weather—at least one gallon per person per day is recommended. 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 $20 nightly fee is charged. It is open year-round. • Collecting wood, rocks, plants, animals, artifacts, or other park resources is prohibited. Pets are allowed on leash (maximum 6 feet) in the developed areas of the park: along paved and dirt roadways, in the picnic area, in campgrounds, and in orchards. They are not permitted on trails, in public buildings, or in the backcountry. Pets may not be left unattended in campgrounds. There are no kennels in the park. Consider your plans carefully before bringing your pet with you. The park features the geologic landforms of the Waterpocket Fold and Cathedral Valley. Archeological evidence of prehistoric American Indians and elements of a historic Mormon settlement are preserved. A range of habitats support diverse plant and animal communities. The visitor center offers exhibits on geology, ecology, archeology, and history, as well as an 18-minute orientation movie. Things to Do Enjoy interactive exhibits, games and activites, and free educational programs at the Ripple Rock Nature Center, 0.9 mile from the visitor center on the Scenic Drive. Open primarily in summer. Ask at the visitor center for hours and activities. Adults can borrow a Family Fun Pack free of charge at the visitor center and the nature center. The packs contain books, games, and activities to encourage learning and exploration of the park. Fees The park offers a variety of ranger-guided programs from spring to fall at no charge. These include interpretive talks, dark-sky presentations, and evening programs at the outdoor campground amphitheater. A fee of $10 per vehicle, good for seven days, is charged to tour the Scenic Drive. Individual entrance fees are $7 per person (foot or bicycle travel). Children 16 and under are admitted free. Camping fees are separate. The Fruita Schoolhouse is a restored pioneer structure located 0.8 mile east of the visitor center on Highway 24. An audio wayside describes teaching in a one-room school. There are over 140 miles of roads in and around the park and over 150 miles of trails and backcountry routes for the hiker and backpacker. Information and maps are available at the visitor center and on our website. America the Beautiful National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Passes are sold at the visitor center. The $80 Annual Pass allows entry into federal fee areas for one year from the month of purchase. The blacksmith shop, located 0.9 mile south of the visitor center on the Scenic Drive, offers an audio wayside about life in a Mormon pioneer community. Many day hike trailheads are located along Utah Highway 24 and the Scenic Drive. Longer, more rugged hiking routes are established in the north and south districts of the park. Never underestimate the difficulties of hiking in a rugged area like Capitol Reef. Carry plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. It is safest not to hike alone; but for those who do, inform another party of your plans. The elevation and desert climate make the area prone to temperature extremes and flash floods. Know what to expect and plan accordingly. Summer brings intense heat, low humidity, and monsoonal thunderstorms. Winter brings freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and the potential for hypothermia and impassable roads. Military Passes are available for active military personnel and dependents, with valid military ID. The free annual pass allows entry into federal fee areas for one year from the month of issue. Senior Passes are available to US citizens 62 years of age or older for a one-time charge of $10. This pass provides the bearer free entry into federal fee areas and discounts on some use fees, such as camping. Access Passes are free of charge to handicapped or disabled US citizens or residents and offer the same benefits as the Senior Pass. Fees are subject to change. Accessibi
Capitol Reef National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Capitol Reef National Park Fruita Area Map and Guide Visitor Center to Torrey 11mi (17km) k oc y R ute e n Ro im Ch nyon a C Chimney Rock Trail Lo Chimney Rock Panorama Point 24 Sunset Point Trail Goosenecks Overlook Su lph ur Cre Ri m Ov lo ok ajo Parking Area Viewpoint on Ro 1 0 e 1 2 miles 3 2 5500ft 1676m Ro il 1.9mi / 3.0km ute Capitol Dome 6120ft 1865m yon Can r Rive 2.6mi 4.2km b a Coh Fremont River Trail km Frying Pan Trail F 2.2mi 3.5km Visitor Center to Caineville 19mi (31km) to Hanksville 37mi (60km) nt il sh d an a W a Tr Gr Cassidy Arch Trail Danish Hill o rem 24 Fr em Picnic Area Hickman Bridge sT ra Rim Overlook t Campground North Kn ob Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail on Hiking Trails av The Castle r ive Restrooms 0 /N 1.3mi 2.0km R Ca ut Visitor Center ek rin Unpaved Roads ny er 3.0mi 4.9km Sp g Navajo Knobs 6979ft 2127m Visitor Center Backcountry Hiking Routes Year-round Streams w er Paved Roads Cassidy Arch sh Wa nd Gra oad m) R 2.0k mi / 3 . 1 ( Fruita Historic District Visitor Center r Petroglyph Panel ic phu en Sul Fruita Schoolhouse North Picnic Area Blacksmith Shop Slickrock Divide Gifford House l rai k T Amphitheater o rlo R t r ive t R Trail Group Site (reserved) n mo Fre er Fee Station Dr iv e Cohab Canyon Trail Old Wagon Trail 0 0 ive Fremon iv S c e n ic e Ov ! 4.5mi 7.2km Flash flood hazards exist. Avoid canyons during storms. Don’t cross floodwaters; climb high to safety. Roads may be closed during flood events. Dr n mo Fre rge o tG • Stay on established trails. • Backcountry hiking routes are not maintained. Creek Ripple Rock Nature Center • Bring food, water, and emergency supplies. • Do not build new cairns (stacked rocks) or destroy existing ones. Sc 24 Hiking Tips 0.1 0.1 0.2 Golden Throne 7042ft 2146m Go lde 0.2 mi. 0.3 km Pleasant Creek Road (high clearance recommended) nT The Tanks hro Pioneer Register ne Tra il Capitol Gorge Road (2.4mi / 3.8km) Capitol Gorge Trail Trail Guide Strenuous Moderate Easy Elevation change refers to the difference between the highest and lowest points of the trail. USE CAUTION: Natural hazards exist, including rockfall, lightning, flash floods, and steep drop-offs. Trail One-way Distance Elevation Change Features Goosenecks 0.1 mi (0.2 km) <50 ft (<15 m) dramatic canyon views Sunset Point 0.4 mi (0.6 km) <50 ft (<15 m) panorama, good for sunset Capitol Gorge 1.0 mi (1.6 km) 80 ft (24 m) deep canyon, historic inscriptions, short climb to waterpockets (“tanks”) Grand Wash 2.2 mi (3.6 km) 200 ft (61 m) deep canyon, narrows Cohab Canyon 1.7 mi (2.7 km) 440 ft (134 m) hidden canyons, views of Fruita, panoramas at spur trail viewpoints Fremont River 1.0 mi (1.7 km) 480 ft (146 m) easy stroll along river, then steep climb to panoramas Hickman Bridge 0.9 mi (1.4 km) 400 ft (122 m) 133-foot natural bridge, canyon views Cassidy Arch 1.7 mi (2.8 km) 670 ft (204 m) natural arch, slickrock, canyon views Chimney Rock Loop (round trip) 3.6 mi (5.9 km) 590 ft (180 m) panoramas of Waterpocket Fold cliffs, good for sunset Fremont Gorge Overlook 2.3 mi (3.6 km) 1,090 ft (332 m) short climb to open mesa top, ends at high viewpoint on rim of gorge Frying Pan 2.9 mi (4.6 km) 810 ft (247 m) connects Cohab Canyon and Cassidy Arch trails, ridgetop panoramas Golden Throne 2.0 mi (3.2 km) 730 ft (223 m) views of Capitol Gorge and Golden Throne Old Wagon Trail Loop (round trip) 3.8 mi (6.1 km) 1,080 ft (329 m) pinyon-juniper forest, views of cliffs and Henry Mountains Rim Overlook 2.3 mi (3.6 km) 1,110 ft (338 m) panoramas of Fruita and Waterpocket Fold from atop dramatic cliff Navajo Knobs 4.7 mi (7.6 km) 1,620 ft (494 m) continuation of Rim Overlook Trail, 360-degree mountaintop panorama Fruita Area Map and Guide What to do in the Fruita area if you have... ...a half day: • • • • • • • Capitol Reef became a national monument in 1937 and a national park in 1971. The park preserves unique geologic features, important archeological evidence, diverse plant and animal communities, and the homesteads and stories of early Mormon pioneer settlers. Drive the Scenic Drive; tour guide available at bookstore Stroll the Goosenecks trail and enjoy the geology along Highway 24 Watch the park movie at the visitor center View the Fremont petroglyph panels along Highway 24 Hike to Hickman Bridge Discover Mormon pioneer history at the historic Gifford House store and museum Have a picnic by the Fremont River ...a whole day: • • • • • Attend a ranger-guided activity Become a Junior Ranger Walk to historic inscriptions on the Capitol Gorge Trail Hike a longer trail such as Chimney Rock, Grand Wash, Cassidy Arch, or Cohab Canyon Wander through the historic fruit orchards and pick fruit when
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Hiking Routes in Capitol Reef’s Cathedral District A remote backcountry with no paved roads, Capitol Reef’s northern Cathedral District features stark landscapes and a high degree of solitude. Here the northern flanks of Waterpocket Fold give way to broad deserts, stunning monoliths, and volcanic dikes and crags. The Cathedral and Hartnet roads (passable only to highclearance vehicles; four-wheel drive often recommended) provide access to a number of short hikes, a selection of which is described here. Cathedral Valley These routes are not official, maintained trails. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), may not indicate the route in this description, or may be absent. Roads in this area are maintained infrequently and are not plowed in winter. Some sections of road cross areas of bentonite clay, which becomes impassable when wet. Deep, soft sand may also exist on roads. Roads may occasionally require four-wheel drive, and may quickly become impassable due to wet weather. At the south end of the Hartnet Road near Highway 24, vehicles must ford the Fremont River; there is no bridge over the river. Do not attempt to cross the river during floods or other periods of high water. Ask at the visitor center about river ford conditions. Check weather forecasts and road reports before departing. Be prepared for changing conditions. Let others know your travel plans, especially if exploring backcountry areas. Carry extra food, water, and appropriate clothing. Stay hydrated, and limit exposure to desert sun. Have a self-rescue plan. Beware of storms that may cause sudden flash floods, and avoid travel in narrow canyons if rain is approaching. Do not walk or drive across flooded roads or trails— play it safe and wait until floodwaters subside. You are responsible for your own safety. Jailhouse Rock and Temple Rock Route 4.5 mi. (7.3 km) round trip 2-3 hrs. Moderate Starting at the Lower South Desert Overlook (15.2 miles [24.5 km] northwest of Highway 24 via the Hartnet Road), an old road leads to a viewpoint that overlooks Jailhouse Rock, a large promontory rising from the valley floor. To continue on to Temple Rock, follow the switchbacking track until it disappears along the valley floor. A faint single track then leads around the north side of Jailhouse Rock across the South Desert and rejoins the road before reaching a low passage between volcanic dikes. Ascending the dike on the left provides a vantage point for viewing Temple Rock, an eroded monolith of Entrada sandstone. It is roughly 2.3 miles (3.7 km) from this point back to the trailhead. Lower Cathedral Valley Overlooks Route 1.5-2.5 mi. (2.5-3.9 km) round trip 1-2 hrs.; moderate While most visitors look up at the Temples of the Sun and Moon from below, this hike offers a bird’s eye view of the two monoliths. Access is from the Hartnet Road, 17.6 mi. (28.3 km) from Highway 24. A wooden sign with a diagram of the ridge ahead marks the start of the route. Follow the faint path to the north across a brushy flat, then climb a short, steep pitch to the rim of a saddle that affords views of Lower Cathedral Valley to the north. A second saddle to the east can be accessed by returning to the base of the cliffs and turning east, following a sandy wash to a point level with the low pass to the north. While there is no reliable trail connecting the two saddles, there may be a faint track guiding hikers between the viewpoints. It is roughly 0.9 mile (1.4 km) between the two saddles. From here, traverse cross-country back to the trailhead, completing a 2.5-mile loop. Upper South Desert Overlook 0.4 mi. (0.6 km) round trip <30 minutes; moderate This short path affords views of the upper reaches of the South Desert, flanked on the north side by steep cliffs, and the Henry Mountains to the east. A short spur road leaving the Hartnet Road 27.1 miles (43.6 km) from Highway 24 provides access to the trailhead. After a short stretch across relatively level terrain, the footpath climbs steeply to the top of a rocky outcrop with a 360-degree panorama. Upper Cathedral Valley Overlook 0.2 mi. (0.3 km) round trip <30 minutes; easy Approximately 27.4 miles (44.1 km) from Highway 24, a dirt track departs the Hartnet Road, heading north 0.3 mile (0.5 km) to the trailhead. A short, rolling trail leads to an excellent view of Upper Cathedral Valley. The panorama is highlighted by a line of monoliths in the valley below known as the Cathedrals. This short hike begins 1.8 miles (2.9 km) north Morrell Cabin Trail 0.4 mi. (0.7 km) round trip of the junction of the Hartnet and Cathedral Roads, at the base of a series of s
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Hiking Routes in Capitol Reef’s Waterpocket District Backcountry hiking opportunities abound in Capitol Reef’s remote, southern Waterpocket District, ranging from one-hour walks to multi-day backpacking routes. Short-distance hikes in Red, Surprise, and Headquarters Canyons cut through multiple sedimentary rock layers, while slot canyons in Burro Wash, Cottonwood Wash, and Sheets Gulch are arduous but rewarding. Upper and Lower Muley Twist Canyons and Halls Creek Narrows are popular overnight destinations. Use caution in narrow canyons, particularly during the flash flood season (typically July–September). Free backcoun­try permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor center. Surprise Canyon These routes are not official, maintained trails. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), may not indicate the route in this description, or may be absent. Red Canyon Trail and Route 5.6 mi. (9.0 km) round trip 3-4 hrs. Easy to moderate Starting at Cedar Mesa Campground, the Red Canyon Trail bears southwest across a sagebrush flat before climbing a low ridge that affords views of the Henry Mountains to the east. Here the trail follows an old dugway northwest into Red Canyon. After 1.3 miles (2.0 km), the trail drops into a sandy wash flanked by cottonwood trees. Here the route simply follows the wash bottom for more than a mile into an amphitheater of high, Wingate sandstone walls. The hike ends at a fork in the gray-green and lavender clay of the Chinle formation, beyond which progress is obstructed by a collection of large boulders. Surprise Canyon Route 2.0 mi. (3.2 km) round trip 1-2 hrs. Easy The short Surprise Canyon route crosses a broad, grassy drainage before entering a deep canyon in the Waterpocket Fold. After crossing the dry wash bed of Halls Creek, bear slightly left to crest a small, grassy hill. From here the cairned trail meanders west among colorful outcrops before dropping steeply into a rocky ravine. From here, follow the wash bottom into the deep, relatively narrow canyon. The route ends at the base of a spiraling pouroff 1.0 mile (1.6 km) from the Burr Trail Road. A bypass on the left offers access to the canyon’s upper reaches. However, progress is challenging due to large boulder jams and steep, crumbling slopes. Headquarters Canyon Route 3.2 mi. (5.2 km) round trip 2-3 hrs. Easy Headquarters Canyon features sheer, vertical walls and slopes of Navajo sandstone streaked with color. Departing from the Burr Trail Road, a signed, sandy track cuts west across a sagebrush flat and crosses the dry drainage of Halls Creek. Within 0.5 mile (0.4 km), the route crosses a couple of dry washes, edges around orange Entrada sandstone outcrops, and descends to a wide, stony gulch. Follow this drainage west into the Waterpocket Fold. Less than one mile (1.6 km) from the start, the deep gorge constricts to a narrow slot usually free of significant obstacles. Beyond the slot, the canyon is flush with vegetation. The hike ends at a sandstone ramp in the ledge-forming Kayenta formation. A 6-foot dryfall atop the slide is passable to agile climbers, but progress beyond is quickly halted by a much higher dryfall. Strike Valley Overlook 0.9 mi. (1.4 km) round trip 30 min.-1 hr. Moderate From the end of the 2.9-mile (4.7 km) Upper Muley Twist Road, it is a 0.4-mile (0.6 km) hike to Strike Valley Overlook. From the overlook high above the valley, nearly a dozen sedimentary rock layers representing nearly 150 million of geologic history are on full display. The overlook, marked by a large rock cairn, sits atop a low saddle reached by way of a sandy trail, followed by two moderate-grade slickrock climbs. Driving the sandy and rock-strewn Upper Muley Twist Road requires a highclearance vehicle. Overnight camping is not permitted on the Strike Valley Overlook route. Additional Backcountry Routes Detailed information on these longer, strenuous routes is available separately. Burro Wash / Cottonwood Wash / Sheets Gulch Dayhikes into deep sandstone gorges and arduous slot canyons. Accessed from signed roadside parking areas along the Notom-Bullfrog Road. Upper Muley Twist Canyon Sandstone narrows, arches, and panoramic views from high slickrock ridges. Accessed from Upper Muley Twist Road via Burr Trail Road. Either a long dayhike or overnight trip. Lower Muley Twist Canyon Long, sinuous canyon with narrows and large alcoves; scenic vistas and remote desert wilderness. Accessed either from Burr Trail Road or the Post Corral trailhead. Either a long dayhike or overnight trip, depending on the variation of the route chosen.
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Burro Wash, Cottonwood Wash, and Sheets Gulch These are classic examples of slot canyons which typify the canyon country of southern Utah: deep, narrow, secret places within the Waterpocket Fold. The routes are largely unmarked. A few rock cairns may mark key points; carrying a topographic map is recommended. It is extremely hot in summer and water sources are unreliable; carry adequate water. Use caution in narrow canyons during flash flood season (typically July– September). All three canyons are difficult hikes and only experienced canyon-country hikers should attempt these routes. All contain obstacles in the form of dry falls and chock stones (large boulders wedged in narrow slots) which must be climbed over. The canyons are extremely narrow in places; most people will have to work their way through sideways. Often there are pools of water that may require deep wading or short swims. Beginning at the Notom-Bullfrog Road, Burro Wash and Cottonwood Wash can be done as long day hikes. Sheets Gulch can be done as a long day hike or an overnight, depending on where you turn around. Free backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor center. Burro Wash Trailhead Locations This route is not an official, maintained trail. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), may not indicate the route in this description, or may be absent. All three canyons are located within a few miles of each other and can be accessed from the Notom-Bullfrog Road, which is paved south of Hwy 24 until just past Cottonwood Wash. The unpaved portion is usually passable to passenger cars. Each route begins where the road crosses the wash, except for Sheets Gulch which begins just north of the wash. All crossings are marked with signs. There are trailhead parking areas at Burro Wash and Sheets Gulch. At Cottonwood Wash, there is a parking/dispersed camping area adjacent to the road, and a designated motorized route extends a short distance up the wash (high-clearance vehicles only). Do not drive up Burro Wash or Sheets Gulch. Route Distances Additional Information The upper end of Sheets Gulch can be accessed via the South Draw Road at Tantalus Flats. The South Draw Road begins off of the Pleasant Creek Road at the end of the park’s Scenic Drive and requires a high-clearance, fourwheel-drive vehicle. Occasionally, South Draw Road is impassable due to muddy conditions and/or flash flood damage. Contact the visitor center for current road conditions. • Burro Wash: Notom-Bullfrog Road to impassable pour-off..................................3.4 miles (5.5 km) • Cottonwood Wash: Notom-Bullfrog Road to impassable pour-off......................3.3 miles (5.3 km) • Sheets Gulch: Notom-Bullfrog Road to turnaround point at Rules and Regulations The first few miles of each route cross Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands along sandy wash bottoms surrounded by low hills. Livestock may be present in open range outside the park boundary. cottonwood seep...............................................................................6.7 miles (10.8 km) • Free permits are required for backcountry camping, and are available at: ♦♦Capitol Reef Visitor Center ♦♦Bullfrog Visitor Center (Glen Canyon NRA) ♦♦Anasazi State Park (Boulder, UT) ♦♦Escalante Interagency Visitor Center • Dispersed/at-large camping with vehicles is prohibited within the park, including at or near trailheads. Dispersed/at-large camping is allowed on federal lands (USFS, BLM) adjacent to the park, where you must use established campsites on existing spur routes Best season: Spring and fall. For more information: Contact the Capitol Reef Visitor Center at 435-425-4111. • • • • within 150 feet of an officially-designated motorized route. Pets are not permitted on trails or in off-trail or backcountry areas. Pets are permitted on roads and in designated campgrounds. Fires are prohibited. Collecting or damaging any park resource (plants, animals, wood, rocks, bones, antlers, artifacts, etc.) is prohibited. Violation of these regulations may result in a citation. Maps: USGS 7.5-minute series: Notom, Golden Throne, Bear Canyon, and Sandy Creek Benches. Maps available at the visitor center. (continued) Hike Description: Burro Wash Burro Wash is located 7.8 miles (12.6 km) south of Hwy 24 on the Notom-Bullfrog Road. As you proceed up the wash (west), always take the left branch at major wash junctions. Approximately two miles (3.2 km) in from the Notom-Bullfrog Road, the canyon begins to narrow as it cuts into the Navajo Sandstone. Soon you will encounter a narrow, sandy wash
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Halls Creek Narrows Between the high cliffs of Hall Mesa on the east and the steep slickrock slopes of the Waterpocket Fold on the west, the hike through the Halls Creek drainage (known as Grand Gulch) explores the park’s southern reaches. Along the way, hikers can explore numerous side canyons that join the Halls Creek drainage. At the remote southern tip of the park is the 3.8-mile (6.0 km) Halls Creek Narrows, deeply incised into the white Navajo sandstone. A perennial stream and shade from the arching canyon walls create an oasis in the midst of surrounding desert. The route is largely unmarked; carrying a topographic map is recommended. The route is extremely hot in summer. Water can usually be found at the Fountain Tanks and in the narrows. Use caution in narrow canyons, particularly during the flash flood season (typically July–September). Hiking through the narrows requires wading through water that occasionally may be deep enough to require swimming. The round-trip hike is best done as a three- to four-day trip. Free backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor center. Halls Creek Narrows Trailhead Location This route is not an official, maintained trail. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), may not indicate the route in this description, or may be absent. From the visitor center, travel 9.0 miles (14.4 km) east on Highway 24 to the Notom-Bullfrog Road, then south 43.2 miles (69.4 km) via the partially-paved Notom-Bullfrog Road and unpaved Burr Trail Road. Then turn right (south) at an intersection with a paved road (shown on some maps as “Eggnog Junction”), and drive 0.9 mile (1.5 km) to the turnoff for Halls Creek Overlook. Turn right (west) and drive 2.8 miles (4.5 km) to the rough spur road leading to the trailhead at Halls Creek Overlook. Total distance from the Capitol Reef Visitor Center is 56.1 miles (90.3 km). The unpaved portions of the Notom-Bullfrog and Burr Trail roads are hard-packed dirt, usually passable to passenger cars. The final 3 miles (4.8 km) leading to Halls Creek Overlook are rough and require high-clearance, fourwheel-drive vehicles. Route Distances Halls Creek Overlook (trailhead) to canyon bottom...................................................1.2 miles (1.9 km) Bottom of Halls Creek Overlook Trail to beginning of narrows loop.....................7.3 miles (11.8 km) Halls Creek Narrows (west portion of narrows loop).................................................3.8 miles (6.0 km) Hall Divide route (east portion of narrows loop).........................................................1.7 miles (2.7 km) Total round-trip.............................................................................................................22.4 miles (36.1 km) Hike Description The hike begins at Halls Creek Overlook. From this spectacular viewpoint, a steep trail marked with rock cairns descends 800 feet (244 m) over 1.2 miles (1.9 km) to the Halls Creek drainage. Pay attention to landmarks as no signs mark the point where this route climbs out of the canyon; it would be easy to walk past the route on your return trip. The remainder of the route is largely unmarked but it is simply a matter of walking down canyon (south) to the narrows. An old wagon trail followed this same route and is still visible in many places. Cutting across many of the wide meanders in the wash, it provides a convenient path for much of the route to the narrows. Additional Information miles (6.0 km), the creek meanders through a deep, narrow canyon that always requires some walking in water. The depth of the pools can vary greatly from year to year and from season to season. Flash floods periodically scour out the sediment, leaving pools that may require deep wading or short swims. At the narrows, Halls Creek abandons its logical path down the wide canyon separating the Waterpocket Fold and Halls Mesa and cuts into the Navajo sandstone on the west side of the canyon. The change is sudden and dramatic. A large grove of cottonwood trees is located near the entrance to the narrows. For the next 3.8 If you choose not to enter the narrows and want to continue south in the main drainage, or if you want to bypass the narrows on your return trip, follow the route over Hall Divide which blocks the main canyon just beyond (south of) the entrance to the narrows. The easiest way to negotiate the 1.7-mile (2.7 km) Hall Divide is to look for the old wagon route and follow it over this obstacle. The hike across Hall Divide can be hot and shadeless; make sure you have adequate water. An alternative is to h
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lower Muley Twist Canyon The highlight of the hike is a deep, narrow, twisting canyon with large alcoves. The canyon offers many opportunities for side trips and exploring. From 1881 to 1884, the canyon served as a wagon route for Mormon pioneers traveling south toward San Juan County. The canyon was thought to be narrow enough to “twist a mule”, hence the name Muley Twist. The Post cutoff trail is marked with rock cairns and signs, but carrying a topographic map is recommended. It is extremely hot in summer and water sources are unreliable; carry adequate water. Use caution in narrow canyons particularly during flash flood season (typically July–September). Beginning at the trailhead on the Burr Trail Road and hiking down-canyon to The Post trailhead via The Post cutoff trail necessitates leaving a vehicle at each end. If you don’t have two vehicles, turn around when you get to the sign indicating The Post cutoff trail. A hike through Lower Muley Twist Canyon can be done as a long day hike or as an overnight trip by starting and ending at The Post parking area. Hiking the entire canyon from the trailhead on the Burr Trail Road and back is best done as a two- to three-day trip. Backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor center. From the south end of Lower Muley Twist, a side trip to the south offers a view of Hamburger Rocks. These are small, dark-red hoodoos within the Navajo sandstone with hamburger-like shapes. The white-colored slope they are perched on accentuates the rocks. The spur route to Hamburger Rocks is unmarked. Water can usually be found at the Muley Tanks, about 200 yards (183 m) north of Hamburger Rocks, but would need to be purified. Lower Muley Twist Canyon This route is not an official, maintained trail. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), may not indicate the route in this description, or may be absent. Trailhead Locations • Top of the Burr Trail Road switchbacks, 35 Route Distances • • • • • miles (56.3 km) south of Hwy 24 (2.1 miles [3.4 km] west of the Notom-Bullfrog Road/ Burr Trail Road junction). The NotomBullfrog Road is hard-packed dirt and is usually passable to passenger cars. At times, the Burr Trail Road may require a high clearance vehicle. • The Post parking area: from the Burr Trail Road/Notom-Bullfrog Road junction, travel 2.2 miles (3.6 km) south on the Burr Trail Road, then 0.5 mile (0.9 km) to an old corral at the end of a short spur road. Burr Trail Road trailhead to The Post cutoff trail......................................................3.8 miles (6.2 km) The Post cutoff trail to the Post trailhead, one-way...................................................2.1 miles (3.3 km) Burr Trail Road trailhead to Halls Creek drainage................................................12.4 miles (20.0 km) Junction of Lower Muley Twist and Halls Creek drainage to The Post trailhead....4.7 miles (7.6 km) Total mileage for upper loop (Burr Trail Road trailhead to The Post cutoff trail and return via the Burr Trail Road).........................................................................................................10.7 miles (17.4 km) • Total mileage for lower loop (from The Post trailhead and back)......................15.4 miles (24.8 km) • Total mileage for entire loop: Burr Trail Road trailhead to Halls Creek drainage and return via the Burr Trail Road..........................................................................................................21.9 miles (35.5 km) • Total mileage for entire loop: Burr Trail Road trailhead to Halls Creek drainage and return via The Post cutoff trail...................................................................................................22.8 miles (36.9 km) Rules and Regulations Additional Information • Free permits are required for backcountry camping, and are available at: ♦♦Capitol Reef Visitor Center ♦♦Bullfrog Visitor Center (Glen Canyon NRA) ♦♦Anasazi State Park (Boulder, UT) ♦♦Escalante Interagency Visitor Center • Dispersed/at-large camping with vehicles is prohibited within the park, including at or near trailheads. Dispersed/at-large camping is allowed on federal lands (USFS, BLM) adjacent to the park. • Pets are not permitted on trails or in off-trail or backcountry areas. Pets are permitted on roads and in designated campgrounds. • Fires are prohibited. • Collecting or damaging any park resource (plants, animals, wood, rocks, bones, antlers, artifacts, etc.) is prohibited. • Violation of these regulations may result in a citation. Best season: Maps: Spring and fall. For m
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Pleasant Creek Pleasant Creek is a year-round stream that has cut a deep, scenic canyon through the heart of Capitol Reef. Exploring the length of the canyon requires numerous creek crossings; it is often possible to jump over the creek, but stepping into the water may be necessary at times. Dangerous flash floods are an occasional hazard on this route. Do not hike the Pleasant Creek route if there is a chance of rain. Do not camp next to the creek. Unmaintained yet noticeable footpaths exist along much of the route—please stay on these paths where they exist in order to protect biological soil crusts. Do not walk or camp on areas of this fragile soil crust. It has a lumpy, gray appearance, and helps prevent erosion of soft, sandy soils. It is possible to explore the canyon in either direction from the trailhead as a day hike. Suitable locations for backcountry campsites can be found in some sections of the canyon. Backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor center. Portions of the Upper Pleasant Creek route are outside the park, on lands administered by the US Forest Service (Fishlake National Forest). Pleasant Creek When hiking and camping along Pleasant Creek around mid-October, be advised that local ranchers have permits from the park to herd cattle through Pleasant Creek Canyon at that time of year. Choose campsites carefully, and stand clear of approaching cattle herds. This route is not an official, maintained trail. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), may not indicate the route in this description, or may be absent. Note: Capitol Reef National Park recommends hikers do not ingest water directly from Pleasant Creek because E. coli bacteria are occasionally detected in water samples taken from the stream. Sources of E. coli bacteria in Pleasant Creek may include runoff from upstream agricultural and grazing land, cattle trailing, and human and wildlife waste. Trailhead Locations From the visitor center, travel 7.9 miles (12.7 km) south to the end of the paved portion of Scenic Drive. Continue south for 2.8 miles (4.5 km) on the unpaved Pleasant Creek Road to a small parking area and vault toilet adjacent to Pleasant Creek. This is the trailhead; do not continue on the rough road that crosses Pleasant Creek (a rugged, unmaintained, four- wheel-drive track known as South Draw Road). It is also possible to access the upper end of the Pleasant Creek route from the Tantalus Flats area, west of the park boundary. This requires travel on rough roads with high-clearance vehicles; four-wheel drive may be required. The road may be impassable at times, especially in winter. Route Distances (one-way) From the trailhead at Pleasant Creek Road to: • turnaround point at fence near east park boundary.................................................3.4 miles (5.4 km) • west park boundary.......................................................................................................2.3 miles (3.7 km) • Pleasant Creek cascades, west of park boundary (Fishlake National Forest).......3.8 miles (6.1 km) Hike Description: Lower Pleasant Creek to east park boundary From the trailhead next to Pleasant Creek, follow a footpath leading to the east from the parking area. Cross to the south side of the creek after 0.3 mile (0.5 km), near a tall grove of cottonwoods. From this point onward, continue eastward along sandy benches and streambanks, following informal trails and crossing the creek as necessary, as the waterway meanders between the canyon walls. About 2.1 miles (3.5 km) from the trailhead, the creek flows over slickrock into a short, narrow chute of red sandstone. About 1/4 mile (0.4 km) past the chute, the main canyon widens and a large side canyon joins Pleasant Creek from the right (south); it is possible to explore the side canyon for a short distance before obstacles block passage. Around 0.5 mile (0.8 km) beyond the side canyon, the route bypasses a large southward meander in the main canyon by crossing over a low sandstone saddle next to the north wall of the canyon. After crossing the saddle, return to the creek and follow it for another 0.5 mile (0.8 km) to a fence that crosses the creek bottom. Shortly beyond the fence is the park boundary and private property. This fence marks the end of the route. To return to the trailhead, retrace your route westward up the canyon to the Pleasant Creek Road. Hike Description: Upper Pleasant Creek to west park boundary (and beyond) From the trailhead next to Pleasant Creek, follow a footpath leading west along the north side of the creek. After abou
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Spring Canyon Spring Canyon is deep and narrow with towering Wingate cliffs and Navajo domes. It originates on the shoulder of Thousand Lakes Mountain and extends to the Fremont River. The route is marked with rock cairns and signs in some places, but many sections are unmarked; car­rying a topographic map and GPS unit is recommended. It is extremely hot in summer, and potential water sources are rare and uncertain (see hike descriptions for details). Use caution in narrow canyons, particular­ly during the flash flood season (typically July–September). The canyon route is divided into Upper and Lower Spring Canyon sections. It can be accessed midway via Chimney Rock Canyon. The entire canyon is best done as a three- to four-day trip. Upper Spring Canyon is a good two- to three-day trip, while Lower Spring Canyon can be done as an overnight or long day hike. At the lower end of Spring Canyon, fording the Fremont River is necessary; there is no bridge over the river (see page 2 for details). Free backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor center. Portions of the Upper Spring Canyon route are outside the park, on lands administered by the US Forest Service (Fishlake National Forest). Lower Spring Canyon Trailhead Locations This route is not an official, maintained trail. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), may not indicate the route in this description, or may be absent. • Upper end of Spring Canyon: Holt Draw, which is a dirt track on the right (north) side of Hwy 24, 0.9 miles (1.4 km) west of the park boundary (just west of mile marker 73, on US Forest Service land) and 7.0 miles (11.3 km) west of the visitor center. The road is closed to vehicle traf­fi c beyond the gate at the forest service boundary near Hwy 24. • Midway, for access to the lower end of Upper Route Distances • • • • Additional Information • Lower end of Spring Canyon: Across the Fremont River 3.6 miles (5.8 km) east of the visitor center on Hwy 24 (just east of mile marker 83). Look for unmarked parking areas on both sides of the highway. • Upper Spring Canyon from Holt Draw to Chimney Rock parking area............18.7 miles (30.1 km) • Upper Spring Canyon from Holt Draw to Chimney Rock Canyon and back to • Rules and Regulations Spring Canyon and to the upper end of Lower Spring Canyon: The Chimney Rock trailhead, located 3.0 miles (4.8 km) west of the visitor center on Hwy 24. Holt Draw via Hwy 24...................................................................................22.7 miles (36.5 km) Lower Spring Canyon from Chimney Rock parking area to the Fremont River/Hwy 24....................................................................................9.7 miles (15.6 km) Lower Spring Canyon from Chimney Rock parking area and back to Chimney Rock parking area via Hwy 24.....................................................16.3 miles (26.2 km) Upper and Lower Spring Canyon from Holt Draw to the Fremont River and Hwy 24...........................................................................22.6 miles (36.4 km) Upper and Lower Spring Canyon from Holt Draw and back to Holt Draw via Hwy 24...................................................................................33.2 miles (53.4 km) Access to Spring Canyon from Chimney Rock parking area via Chimney Rock Canyon......................................................................................2.9 miles (4.7 km) • Free permits are required for backcountry camping, and are available at: ♦♦Capitol Reef Visitor Center ♦♦Bullfrog Visitor Center (Glen Canyon NRA) ♦♦Anasazi State Park (Boulder, UT) ♦♦Escalante Interagency Visitor Center • Dispersed/at-large camping with vehicles is prohibited within the park, including at or near trailheads. Dispersed/at-large camping is allowed on federal lands (USFS, BLM) adjacent to the park. • Pets are not permitted on trails or in off-trail or backcountry areas. Pets are permitted on roads and in designated campgrounds. • Fires are prohibited. • Collecting or damaging any park resource (plants, animals, wood, rocks, bones, antlers, artifacts, etc.) is prohibited. • Violation of these regulations may result in a citation. Best season: For more information: Spring and fall. Maps: Contact the Capitol Reef Visitor Center at 435425-4111. USGS 7.5-minute series: Torrey, Twin Rocks, and Fruita. Maps available at the visitor center. (continued) Hike Description: Upper Spring Canyon Upper Spring Canyon is a strenuous hike of approximately 18.7 miles (30.1 km) from Holt Draw to Chimney Rock. Route-finding skills and the ab
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Sulphur Creek Sulphur Creek has cut a deep canyon that passes through the oldest rocks exposed at Capitol Reef. It is a perennial stream with a flow that varies significantly in response to upstream water usage, snowmelt, and heavy rain. There are about two miles of scenic narrows and three small waterfalls. Bypassing the falls requires the ability to scramble down 12-foot ledges. The route nearly always requires some walking in shallow water, but it is not uncommon for there to be much deeper water that might even require swimming. This route may be difficult for children if deep water is present. Ask at the visitor center for the latest condition report. Dangerous flash floods are an occasional hazard on this route—do not hike the Sulphur Creek route if there is a chance of rain. The 5.5-mile (8.9 km) one-way hike through Sulphur Creek Canyon involves leaving a shuttle vehicle at each end. If you don’t have two vehicles, a 3.3-mile (5.3 km) hike along Highway 24 is required to return your starting point. Vehicle shuttles are not provided or facilitated by the park. Though legal, hitchhiking is not recommended. Sulphur Creek This route is not an official, maintained trail. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), may not indicate the route in this description, or may be absent. Trailhead Locations Parking for the upper end of the Sulphur Creek route is at a paved pulloff on Highway 24, 0.3 mile (0.5 km) west of the Chimney Rock trailhead, a total of 3.3 miles (5.3 km) west of the visitor center. Space-permitting, you may also park at the Chimney Rock trailhead. Parking for the lower end of the route is on a gravel road shoulder on the north side of Highway 24 across from the visitor center, adjacent to the highway bridge over Sulphur Creek. Hike Description For those wishing to hike a short section of the canyon to a small waterfall, begin your hike at the visitor center and follow Sulphur Creek upstream 0.7 mile (1.2 km). However, many hikers choose to hike the entire route in the downstream direction, starting at the Chimney Rock trailhead and ending at the visitor center. This description details the hike in that direction. (229 m) to the next falls, also passed on the right (south). Here, pass under a large rock against the south canyon wall and scramble down three separate short pitches, slightly more difficult than the first falls. Beyond this falls there are narrows that usually require walking through water. After the second falls, it is 1.7 miles (2.8 km) to the third and final waterfall. Though only about eight feet (2.4 m) high, this obstacle requires a short but slippery traverse on a narrow ledge to the left (north), followed by a short downclimb—use caution. A faint hiker-made bypass trail can be accessed by returning upstream about 20 yards (18 m) to a point where it is possible to climb out on the south side via a series of ledges. Once atop the ledges, follow the bypass to the east, traversing the slope above the lower cliffs south of the creek. The bypass eventually descends back to creek level well beyond the falls. From the Chimney Rock trailhead, cross to the south side of Highway 24. Directly across the highway is a short hiker-made trail that quickly leads down into the left side of a small wash. Walking in the wash bottom reduces hiker impacts on the sparse plant community. Con­ tinue in the small wash for 500 feet (152 m) until it runs into a much larger wash. Bear left (southeast) and follow the wash for another 1.4 miles (2.3 km). Before the confluence with Sulphur Creek, the wash narrows and there are two 6-foot (2 m) pour-offs to downclimb. If you are hiking in the opposite direction (visitor center to Chimney Rock) the exit wash is at UTM 0473452mE, 4239348mN (NAD27 datum). Route Distances Once at the creek, turn left (east) and walk downstream. The canyon quickly deepens. A half mile (0.8 km) along is the first view of the fence at Goosenecks Overlook, about 800 feet (244 m) above. From here it is another mile (1.6 km) of creekside walking to the first falls and the beginning of the narrows section. The lower 0.7 mile (1.2 km) of the route follows the creek toward park headquarters and the visitor center. When the cliff to the north of the stream ends, find a hiker-made track that leads to that point, where there is an old lime kiln built and used by the early resi­dents of Fruita. Please preserve this fragile historic relic by not climbing on or inside the kiln. The trail continues over a low hill and down to Sulphur Creek behind the visitor center. Go around the left (north) side of the buildings to the parkin
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Upper Muley Twist Canyon Upper Muley Twist Canyon cuts lengthwise along the spine of the Waterpocket Fold creating a colorful, meandering canyon. The Navajo and Wingate sandstone layers are exposed here, tilted by the uplift and folding of the Earth’s crust and sculpted by millions of years of erosion. The Wingate, stripped of its protective Kayenta cap rock, has eroded into unusual forms including many large arches. The 0.9-mile (1.4 km) round-trip hike to Strike Valley Overlook provides outstanding views of the Waterpocket Fold and the surrounding area. The rim route in Upper Muley Twist Canyon provides similar views. Saddle Arch Highlights of the hike are narrow canyons, expanses of slickrock, large arches, and dramatic vistas from the top of the Waterpocket Fold. The route is marked with rock cairns and signs, but carrying a topographic map is recommended. It is extremely hot in summer and water sources are unreliable; carry adequate water. Use caution in narrow canyons, particularly during the flash flood season (typically July–September). Free backcoun­try permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor center. This route is not an official, maintained trail. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), may not indicate the route in this description, or may be absent. Trailhead Locations The Upper Muley Twist Canyon Road is located one mile (1.6 km) west of the top of the Burr Trail Road switchbacks. Passenger cars can be driven about 0.3 mile (0.5 km) in to the Upper Muley Twist Canyon trailhead. Highclearance vehicles, typically requiring four- wheel drive, can drive 2.9 miles (4.7 km) up the canyon to the Strike Valley Overlook parking area. Check at the visitor center for the latest road conditions before driving into the canyon with high-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles. Hike Description From the Strike Valley Overlook parking area, it is an easy 1.7-mile (2.7 km) walk up the wash to Saddle Arch where a sign indicates the rim route. The loop portion of the Upper Muley Twist Canyon hike begins here and can be done in either direction. Hiking clockwise, beginning with the canyon portion and return­ing via the rim route, will offer a more gradual climb. Beginning with the rim route and hiking in a counterclockwise direction will get the most strenuous part of the hike over at the be­ginning. The loop is cairned but requires careful attention as some sections of the trail deviate from the anticipated route to bypass obstacles. To access the rim route and hike the loop in a counterclockwise direction, leave the wash near Saddle Arch and follow the cairned route on the right (east) side of the canyon to the top of the Fold. corner of an old uranium-mining claim. A short distance up the canyon from the point where the narrows bypass trail drops back into the wash bottom, an NPS-placed sign marks the point where the trail climbs out of the canyon to the rim. At this point you can continue back to Saddle Arch along the rim route or return the way you came. At the sign, the trail turns east and requires a steep climb and some scrambling to reach a second sign that marks the upper end of the rim route. The rim route involves some scrambling over steep, exposed slickrock and can be a little tricky when carrying a backpack. Use caution, especially if wet or icy conditions exist. The route along the rim is cairned. Threequarters of a mile (1.2 km) from the upper (north) end of the rim route you will cross a short, steep notch in the crest of the ridge. One mile (1.6 km) farther, shortly after traversing another saddle in the ridge, you will climb up over steep slickrock ledges to get back on top of the rim. Stay near the west (right) edge and watch for cairns leading over this obstacle. As you approach the lower (south) end of the rim route, watch for an NPS-placed sign directing you right (west) to the route that drops back down to the canyon bottom. The rim is fairly wide in this area, and it’s easy to miss the route down if you aren’t watching for cairns. Back in the canyon bottom, retrace your route 1.7 miles (2.7 km) down the wash to the parking area. To follow the loop in a clockwise direction, continue up the canyon in the wash. The narrows are 2.3 miles (3.7 km) beyond Saddle Arch. Cairns mark a route around the narrows on the right (east) side of the canyon. It is easy to miss this bypass route if you are not watching for cairns. It is possible to explore the narrows, but a pour-off near the beginning requires a difficult climb using old hand- and toe-holds carved into the rock. The narrows end at an impassable
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Canyoneering Canyoneering is a growing recreational sport on the Colorado Plateau. It often requires scrambling and climbing through tight, rugged canyons. It may involve swimming, rappelling, or other technical rope work. Please use care during canyoneering trips, including during approaches and exits, as delicate plants, fragile biological crust, and other sensitive park resources exist in many off-trail areas and within many canyons. Small group sizes should be considered for any backcountry travel for the safety of participants as well the protection of park resources. See below for group size limits. Information on Capitol Reef canyoneering routes can be found on various websites and in other publications. Search the internet for details. Description of Canyons The multiple rock layers found at Capitol Reef offer a diverse canyon environment. Many popular canyoneering routes pass through the Navajo and Wingate sandstone formations. Drainages within the Wingate Sandstone often follow natural vertical fracturing and form deep canyons with long drops and tight vertical canyon walls. Canyons within the Navajo Sandstone tend to be shallower and typically produce tight slots, potholes, and shorter drops. Permits Permits are not required for canyoneering. However, if you plan to camp overnight as part of a canyoneering trip, you are required to obtain a free backcountry permit, available at the visitor center. Restrictions and Concerns For the protection of park resources, canyoneering groups are limited to a maximum of six people, with some exceptions for certain routes near the Fruita area. Ask at the visitor center for details. existing webbing, the webbing should closely match the color of the surrounding rock. • Protection may not be placed with the use of a hammer except to replace existing belay and rappel anchors and bolts on existing routes, or for emergency self-rescue. • Physical alteration of rock faces is prohibited, such as chiseling, glue reinforcement of existing holds, trundling rocks, and gluing of new holds. • The intentional removal of lichen or plants from rock is prohibited. Capitol Reef is a clean canyoneering area. Minimum impact techniques that do not damage or destroy rock or other park resources are required: • The installation of new fixed anchors (bolts, pitons, etc.) is prohibited. • Bolts may be replaced only if an existing bolt is unsafe. • The use of power drills is prohibited. • Where it is necessary to leave or replace Safety • Canyoneering is an inherently dangerous activity. Groups should fully research the intended route and be prepared for unknown obstacles. Many canyons require full commitment once started and escape is often not possible. • Know the latest weather information. Be familiar with the terrain and know your escape routes. Deadly flash flood waters can travel from many miles away with travel times of 10 hours or more. Don’t enter slot canyons or rugged terrain during stormy or wet weather. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA Potential seasonal closures or use limits may be in effect during your visit. Check at the visitor center for current closures or limits. • Consider your group’s experience and skill level before selecting and entering any canyon. Groups can overestimate their abilities and become delayed or stuck. • Notify a friend or family member of your plans before leaving. • Rescue resources in a canyon environment can be limited and groups may be forced to self-rescue. Many canyoneering routes are in remote, seldom-visited areas with no cell phone service. www.nps.gov/care 4/16
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Rock Climbing While not the most popular activity at Capitol Reef, opportunities for rock climbing exist in some areas of the park. Only certain layers of rock are suitable for climbing, and can vary widely in their hardness and reliability. Follow minimum impact climbing and camping practices. Please use care during all climbs, particularly on approach and exit routes, as delicate plants, fragile biological soil crusts, and other sensitive park resources exist in many off-trail areas. Rock Type The rock at Capitol Reef is comprised predominantly of sandstone. It varies in hardness from the soft, crumbly Entrada to the relatively hard Wingate. The Wingate cliff walls are the most popular for climbing, as natural fracturing has created many climbable crack systems. In addition, the hardness of the Wingate lends itself more readily to the successful use of chocks, nuts, and camming devices. However, it can flake off easily and be very unpredictable. Permits Permits are not required for climbing. However, if you plan to camp overnight as part of a climb, you are required to obtain a free backcountry use permit, available at the visitor center. Restrictions and Concerns Capitol Reef is a clean climbing area. Minimum impact techniques that don’t destroy the rock or leave a visual trail are required: such as chiseling, glue reinforcement of existing holds, trundling rocks, and gluing of new holds. • The intentional removal of lichen or plants from rock is prohibited. • Ropes may not be left in place unattended for more than 24 hours, and these ropes must be out of reach from the ground or other points accessible without technical climbing. • The use of white chalk is prohibited. Climbers using chalk must use chalk that closely matches the color of the surrounding rock. • The use of power drills is prohibited. • No new climbing hardware may be installed and/or left in a fixed location. Bolts may only be used to replace existing unsafe bolts. • If an existing software item (sling, runner, etc.) is unsafe, it may be replaced. • Where it is necessary to leave or replace existing webbing, the webbing should closely match the color of the surrounding rock. • Protection may not be placed with the use of a hammer except to replace existing belay and rappel anchors and bolts on existing routes, or for emergency self-rescue. • Physical alteration of rock faces is prohibited, Route Descriptions and Additional Information Two published guides that cover climbs at Capitol Reef: • Desert Rock by Eric Bjornstad (Chockstone Press, 1996) • Rock Climbing Utah by Stewart M. Green (Falcon Guides, 2012) EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA These areas are closed to climbing: • The section of cliffs north of Highway 24 between the Fruita Schoolhouse and the east end of the petroglyph boardwalk • Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon • Chimney Rock • Any arch or natural bridge • Within 300 feet (91 m) of an archeological site • Within 1/4 mile (402 m) of nesting eagles, hawks, owls, or falcons Additional information on Capitol Reef climbing routes can be found on various websites. Search the internet for details. www.nps.gov/care 1/16
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Horse and Pack Animal Use Recreational horse and pack animal use is a traditional means of viewing and experiencing Capitol Reef National Park. “Pack animals” are defined as horses, burros, and mules. Stock use in any part of the park may be prohibited when necessary to protect park resources or visitors. General Information and Regulations For all trips involving horses and/or pack animals (day use or overnight), the following regulations apply: • Stock use within the park is limited to horses, burros, and mules. • Stock use in the park’s backcountry is limited to 12 people and no more than 12 head of riding or packing stock. • Stock animals may not be ridden or kept overnight in any campground, picnic area, orchard, or roadside pullout, with the exception of the equestrian staging area at the Post Corral (see below). • Horses and pack animals must be picketed in locations where there will be little or no vegetation damage. • Grazing or loose herding is not permitted. • All feed must be carried in and must be certified weed-free feed. • Riders will slow to a walk when passing hikers. • Manure must be removed immediately if Backcountry Camping with Stock Additional regulations for backcountry camping with stock are described below: • A free backcountry use permit, available at the visitor center, is required for each party with horses or pack animals staying overnight in the park. Parties must obtain their permits in-person and must possess it while camping. • Backcountry camping is prohibited within one half mile of roads or trailheads (except at the Post Corral). Camping is also prohibited within sight of established roads or trails, or within sight or sound of other campers. • • • • • • • dropped in or near any spring or non-flowing water source. Human waste must be buried 6 inches deep and at least 100 feet from non-flowing water; 200 feet from flowing water. All trash, including toilet paper, must be carried out. Burning or burying toilet paper is prohibited. Fires are not permitted in the backcountry. Dogs may not accompany recreational stock trips. Generators are not permitted. All commercially guided horse or pack animal trips must be provided by an outfitter that is authorized and permitted to operate under the commercial use procedures of the park. Commercial groups are not permitted to use the Post Corral equestrian staging area. Report all accidents or injuries to a park ranger or at the visitor center as soon as possible. Area closures may be enacted to protect park resources or visitors. • Campsites and tethering areas must be a minimum of 300 feet from water, archeological/historical sites, and backcountry trail junctions, and at least 100 feet from any water course (wet or dry). • Parties camping with horses or pack animals must camp in a new location each night (except when camping at the Post Corral). • Manure must be scattered before vacating a campsite. Manure must be removed immediately if dropped in or near any spring or non-flowing water source. (continued) Post Corral Equestrian Staging Area The equestrian staging area at the Post Corral is located in the park’s Waterpocket District, about 35 miles (57 km) south of Utah Highway 24 via the Notom-Bullfrog Road and Burr Trail Road. Check at the visitor center for current road conditions, since stormy weather may impact access to this site. This is the park’s only developed overnight facility for stock users. It is also available for day use, under the same conditions as for overnight users: • Use of the Post Corral equestrian staging area is permitted only for non-commercial horse users. • All parties must obtain advanced reservations by phone or in-person, and must also obtain a backcountry permit in-person from the visitor center, prior to use. • All vehicles, camping units, and trailers associated with groups camping at the site must be parked within the large (west) side Closed Areas The following trails and backcountry areas are closed to all stock use: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Recommended Rides Brimhall Bridge Capitol Gorge Cassidy Arch Castle Trail Cathedral Trail Cathedral Valley Overlook Chimney Rock Cohab Canyon Fremont Gorge Viewpoint Fremont River Overlook Fruita Campground to the Visitor Center Frying Pan Golden Throne • Halls Creek—access from the Post Corral south through Halls Creek drainage; Halls Creek Narrows is closed to all stock use— however, the narrows can be bypassed with stock via the Hall Divide route • South Desert—access from Upper or Lower South Desert Overlooks Additional Information • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • of the corral, and horses must be kept in the adjacent pens of the corral. (The corral is not adequate to hold horses, but they may be tied to existing corral fences.) Camp use is limited to one group of 12 riders and 12 horses. Up to two camp tenders may also accompany the group, a
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Cultural Landscape The historical features of Capitol Reef tell a story of how people’s relationship to the land has changed over time—from subsistance and survival in the pioneer community of Fruita, to goals of conservation, preservation, and recreation in the national park. Vernacular Landscape Lime Kilns Remnants of Capitol Reef National Park’s Fruita settlement are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are protected as a National Rural Historic District. Nestled in the Fremont River valley with two perennial water sources, it was a hospitable place to raise families and plant orchards. From the late 1880s to the 1940s, Mormon pioneer families developed a relationship with the land, each influencing and shaping the other: the definition of a vernacular landscape. Orchards were the primary source of income for families in Fruita and remain the most obvious contribution to the historical landscape. Lime kilns were often one of the first community structures built in a new settlement. Lime is necessary for masonry and construction, and can also serve as a protective coating against scalding, cracking, rodents, and insect damage for fruit tree saplings. with water to make a safer, more usable final product. Two lime kilns exist in the Fruita Rural Historic District: one adjacent to the campground and one near Sulphur Creek. To make lime, limestone is heated in a kiln, with internal temperatures reaching 800–1200 degrees Fahrenheit (427–649 Celsius) for several days. As the limestone is heated, carbon dioxide is “boiled off”; it loses about half its weight, and very reactive quicklime is formed. The resulting quicklime is slaked Behunin Cabin The relationship between the land and the people began to change when Capitol Reef was designated a national monument in 1937 and the first park building was erected by the Civilian Conservation Corps. A new visitor center and State Route 24 were completed in time for the National Park Service’s 50th anniversary in 1966, and highlighted ways visitors could now explore and enjoy this area, while protecting it for future generations. These lime kilns were likely used a few times a year. Now they remain an important vestige of the early Fruita community and illustrate the industrious nature of the pioneers. Lime kiln along Sulphur Creek. This one room cabin, located along what is now State Route 24, 6 miles (9.5 km) east of the visitor center, was home to a large family for just one year and was built in 1882 by Elijah Cutler Behunin. According to local historians, the boys slept in an alcove behind the cabin while the girls slept in a wagon bed, allowing the parents and the youngest children to sleep in the cabin itself. Repeated floods along the Fremont River ruined their irrigation system for the orchards and other crops. The Behunin family was one of the first families to settle in Fruita when they moved closer to other early residents. Schoolhouse The schoolhouse was the only true community building in Fruita. Classes were held from 1896 to 1941; dances, church services, and town meetings also occurred there. The construction was a community effort, and throughout the years a few improvements were made. The original flat, water-resistant bentonite clay roof was replaced with a shingled, peaked roof in 1912, and the interior walls were whitewashed in the 1930s. The National Park Service refurbished it to its 1935 conditions, with a painted canvas blackboard. In 1972, the schoolhouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Merin Smith Implement Shed Fruita resident Merin Smith built this shed in 1925 as a workshop, blacksmith shop, and garage. The tools and vehicles inside were acquired at various times by the National Park Service and the Natural History Association and illustrate what life would have been like in Fruita during that time period. Notice the Eimco Corp. transitional tractor inside. The cabin is constructed out of local Navajo Sandstone but has a reddish-brown hue from the mud mortar that covers it. Gifford House and Pendleton Barn The Gifford House was originally built in 1908 by Calvin Pendleton, the only known polygamist who lived in Fruita. He sold it to Jorgen Jorgensen in 1919. Jorgensen then sold it in 1929 to his son-in-law Dewey Gifford who lived in it with his family for 40 years. The house was the last privately-occupied residence in Fruita. The Giffords sold it to the National Park Service in 1969, fully integrating Fruita into the park’s historic landscape. The Gifford House now serves visitors, a modern group of transient people spending a relatively short time in the Capitol Reef area. for Calvin Pendleton. Over the years, the barn has been used for farm equipment and hay storage as well as a shelter for livestock. Around the same time, Pendleton and his sons likely constructed the rock walls visible on
Capitol Reef National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Capitol Reef National Park Historic Fruita ©DAI HIROTA/IMPACT PHOTOGRAPHICS Fruita’s historic period (1883–1941) illustrates the opening and closing of the frontier in southern Utah. The Gifford House The self-sufficient community of Fruita was made up of a few large, hard-working, and interdependent families. Gifford and his family occupied the home for 41 years, beginning in 1928, and were the last residents to leave Fruita in 1969. Calvin Pendelton, Fruita’s only polygamist, built a stucco house in 1908. Pendelton constructed a barn, smokehouse and rock walls on the mesa slopes above the house. The rock walls may have been constructed by the Pendelton children when they became mischievous or bored. It also kept the family’s sheep off the hilltop. Jorgen Jorgenson owned the home after the Pendeltons and worked the pasture until he sold it to his son-in-law Dewey Gifford. The Orchards Nels Johnson planted the first orchards soon after he constructed a small cabin above the Fremont River. The soil and climate allowed a wide range of crops—especially fruit—to be grown. The residents of Fruita planted apple, apricot, peach, pear, plum and nut trees. Grape arbors were prevalent within a decade and later became part of a thriving, but illegal, local alcohol industry. Mulford Orchard ©DAI HIROTA/IMPACT PHOTOGRAPHICS Today the orchards hold approximately 3100 trees, primarily apple, apricot, peach, pear, and cherry, with a few plum, mulberry, almond, pecan, and walnut trees. Fruita is listed on the National Register of Historical Places as a Historical Cultural Landscape. The orchards and surrounding three square miles are preserved and protected. The National Park Service maintains the orchards with a small crew that is kept busy year round with pruning, irrigation, and orchard management. ©MAVANIE STANLEY/UVU PHOTOGRAPHY One-Room Fruita School Nettie Behunin was 14 when she began teaching school in her parent’s backyard. She taught outside for several years from the end of fall harvest to the beginning of spring planting until 1896, when Fruita residents completed work on the one-room school. First through eighth grade attended all at once, and class sizes varied from eight to twenty-six students. The building was used for church services, town meetings, box socials, and dances when school was out of session. The Fruita School closed in 1941 due to the dwindling population of Fruita. Mail Tree Mail delivery was considered unreliable in 1914 Fruita, arriving by wagon from Torrey (11 miles [17.71 km] to the west) en route to Hanksville (37 miles [59.57 km] to the east). Mailbags and wooden boxes were hung on a large tree in the center of the community. Outgoing mail was picked up by the postman who replaced it with new mail about every three weeks. A prominent Fremont cottonwood known as the mail tree still stands in the picnic area along the Scenic Drive, reminding us of Fruita’s limited connection with the outside world over a hundred years ago. Pioneer Register The need for an efficient transportation route increased with the settlement of Fruita and several pioneer towns to the east. Capitol Gorge was indirect and subject to flash floods, but it was less difficult than fording the Fremont River numerous times. Elijah Cutler Behunin and a small crew of men set out in 1883 to clear over three miles of Capitol Gorge for a new wagon road. It took eight days to clear the boulders and small shrubs. This became the main travel corridor through the Waterpocket Fold until 1962, when State Highway 24 was built. Early travelers started carving their names into the soft sandstone walls of the canyon in 1871, long before the road was built. The tradition continued as more people passed through Capitol Gorge. This became known as the Pioneer Register. To protect the historic integrity of the Pioneer Register, further additions are now illegal. ©DAI HIROTA/IMPACT PHOTOGRAPHICS Additional information is available on our website www.nps.gov/care which also links to the Capitol Reef Natural History Association, a non-profit cooperating association that sells publications on Capitol Reef’s cultural and natural history. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA™ 09/11
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Fruita Orchards The orchards along the Fremont River and Sulphur Creek are remnants of the pioneer community of Fruita, settled in 1880. These relics of the area’s history serve as a connection to Fruita’s pioneer agricultural tradition and embody a living connection between local residents and their history and culture. They also provide food to visitors and park employees. The trees survive due to a delicate balance between the local climate and the availability of irrigation water. As the climate changes, warmer and drier conditions increase concerns for water availablility, and add new challenges to the management of the historic orchards. History No more than 10 families lived in Fruita at any one time; the last resident moved away in 1969. These early settlers planted the orchards as a cash crop and for subsistence. Today, the orchards are preserved and protected as part of the Fruita Rural Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The orchards contain approximately 3,000 trees, including cherry, apricot, peach, nectarine, pear, apple, plum, mulberry, quince, almond, pecan, and walnut. Many are heirloom varieties. The National Park Service maintains the orchards year-round through pruning, mowing, pest management, planting, mapping, grafting, and historic irrigation methods. Harvest • Check at the visitor center for information on orchards that are open for fruit picking. Fruit may not be harvested and taken from the orchard until the orchard is posted as open for picking. • You are welcome to stroll in any unlocked orchard. • You may sample ripe fruit in any unlocked orchard. There is no charge for fruit consumed in the orchards. • Fruit taken from the orchards must be paid for. A self-pay station with scales, plastic bags, and signs listing fruit prices is located near the entrance of orchards open for fruit harvest. • Please select only ripe fruit and leave the rest to ripen for other visitors. • Read and follow the ladder safety signs posted in the orchards. Safety The orchards can add much to your Capitol Reef visit. Please be safe and treat these historic trees gently! • Never climb these historic trees. • When orchards are open for picking, handheld fruit pickers and ladders are provided to aid in picking. • Please read the safety signs located near the orchard entrance before using orchard ladders. • Be sure the ladder is on firm, level ground with the third leg fully extended and the chains pulled tight. Do not stand on the top three rungs, and avoid leaning to either side when picking. • Children should not use the ladders unsupervised. Typical Range of Flowering and Harvesting Times (varies widely by year) Flowering Harvest Additional Information Call the park’s fruit hotline for information on fruit availability and harvest dates: (435) 425-3791, option 1, then option 5. Cherries: Apricots: Peaches : Pears: Apples: late March to mid-April early March to mid-April late March to late April late March to early May early April to early May EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA Cherries: Apricots: Peaches: Pears: Apples: mid-June to early July late June to mid-July late July to early Sept. early August to early Sept. mid-August to mid-October Regular updates are also posted online: www.facebook.com/CapitolReefNPS www.twitter.com/CapitolReefNPS www.nps.gov/care 1/16 Fruit and Nut Trees almond, apple, apricot, cherry, mulberry, peach, pear, plum, walnut apple, grape, nectarine, peach, pear apple, cherry, peach, walnut apple, apricot, cherry, peach, pear apple, apricot apple, apricot, plum, pear apple, apricot, cherry, pear Orchard 1. Mott 2. Jackson 3. Guy Smith 4. Abie Clarke 5. Cook 6. Amasa Pierce 7. Behunin 8. Merin Smith CLOSED AREA Private housing area— closed to all public entry, including access road. Fruita Orchards pecan apple, cherry, peach, pear, plum apple, cherry, pear 9. ‘Tine Oyler N 10. ‘Tine Oyler S 11. Holt almond, apple, apricot, cherry, peach, pear, plum, quince, walnut apricot, cherry, grape, pear apple, apricot, peach, pear, walnut almond, apple, pear 14. Johnson 15. Doc Inglesby 16. Gifford 17. Chesnut 19. Carrell peach 18. Cass Mulford apricot apple, apricot 13. Adams 12. Max Krueger apple, peach Fruit and Nut Trees Orchard
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Gifford Homestead The Gifford farm lies in the heart of Fruita, a desert oasis described by author and historian Wallace Stegner as “...a sudden, intensely green little valley among the cliffs of the Waterpocket Fold, opulent with cherries, peaches, and apples in season, inhabited by a few families who were about equally good Mormons and good frontiersmen and good farmers.” The Capitol Reef Natural History Association, in cooperation with the National Park Service, has restored and refurnished the Gifford farmhouse as a cultural site to interpret the early Mormon settlement of the Fruita area. The house depicts the typical spartan nature of rural Utah farm homes of the early 1900’s. In addition to the farmhouse, the Gifford Homestead includes a barn, smokehouse, pasture, and rock walls. The homestead is part of the 200-acre Fruita Rural Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Historic Gifford House 1908 ~ 2008 Surviving in an Oasis The first permanent settlement in the area now known as Fruita was established in 1880 by Nels Johnson. Over the following few decades, many settlers and their families resided in this protected valley. However, no more than ten families ever lived in Fruita at any point in time. These pioneers had to rely on self-sufficiency, ingenuity, and hard work in order to survive in this remote location. Life was simple yet demanding during these attempts at homesteading, and many challenges arose—harsh weather, flash floods, illnesses, isolation. This led to a high degree of turnover among residents of Fruita. A few settlers persevered and stayed for many years, but some did not. Residents and Improvements The original home was built in 1908 by polygamist Calvin Pendleton. He and his family occupied it for eight years. The original house had a combined front room/kitchen and two small bedrooms. An outside ladder accessed two upstairs bedrooms. Pendleton also constructed the adjacent barn and smokehouse, as well as the rock walls near the house and on the mesa slopes above it. The second residents of the home were the Jorgen Jorgenson family who resided here from 1916 to 1928. Jorgenson sold the homestead to his son-in-law, Dewey Gifford, in 1928. The Capitol Reef area has always attracted those who are willing to be tested by its rugged terrain and difficult living conditions. Explorers, prospectors, ranchers, settlers, sightseers, recluses, and other travelers with transient lifestyles have come and gone over the years. Cabins, farms, motels, gas stations, and guest ranches have all appeared and disappeared from the local landscape. The Gifford Homestead is one of the few remaining examples of the tenacity of Fruita’s early residents, a refuge of rustic comfort surrounded by the unforgiving high desert. The Gifford family occupied the home for 41 years (1928 to 1969). Gifford added a kitchen in 1946 and the bathroom, utility room, and carport in 1954. The Giffords were the last residents of Fruita. Dewey Gifford sold his home and land to the National Park Service in 1969 and moved away. With the Giffords’ departure, the story of Fruita as a farming community came to a close. The house opened to the public in 1996. Today, the pioneer spirit of Fruita can be experienced by exploring the landscape of the Fruita rural community and visiting the Gifford Homestead. Life on the Farm The Giffords raised dairy cows, hogs, sheep, chickens, and ducks. They also ran cattle in the South Desert. They used the smokehouse to preserve meat for their own use and to sell. Abundant fruitwood and cottonwood were used to smoke meat. Dewey Gifford also worked for the State Road Department, and later for the National Park Service, to supplement his farm income. The family ate what they raised. The garden produced a variety of food including potatoes, beans, peas, squash, lettuce, radishes, corn, and watermelons. The family also had orchards and grew sorghum. They preserved fruit and vegetables for later use by canning or drying. Canned foods were stored in the cellar, accessed from the front of the house. Dry Homestead Essentials Items displayed inside the Gifford House represent the type of practical furnishings and appliances that were common in their time. Bookcase: This worn bookcase once belonged to Janice Oldroyd Torgerson, a Fruita school teacher in 1934. Donated by the Burke Torgerson family. Cook stove: This Monarch stove both prepared meals and heated the house, though the heat from the stove was probably much less welcome in summer. Current Uses The Gifford House has been converted into a sales outlet for the Capitol Reef Natural History Association. For sale at the store are items handmade by local artisans and craftsmen, including reproductions of utensils and other household items used by Mormon pioneers in their daily lives: rag dolls, quilted items, woven rugs, soap, cr
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Early Inhabitants Long before Capitol Reef National Park was established, humans discovered the many resources the area had to offer. For thousands of years, people have lived in the Capitol Reef area—hunting, growing crops, fashioning tools, and developing cultures. Archaic Between 7000 and 500 B.C.E. (Before Common Era), small groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers began using what is now Capitol Reef National Park to hunt bighorn sheep, deer, elk, and pronghorn using atlatls with distinctive stone points. They snared small game and fished. They also created characteristic petroglyphs (carvings) and pictographs (paintings). Archeological evidence suggests they followed annual regional migrations, living in alcoves in canyon walls and, later, in pithouses. People of Long Ago The Hopi Tribe calls them the People of Long Ago, the Hisatsinom. To the Paiute Tribe, they are known as the Wee Noonts, the People Who Lived the Old Ways. They inhabited the Capitol Reef area from about 300 to 1300 C.E. (Common Era), with their most prosperous time from 600 to 1200 C.E. Archeologists named them the Fremont Culture for the Fremont River canyon where they were first defined as a distinct group. a few months. In the Capitol Reef region the Hisatsinom lived on small, dispersed farmsteads consisting of one to three pithouses and associated outdoor work spaces. They may have socialized and shared resources with neighboring mesa top farmstead groups. They dwelt in alcoves, seasonal camps, and mesa top pithouses. Small granaries and slab-lined cists stored food and seed. They constructed irrigation ditches to water their crops in fertile valleys. The Hisatsinom were semi-nomadic farmers, cultivating beans, squash, and a distinct variety of corn. They supplemented these crops by gathering a wide variety of berries, nuts, bulbs, and tubers, as well as pinyon nuts, yucca, ricegrass, buffaloberry, and prickly pear cactus. Bone fragments found by archeologists indicate the Hisatsinom also hunted rabbits, hares, woodrats, deer, and bighorn sheep. An abundance of artifacts made from bighorn indicate the animal’s significance as a source for food and utensils. These farmers probably inhabited the same locale for a few years at a time, though some sites might have been used for only Fremont Culture bighorn sheep petroglyphs. Imagine living in a pithouse on top of the mesa, looking down onto the crops below. Irrigation ditches shimmer before you, brimming with water from the Fremont River. It is time to start making the midday meal, so you send a child to fetch water from the river. You hand her a coiled basket, tightly woven and watertight, to carry the water from the river up the steep path to your pithouse. If she daydreams, trips, and spills the water, the basket will not break the way a clay jar would, and she will only have to return to the river to fill the basket again. Material Culture The Hisatsinom left behind many everyday objects like grayware pottery and unique moccasins made from the lower leg hide of large animals with dew claws left on the sole. Other material objects include woven mats, fur cloth, projectile points, atlatls, bows, arrows, disk beads, nets, and snares, which help us imagine how the Hisatsinom lived in this area for a thousand years. One of the more characteristic aspects of their utilitarian objects is rod-and-bundle-style basketry. It is the same style as the Archaic, indicating some continuity between the cultures. Unfired clay figurine. Everyday items give us insight into what daily life might have been like for the Hisatsinom, but more finely crafted items demonstrate their creativity. Unfired clay figurines, male and female pairs, are one of the intriguing items the Hisatsinom left behind. Most of the figurines have breasts and flattened backs, pinched noses, punched eyes, and leg or foot nubs, and traces of paint remain. The more intricate ones have incised, punched, or appliqued body decorations, necklaces, and aprons. The exact purpose of the figurines is unknown, although they might be associated with fertility. Most do not show wear the way toys or everyday objects and tools would. The figurines bear a resemblance to humanshaped petroglyphs (carved or pecked into the rock) and pictographs (painted) found in this region, with trapezoidal-shaped bodies often decorated with jewelry or sashes and Where Are They? What happened to the People of Long Ago? Archeologists suspect the Hisatsinom abandoned the area and emigrated south, which supports the Hopi Tribe concept that the Hisatsinom departed the Capitol Reef area to complete their migration to the center of the universe. Relatively short-term climate changes such as drought or extreme cold could have precipitated the move. Disease, overuse of resources, or assimilation into other cultural groups could also have been an incentive to leave. Though other
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Ecology Look around you. What might seem like a barren landscape is actually teeming with life. Capitol Reef National Park’s Waterpocket Fold is a landscape of diverse features where life has adapted to survive. Ecology Ecology is the study of life. Think about what impacts your own life. Where do you live? Could you live there if the elevation was vastly different, or if the climate was significantly warmer or colder? How easy or hard is it to find sources of water, food, and shelter? Suitable habitat depends on many factors including climate, elevation, soil, slope, and aspect (north- or south-facing). Capitol Reef National Park encompasses seven Desert Imagine you arrived in the hot flats of Halls Creek with nothing but the clothes you have on now. How long would you last? What would you do to survive the heat? Because of the heat, you might seek shade and wait until the cooler hours of night to move about and forage for food. That is what some animals, like ringtails, do. Others, like the white-tailed antelope ground squirrel, are out during even the hottest part of the day. Its adaptions to heat include a higher internal temperature (90-107°F / 32-42° C), conserving moisture by not sweating, and Riparian Cliffrose blooming in the desert. Intermittent streams in refreshing, narrow canyons provide moisture for a multitude of species. Shade from a box elder tree keeps canyon wren nestlings cool in the summer heat. Red-spotted toads catch insects clustering around a puddle that has not evaporated because of the tree’s shade. primary life zones, ranging from high, cool peaks with evergreens, to riparian zones filled with water-loving plants, to the dry, hot desert. These different zones support over 1,200 plant and animal species that have evolved to survive in these diverse habitats. Many of the animals found in Capitol Reef are found throughout the Colorado Plateau and other parts of the western United States. Look for them when you visit other parks. cooling itself by washing its head with saliva. The white-tailed antelope ground squirrel obtains most of the water it requires from the plant and animal material it eats. It also has a very concentrated urine which does not waste valuable liquid. Many of Capitol Reef’s plants are well-adapted to the desert climate. Small leaves, like those of cliffrose, reduce the surface area that absorbs heat from the sun and limits moisture lost through transpiration. Cliffrose also has a bitter taste that discourages animals from eating it, a relatively common adaptation in the natural world. Much of Capitol Reef’s life is concentrated near these canyon water sources. Listen quietly for birdsong and the rustle of deer coming to drink. Imagine it is night, with bats swarming above the water, using echolocation to find their insect prey. Many predators have co-evolved with their prey, so nocturnal prey species have predator species that are active at night, as well. Mule deer crossing the Fremont River, a lush riparian zone. Uplands Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live during the end of the Pleistocene Epoch (around 11,700 years ago), when early humans were hunting now-extinct megafauna? Remnants of the Ice Age still exist in the highest elevations of Capitol Reef. Bristlecone pines were more common during that glacial time period, but now exist only on exposed, rocky ridges and slopes at higher elevations. They grow extremely slowly; the oldest of these The resinous wood of bristlecone pines erodes rather than rots, befitting a tree that clings to rocky slopes. The Future The plant and animal species in Capitol Reef have evolved over thousands of years to fit the many habitats encompassed by the Waterpocket Fold, from the desert to the riparian zones, to the highest slopes, and everywhere in between. What will happen if changes occur over a shorter period of time? Human-caused climate change is occuring at an unprecedented rate. How do you think this will impact the species that have evolved to precisely fit their niche environments? are up to 5,000 years old. Small changes in the climate could have a critical impact on the bristlecone pine’s tenuous existence. If you see oval paw prints with claw marks far in front of them, look up. You might spot a porcupine gnawing on fresh evergreen needles or a clump of mistletoe. Typically found in higher elevations, porcupines also eat tree bark, so look for large patches of missing bark, teeth marks on the smooth, exposed wood, and a yellowish or orange color on conifers. It is possible for porcupines to eventually kill a tree, but it’s more likely that large pines will fall due to high winds and drought. animals in the park is illegal, and impacts wildlife. Antler sheds and bones are the most accessible source of calcium, phosphorus, and additional minerals for many rodents and other animals. These minerals may be pr
Capitol Reef National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Capitol Reef National Park Mammals of Capitol Reef The Predator and the Prey Courtesy/Tom McEwan Predator and Prey: There is a fine balance between the two and both are essential components of our ecosystem. Where do we fit into this web of life? And how do we interact appropriately with the wildlife of Capitol Reef? Predator: Mountain Lion One of the most intriguing predators found in Capitol Reef is the mountain lion. For many, the mountain lion is a distinctive symbol of wilderness, a large predator ranging freely in wild areas independent of human interference. Mountain lions roam throughout this area both in desert and mountain country and are found in Capitol Reef National Park. This area provides ideal habitat for these mammals. The chances of seeing one of these secretive animals are slim, although they have been observed in the Fruita orchards, campgrounds, and picnic areas. The likelihood of encountering an aggressive mountain lion is low. Mountain lions lead solitary lives, having little contact with other lions unless they are mating or caring for young. Mountain lions prey on deer and smaller mammals such as coyotes, porcupines, beavers, rabbits and raccoons. They usually hunt at night or during the hours of dawn and dusk. For Your Safety: The orchards of Fruita host a large deer population which in turn attract mountain lions. Do not feed the deer. Feeding deer encourages them to remain in close proximity to the campground which in turn invites mountain lions to be within close proximity as well. Carcasses from lion kills have been found in the Fruita area of Capitol Reef. Avoid carcasses as lions may return to their kills. Mountain lions, though beautiful and exciting animals to spot in the wild, are unpredictable and dangerous. It is important that we understand their behavior and act accordingly to protect them and ourselves when visiting their habitat. • Do not attempt to pet or touch any animals. • Do not jog or hike alone, especially at dawn or dusk. • Keep children close to you. Do not allow unsupervised children to play along river banks, in heavy vegetation or especially at dawn or dusk. • Watch children closely and never let them run ahead of you. • Do not approach a lion. Hold your ground or back away slowly. • Do not run or turn your back to a mountain lion. • Do not attempt to hide or crouch. Try to appear as large as possible. • If small children are with you, pick them up. • If a lion acts aggressively, wave your arms, shout or throw stones. • If attacked, fight back aggressively and try not to allow the lion to get behind you. • Report all mountain lion sightings to a ranger at the visitor center. Prey: Desert Bighorn Sheep One prey of the mountain lion, desert bighorn sheep, convey a romantic image of the west. Smaller than Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, they are adapted to desert conditions. These icons of the southwest were once very common in this rugged canyon country. Natural predators of bighorn sheep include mountain lions, wolves, bobcats, and coyotes. Numerous depictions of desert bighorn sheep in American Indian rock art suggest how important they might have been. These animals had disappeared from this area because of over-hunting and exposure to domestic sheep disease. Bighorn sheep were eliminated from Capitol Reef, although they persisted in remote areas of Canyonlands National Park. that exists today. Capitol Reef provides an ideal habitat for these animals. They eat shrubs and sometimes even cacti. They get most of the water that they need from plants they eat except during the hot summer months when they readily use free-standing water. If you are lucky enough to have an encounter with one of these animals, enjoy the moment but also remember that they are wild animals to be respected. Twenty desert bighorn sheep were captured in Canyonlands National Park in 1996 and successfully trans located here. A second group of 20 was introduced here in 1997. These animals successfully reproduced and expanded their range resulting in a viable Capitol Reef herd Prey: Mule Deer The most prevalent large mammal seen in Capitol Reef are mule deer, and like desert bighorn sheep, they are hunted by mountain lions. You may encounter them at close range due to the concentrated deer population in the park’s historic district. These deer have become accustomed to human presence and are less wary than those encountered in more wild settings. It is important to remember that the deer are not tame. They are wild animals and will attack if provoked. Do not feed deer. Feeding deer encourages them to become beggars and to remain in high visitor use areas. It provides them with an unhealthy diet which leaves them unprepared for harsh winter conditions and decreases the likelihood of survival at this hard time of year. Other Mammals: The web of life at Capitol Reef is diverse and complex. Mountain lions and
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Geology “Geology knows no such word as forever.” —Wallace Stegner Capitol Reef National Park’s geologic story reveals a nearly complete set of Mesozoic-era sedimentary layers. For 200 million years, rock layers formed at or near sea level. About 75-35 million years ago tectonic forces uplifted them, forming the Waterpocket Fold. Forces of erosion have been sculpting this spectacular landscape ever since. Deposition Uplift If you could travel in time and visit Capitol Reef 245 million years ago, you would not recognize the landscape. Imagine a coastal park, with beaches and tidal flats; the water moves in and out gently, shaping ripple marks in the wet sand. This is the environment in which the sediments of the Moenkopi Formation were deposited. Visiting Capitol Reef 180 million years ago, when the Navajo Sandstone was deposited, you would have been surrounded by a giant sand sea, the largest in Earth’s history. In this hot, dry climate, wind blew over sand dunes, creating large, sweeping crossbeds now preserved in the sandstone of Capitol Dome and Fern’s Nipple. Now jump ahead 20 million years, to 225 million years ago. The tidal flats are gone and the climate supports a tropical jungle, filled with swamps, primitive trees, and giant ferns. The water is stagnant and a humid breeze brushes your face. Oxygen-rich river water oxidized the iron in the sediments, giving the Chinle Formation its lavender and red colors, while the reducing environment of stagnant bogs gave it the greens and grays. All the sedimentary rock layers were laid down at or near sea level. Younger layers were deposited on top of older layers. The Moenkopi is the oldest layer visible from the visitor center, with the younger Chinle Formation above it. The Castle is Wingate Sandstone; the Kayenta Formation that formerly capped it has eroded away, but is still visible atop the red cliffs behind it. White domes of Navajo Sandstone comprise the highest and youngest layer seen from the visitor center. The movement of, and the interaction between, Earth’s tectonic plates created the different environments in which Capitol Reef’s nineteen rock layers were formed. Few of these sedimentary layers would be visible, however, if not for the Laramide Orogeny, a massive mountain building event that likely reactivated an ancient buried fault between 75 and 35 million years ago. The compression associated with the Laramide Orogeny gave rise to a one-sided fold, or monocline, in the earth’s crust within the Colorado Plateau. area of otherwise nearly horizontal layers. The layers on the west side of the Fold have been lifted more than 7,000 feet (2134 m) higher than corresponding layers on the east. The Waterpocket Fold is the longest exposed monocline in North America and is nearly 90 miles in length. It is the main reason Capitol Reef National Monument was established in 1937. The Waterpocket Fold is a classic monocline: an enlongated fold with one steep side in an Erosion Capitol Reef’s spectacular scenery reflects not only the underlying structure of the Waterpocket Fold, but also the differing degrees of resistance to weathering and erosion seen in each rock layer. Water is the dominant erosional force in Capitol Reef, with wind playing only a minor The folding and tilting of the rock layers allow you to travel through 280 million years of Capitol Reef’s geologic history in just fifteen miles by driving through the park on State Route 24. role. Flash floods are the most dramatic display of erosion in action. Floodwaters propel debris, sediment, cobbles, and boulders, increasing water’s carving power. Deposition and uplift in Capitol Reef have created a unique window into Earth’s history, revealed through the power of erosion. Cenozoic andesite Wingate Sandstone Navajo Sandstone and Kayenta Formation Sandstone Deeply-buried fault Additional information on the geology of Capitol Reef National Park is available on our website (www.nps.gov/care) which also links to the Capitol Reef Natural History Association, a non-profit cooperating association that sells publications on Capitol Reef ’s natural and cultural history. Marine Transition between tidal flats and dune fields Shallow marine, tidal flats, & sabkhas (sandy salt flats) Vast region of sand dunes West-flowing rivers Sand dunes Forested basin with rivers, swamps, & lakes River channels Gently sloping coastal plain, fluctuating sea level Grayish-green sandstone & siltstone Earthy, red, very fine-grained sandstone & gypsum Interlayered red sandstone, siltstone, & gypsum Tan sandstone White crossbedded sandstone Interlayered white sandstone & red siltstone Sandstone, often stained dark red Interlayered sandstone, siltstone, & bentonitic mudstone White sandstone Mostly dark red siltstone & mudstone; minor yellowish limestone Gray dolomitic limestone White crossbedded sandstone 0-80 feet 450-
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Geologic Features of Capitol Reef The powerful forces that created and shaped Capitol Reef’s landscape have produced a wide variety of geologic features, large and small. Within the Waterpocket Fold, many peculiar sights attract the curiosity of park visitors. Each detail has its own history. The stories combine to explain a unique collection of wonders. Please help preserve these features for all to discover and enjoy. Do not leave graffiti or other vandalism. Do not disturb or collect rocks or other park resources. Black Boulders Black boulders found scattered throughout the Fremont River valley and along other drainages are recent geologic arrivals. These volcanic rocks came from 20- to 25-millionyear-old lava flows that cap nearby Boulder and Thousand Lakes mountains and areas westward. During the most recent Ice Age cycles, these high plateaus supported small mountain glaciers. The grinding action of the glaciers eroded into the high hillsides, embedding pieces of the andesitic lava plateaus within the glacial ice. Numerous debris flows and glacial outburst floods sent cascades of meltwater, ice, and rocky debris tumbling from the glaciers into the river valleys below. Pieces of lava rock were transported many miles from their source, and were smoothed and rounded by their violent journeys within the gritty floodwaters. Rock Colors Impurities in sedimentary rocks act as pigments. Iron is the most common coloring agent found in Capitol Reef’s rocks. Yellow to orange to rusty brown rocks contain limonite. Example: Navajo Sandstone. Geothite, a mineral similar to limonite, forms brown concretions. Example: Dakota Sandstone. Light blue, greenish-gray, and off-white rocks show the true colors of the sedimentary particles. Example: Shinarump Member of the Chinle Formation. Dark gray to brownish-gray to black rocks contain incompletely-decomposed organic matter preserved under conditions such as Bridges and Arches When floods receded, black boulders were left scattered across the floodplains. These flood deposits were left perched along valley slopes as their respective canyons deepened with continued erosion. This process reoccurred many times over the past 150,000 years. The deposits can still be observed today in the valleys and canyons of Sulphur Creek, Pleasant Creek, and the Fremont River. The black boulders are black on the inside too! The white coating on the surface of many of the boulders is a mineral crust known as caliche, which is mainly a thin film of calcite and gypsum crystals. Caliche forms when mineral-laden groundwater seeps upward, coats the underside of the boulders, and evaporates from the surface, leaving its dissolved minerals behind. stagnant marine basins. Example: Mancos Shale. Dark green rocks contain reduced iron, and were deposited in marine basins, swamps, bogs, and lakes. Example: Morrison Formation. Red to reddish-brown to purple rocks contain hematite which is simple rust or iron oxide. Example: Moenkopi Formation. Bright white rocks may consist of gypsum. Thin veins, deposited by groundwater circulating through fractured bedrock, are common in the Moenkopi and Carmel Formations. Gypsum also occurs as clear selenite crystals. In geologic terms, “bridge” and “arch” both refer to naturally occuring spans of stone. The key difference lies in how the span forms. Erosion by ice, water, wind, rockfall, and other natural processes may combine to form and sculpt bridges and arches. However, flowing water, either a permanent or temporary stream, is influential in sculpting a bridge at some point during its formation. An arch is formed by natural processes other than flowing water. Hickman Bridge Solution Cavities Solution cavities can be seen in many rock surfaces at Capitol Reef. Also known as tafoni or honeycomb weathering, these concentrations of surface holes are caused by the weathering effects of wind, water, and ice. The cavities are only on the surface; that is, there are no holes hidden within the rock layer behind the surface. What causes solution cavities to form in the first place? Sandstone, in which the cavities often form, is made of sand grains cemented together with minerals, commonly calcite or silica. Some of the sandstone may have areas that are weakly cemented together, creating softer rock. These soft areas erode easily and more quickly when exposed to surface weathering, creating cavities and leaving behind harder portions of rock. Excellent examples of solution cavities can be seen in the walls of Capitol Gorge, and along the trail in the upper reaches of Cohab Canyon (shown here). Long after intermittent streams dry up in this desert environment, waterpockets often serve as precious sources of water for wildlife. Lush vegetation may be seen growing around a waterpocket, its water creating a small oasis of life. Also known as potholes, tanks, or tinajas, waterpockets a
Capitol Reef National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Paleontology Capitol Reef’s fossils capture the eternal struggle between life and death on our planet. Life and Death The last 3.5 billion years of Earth’s history have been a relentless and dramatic struggle of life and death. Life on Earth has grown in both size and complexity from its humble origins as microscopic singlecelled organisms to include everything from plants to dinosaurs, and of course, humans. However, this amazing explosion of life has not been without great peril. Five major mass extinction events have occurred in Earth’s history, eliminating up to 96% of all species. It is in this constant face of death that life has taken hold on our planet. Timeline of Life Ga – billions of years ago Ma – millions of years ago 4.6 billion years ago 541 million years ago Present Precambrian Formation of Earth (4.6 Ga) First appearance of life (3.5 Ga) Oxygenproducing bacteria (3.0 Ga) Land plants (434 Ma) Free oxygen in atmosphere (2.5 Ga) Reptiles (305 Ma) Cells with nuclei (2.0 Ga) Multicellular organisms (1.2 Ga) Dinosaurs (225 Ma) Paleozoic Birds (150 Ma) Mesozoic 541 Ma Ordovician-Silurian mass extinction (443 Ma) What is a Fossil? Mammals (115 Ma) Modern First hominin humans (6.5 Ma) (0.2 Ma) Cenozoic 0 Ma Late Devonian mass extinction (359 Ma) Permian mass extinction (252 Ma) Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction (200 Ma) Fossils preserve the record of life on Earth. Fossils are the physical remains or traces of organisms that were once alive. Paleontologists study fossils in order to better understand the history and evolution of past life. Fossils provide a wealth of information on ancient ecosystems and past climates, which together provide an indication of the effects of changing climate on Earth’s life—knowledge that will be critical to addressing concerns in the face of current climate change. Cretaceous -Tertiary Another mass mass extinction extinction?? (66 Ma) Fossils are exceedingly rare. Most organisms die and decay without leaving behind any preserved remains or traces. It is thought that less than one bone in a billion becomes fossilized. For an organism or trace to become fossilized, very specific conditions must be met. Most importantly, fossilization requires that the item be buried rapidly for initial preservation. In the case of physical remains, minerals dissolved in groundwater can then slowly replace the original bone or shell until it is turned into stone. Past Life at Capitol Reef The extraordinary rock record at Capitol Reef spans 200 million years of Earth’s past, encompassing the entire Mesozoic Period (252-66 Ma)—the “Age of Reptiles.” The Mesozoic was marked by the rapid diversification of life, highlighted by the rise of the dinosaurs. Many of the fossils found at Capitol Reef reflect this prolific period, where life flourished under warm climatic conditions. Triassic Trackways Some of the oldest and most extensive reptile tracks in the western U.S. are found at Capitol Reef within the Moenkopi Formation. Tracks and swim traces of two crocodile-like species, Chirotherium and Rotodactylus, are found as sandstone casts in mudstone layers. These trackways indicate that these species lived in a marineinfluenced environment and provide an incredible snapshot of a day in the life of a reptile…225 million years in the past. Plant Megafossils Plant megafossils are exposed at many localities within the Chinle Formation at Capitol Reef. These large plant fossils— preserved as impressions, petrifications, and casts—contain representatives from most major groups of vascular plants including ferns, horsetails, and conifers. The types of plant species found in the Chinle suggest that 225 million years ago, Capitol Reef was a land of rivers and swamps with a wet, tropical climate. These conditions provided a suitable environment for life forms that would not survive in the currently arid conditions of southern Utah. Giant Stromatolites Bizarre fossils known as stromatolites are located within the desert-formed Navajo Sandstone at Capitol Reef. Stromatolites are layered structures formed by the accumulation of cyanobacteria in stagnant water. They are the oldest fossils on Earth, some dating back over three billion years. Cyanobacteria were the dominant life form for more than two billion years, and are thought to be primarily responsible for the oxygenation of the atmosphere—helping sustain life as we know it on our planet. At Capitol Reef, the discovery of five-meterhigh stromatolites suggests that the Navajo desert had large bodies of standing water, challenging current assumptions that it was entirely dusty and dry. Oyster Reef A dense oyster shell reef dominated by the oysters Exogyra and Pycnodonte represents yet another form of life from Capitol Reef’s distant past. These 100-million-year-old oysters reflect a time when a sea inundated this area and created t
Name OS RA NS SS Squamata: Crotaphytidae (Collared and leopard lizards) P C N P C N Squamata: Iguanidae (Iguanids)  Common chuckwalla Sauromalus ater UC N/A N S Squamata: Phrynosomatidae (Spiny lizards)  Greater short-horned lizard Phrynosoma hernandesi  Common sagebrush lizard Sceloporus graciosus  Desert spiny lizard Sceloporus magister  Plateau lizard Sceloporus tristichus  Tree lizard Urosaurus ornatus  Side-blotched lizard Uta stansburiana P R N P A N P P C A N N P C N P A N UK N P C Capitol Reef National Park  Utah sucker Catostomus ardens  Bluehead sucker Catostomus discobolus  Flannelmouth sucker Catostomus latipinnis  Mountain sucker Catostomus platyrhynchus  Red-spotted toad Bufo punctatus  Woodhouse’s toad Bufo woodhousii P R X P C N S P C N S PP N/A N A N P C N P C N P UK N Wildlife Checklist Anura: Hylidae (Tree frogs)  Canyon treefrog Hyla arenicolor Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae (Carps, Minnows) Anura: Ranidae (True frogs)  Utah chub Gila atraria  Roundtail chub Gila robusta  Speckled dace Rhinichthys osculus  Redside shiner Richardsonius balteatus  Southern leatherside chub Lepidomeda aliciae  Northern leopard frog Rana pipiens X P National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Mammals Reptiles Fish Amphibians P C PP N/A N P A N  Great Basin spadefoot Spea intermontana P A X Caudata: Ambystomatidae (Mole salamanders) P A X  Tiger salamander Ambystoma tigrinum S UC N/A X Anura: Scaphiopodidae (Spadefoot toads) P C Side-blotched lizard N UC N/A N PP N/A X P U  Mottled sculpin Cottus bairdii S Bighorn sheep P C Notes P P = Present UC = Unconfirmed: species is attributed to the park but evidence is weak or absent. Relative Abundance (RA) A = Abundant: may be seen daily in suitable habitat and season, in relatively large numbers C = Common: may be seen daily in suitable habitat and season U = Uncommon: likely to be seen monthly in suitable season and habitat; may be locally common R = Rare: present, but usually seen only a few times each year O = Occasional: occurs in the park at least once every few years, but not reported annually UK = Unknown N/A = Not applicable X N Siluriformes: Ictaluridae (Catfish)  Black bullhead Ameiurus melas Occurrence Status (OS) PP = Probably present: observed near the park, no confirmed reports within the park, although suitable habitat exists Scorpaeniformes: Cottidae (Sculpins) N UC N/A N RA NS SS Amphibians Anura: Bufonidae (True toads)  Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss  Brown trout Salmo trutta Squamata: Xantusiidae (Night lizards)  Desert night lizard Xantusia vigilis OS Salmoniformes: Salmonidae (Trouts, Salmons) UC N/A N P Name Cypriniformes: Catostomidae (Suckers)  Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus Squamata: Teiidae (Whiptail lizards)  Plateau spotted whiptail Cnemidophorus innotatus  Western whiptail Cnemidophorus tigris RA NS SS Perciformes: Centrarchidae (Sunfish) Squamata: Scincidae (Skinks)  Western skink Eumeces skiltonianus OS Fish Reptiles (continued)  Great Basin collared lizard Crotaphytus bicinctores  Long-nosed leopard lizard Gambelia wislizenii Name UK X Nativeness Status (NS) Red-spotted toad This checklist is a complete listing of currently-known species at Capitol Reef National Park. For more information, visit the NPS Northern Colorado Plateau Network Inventory and Monitoring website: http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/ncpn/speciesSelect.cfm 8/15 N = Native X = Non-native U = Unknown Special Status Designation (SS) E = Federally listed as endangered T = Federally listed as threatened S = Species of concern Name OS RA NS SS Mammals Artiodactyla: Antilocapridae (Pronghorn)  Pronghorn Antilocapra americana P R N Artiodactyla: Bovidae (Cattle, Sheep, Goats)  American bison Bos bison  Bighorn sheep Ovis canadensis P R N P U N S P R N P U N Carnivora: Canidae (Dogs and Allies)  Coyote Canis latrans  Common gray fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus  Kit fox Vulpes macrotis  Red fox Vulpes vulpes P U N P C N UC N/A N P R S N Carnivora: Felidae (Cats)  Bobcat Lynx rufus  Lynx Lynx canadensis  Mountain lion Puma concolor P R N P UK U T P R S N Carnivora: Mephitidae (Skunks)  Striped skunk Mephitis mephitis  Western spotted skunk Spilogale gracilis P R P UK N N Carnivora: Mustelidae (Weasels and Allies)  Long-tailed weasel Mustela frenata  Ermine Mustela erminea  American mink Mustela vison  American badger Taxidea taxus P UK N PP N/A N OS OS RA NS SS Name OS Lagomorpha: Leporidae (Hares and Rabbits) Rodentia: Sciuridae (Squirrels)  Snowshoe hare Lepus americanus  Black-tailed jackrabbit Lepus californicus  White-tailed jackrabbit Lepus townsendii  Desert cottontail Sylvilagus audub
Name RA RS HC U U C P P P HPF HPF PF C P PSRF R U P P HPRF HPRF R P HRF A(R) C R O R U S(W) P T V T S PSRTF RF RF RF R PRTF Chickadees and Titmice  Black-capped Chickadee  Mountain Chickadee  Juniper Titmouse Nuthatches  Red-breasted Nuthatch  White-breasted Nuthatch Wrens       Rock Wren Canyon Wren House Wren Winter Wren Marsh Wren Bewick’s Wren Gnatcatchers  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher C S PSRF U P RWF R U T P F HPRF R U R(U) O U U A O S P S(W) V T T P V HP PSRF HRF HF HF HRF HPSRF HF Dippers  American Dipper Kinglets  Golden-crowned Kinglet  Ruby-crowned Kinglet Thrushes         Western Bluebird Mountain Bluebird Townsend’s Solitaire Veery Swainson’s Thrush Hermit Thrush American Robin Varied Thrush Mockingbirds and Thrashers     Gray Catbird Northern Mockingbird Sage Thrasher Brown Thrasher U C U O S S S V F PSRF S R Starlings  European Starling RS HC R T SR O O V T F F O T R Northern Waterthrush R Black-and-white Warbler O Tennessee Warbler O Orange-crowned Warbler R Lucy’s Warbler O Nashville Warbler R Virginia’s Warbler C MacGillivray’s Warbler U Common Yellowthroat U Hooded Warbler O American Redstart O Northern Parula O Yellow Warbler C Chestnut-sided Warbler O Black-throated Blue Warbler O Palm Warbler X Yellow-rumped Warbler C Grace’s Warbler R Black-throated Gray Warbler C Townsend’s Warbler R Wilson’s Warbler C Yellow-breasted Chat C T V V T T T S T S V V V S V V RF F F RF RF F HPRF RF RF F F RF RF F F S S S T T S HPRF HR PRF R RF RF S S(W) W S S S S S S S P T T V S(W) S(W) SRF RF F HSRF SR PSF PSF SF S SRF RF RF F F HPSRF HPSRF  American Pipit  Bohemian Waxwing  Cedar Waxwing Longspurs R P F Wood Warblers                       Sparrows and Towhees                 Green-tailed Towhee Spotted Towhee American Tree Sparrow Chipping Sparrow Brewer’s Sparrow Vesper Sparrow Lark Sparrow Black-throated Sparrow Sage Sparrow Savannah Sparrow Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow White-throated Sparrow Harris’ Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Name RA RS HC Buntings, Cardinals, and Grosbeaks Waxwings  Lapland Longspur Creepers  Brown Creeper RA Pipits Bushtits  Bushtit Name U C(R) R C C R C A U R U R R O C(R) U(C)        Summer Tanager Western Tanager Rose-breasted Grosbeak Black-headed Grosbeak Blue Grosbeak Lazuli Bunting Indigo Bunting O C R C U C U Capitol Reef National Park V S T S S S S F HPRF F RF RF RF F O U U U C O O C O O C R T S P S S V S S V V S S F RWF SF RF RF RF F PSRF F F RF PRF U U R R C(R) R R U U R W W S S S(W) P P S P T SF SF H HF PSRTF H HRF RF RF F R P F National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Bird Checklist Blackbirds and Orioles             Bobolink Red-winged Blackbird Western Meadowlark Yellow-headed Blackbird Brewer’s Blackbird Common Grackle Great-tailed Grackle Brown-headed Cowbird Orchard Oriole Hooded Oriole Bullock’s Oriole Scott’s Oriole Canyon Wren Relative Abundance (RA) Finches           Gray-crowned Rosy Finch Black Rosy Finch Pine Grosbeak Cassin’s Finch House Finch Red Crossbill Pine Siskin Lesser Goldfinch American Goldfinch Evening Grosbeak Weaver Finches  House Sparrow Notes A = Abundant: may be seen daily in suitable habitat and season, in relatively large numbers C = Common: may be seen daily in suitable habitat and season, but not in large numbers U = Uncommon: likely to be seen monthly in appropriate season and habitat; may be locally common R = Rare: present, but usually seen only a few times each year O = Occasional: occurs in the park at least once every few years, but not reported annually Residency Status (RS) P = Permanent resident: present year-round S = Summer resident: present during the breeding season W = Winter resident: present during winter, often also in late fall and early spring T = Transient: migrates through the park in spring and/or fall V = Vagrant: park is outside of the species’ usual range X = Probably Present: observed near the park, no confirmed reports within the park, although suitable habitat exists Habitat Codes (HC) This checklist is a complete listing of currently-known species at Capitol Reef National Park. For more information, visit the NPS Northern Colorado Plateau Network Inventory and Monitoring website: http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/ncpn/speciesSelect.cfm 2/15 H = High elevation forest P = Pinyon-juniper forest S = Shrub/shrub grassland R = Riparian zones W = Water (lakes, ponds, rivers) T = Talus, cliffs, slickrock F = Fruita developed area Species are in taxonomic order according to the American Ornithologists’ Union. Please give a park ranger detailed descriptions of any observed
Name RA NS FC HC Liliaceae (Lily family)  Sego-lily Calochortus nuttallii U N WB GSF U N Y SPF U N B SPF U N YR BSP Linaceae (Flax family)  Broom-flax Linum aristatum  Blue flax Linum perenne ssp. lewisii  Downy flax Linum puberulum Loasaceae (Loasa family)  White-stem blazingstar Mentzelia albicaulis A N Y SPF A N Y GSPF A N Y GSP Malvaceae (Mallow family)  Scarlet globemallow Sphaeralcea coccinea  Small-leaf globemallow Sphaeralcea parviflora Nyctaginaceae (Four-o’clock family)  Fragrant sand-verbena Abronia fragrans  Low sand-verbena Abronia nana  Narrow-leaf four-o’clock Mirabilis linearis var. linearis  Showy four-o’clock Mirabilis multiflora A N W SPF U N R SP A N WR SPFR A N RB SP Onagraceae (Evening primrose family)  Lavender-leaf sundrops Calylophus lavandulifolius  Eastwood’s camissonia Camissonia eastwoodiae  Paiute suncup Camissonia scapoidea var. scapoidea  White-stem evening-primrose Oenothera albicaulis  Long-tube evening-primrose Oenothera caespitosa var. marginata  Bronze evening-primrose Oenothera howardii  Pale evening-primrose Oenothera pallida var. pallida U N YB SPF U N Y BSPW A N Y GSP U N W GSPW A N W GSPW U N YR SPFW A N W SPFW Orobanchaceae (Broomrape family)  Desert paintbrush Castilleja chromosa A N RY GSP Name  Wyoming paintbrush Castilleja linariifolia  Eastwood’s paintbrush Castilleja scabrida var. scabrida RA NS FC HC RA NS FC A N RY SPF Polygalaceae (Milkwort family) U N RY GSPF  Cushion milkwort Polygala subspinosa U HC Capitol Reef National Park N BR SPF N BW SPF N B N BW SP N GW SPFR N W Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family) Plantaginaceae (Plantain family)  Veined penstemon Penstemon angustifolius var. venosus  Fleshy penstemon Penstemon carnosus  Dusty penstemon Penstemon comarrhenus  Eaton’s penstemon Penstemon eatonii  Loa penstemon Penstemon ophianthus  Palmer’s penstemon Penstemon palmeri var. palmeri  Utah penstemon Penstemon utahensis  Pretty wild buckwheat Eriogonum bicolor  Fremont’s buckwheat Eriogonum corymbosum  Desert trumpet Eriogonum inflatum var. inflatum  Sand buckwheat Eriogonum leptocladon  Cushion wild buckwheat Eriogonum ovalifolium  Canaigre dock Rumex hymenosepalus Name National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Wildflower Checklist U N B SPF U N B SPF U N B SPF  Colorado columbine U Aquilegia coerulea  Columbian virgin’s-bower U Clematis columbiana  Pale larkspur U Delphinium andersonii var. scaposum U N R SPFW Santalaceae (Sandalwood family) U N B SPFW  Bastard toadflax Comandra umbellata var. pallida C N RW SPFW Solanaceae (Nightshade family) C N R SPW  Angel’s trumpet Datura wrightii U N R BSP A N WY SPF U N Y BGSP U N Y SP U N WR SPF Nativeness Status (NS) U N GR GS N = Native X = Non-native N B SP N R SPF N R SPF N B SP N WB SP N W N BW SPF N RW SPF C U SF SP Relative Abundance (RA) A = Abundant: large numbers of individuals, occurring in many areas of the park C = Common: large numbers of individuals, occurring in specific habitats and/or in certain areas of the park U = Uncommon: few to moderate numbers of individuals, occurring in specific habitats in certain areas of the park Plants listed as rare or unconfirmed are not included here. Notes Flower Color (FC) Polemoniaceae (Phlox family)  Shy gilia A Gilia inconspicua  Carmine gilia A Gilia subnuda  Scarlet gilia A Ipomopsis aggregata var. aggregata  Long-flowered gilia U Ipomopsis longiflora  Dwarf gilia U Ipomopsis pumila  San Rafael gilia U Ipomopsis roseata  Desert phlox U Phlox austromontana var. austromontana  Long-leaf phlox U Phlox longifolia Claret cup cactus SP W = White or cream Y = Yellow or orange R = Pink or red B = Blue, lavender, or purple G = Green, or tiny flowers This checklist is a only a partial listing of currently-known species at Capitol Reef National Park. For more information, visit the NPS Northern Colorado Plateau Network Inventory and Monitoring website: http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/ncpn/speciesSelect.cfm Non-native trees, shrubs, and flowers commonly seen in park orchards and other areas directly associated with human settlement are not included on this list. 4/15 Habitat/Community Codes (HC) B = Badlands G = Grasslands S = Upland Shrublands P = Pinyon-juniper Woodlands F = Upland Forest and Woodlands R = Riparian and Wetland Communities W = Ephemeral Washes Name RA NS FC HC Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)  Russian-thistle Salsola tragus HC A N WB SP U N W Boraginaceae (Borage/forget-me-not family) U N WR SP A X G (all) U N RW BSP Apiaceae (Parsley/celery family)  Beck’s spring-parsley U Cymopterus beckii  Basin white-cup spring-parsley U Cymopterus purpurascens  Colorado P
Name RA NS HC Name Grasses Grasses (continued) Poales: Cyperaceae (Sedge family)  Kentucky bluegrass Poa pratensis  Alkali sacaton Sporobolus airoides var. airoides  Spike dropseed Sporobolus contractus  Sand dropseed Sporobolus cryptandrus  Needle-and-thread Stipa comata var. comata  Indian ricegrass Achnatherum hymenoides  Desert needlegrass Stipa speciosa  Common spikerush Eleocharis palustris A N R Poales: Juncaceae (Rush family)  Baltic rush Juncus arcticus NS HC Capitol Reef National Park C X SPFR A N GSPRW C N GSP A N GSP A N GSPF A N BSPFRW C N GSP N R National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Notes Plant Checklist: Trees, Shrubs, Grasses A N R C X RW U N SPFRW A N GSPFW A N GSPF A X PFR A X BGSPFRW U X SFR U N SR A N GSPFRW A N SPF C N SFRW A N SPFRW A N RW Nativeness Status (NS) C N RW N = Native X = Non-native A N GSP C X GPFRW C N R A N BGSP A N SPFRW Poales: Poaceae (Grass family)  Redtop Agrostis stolonifera  Big bluestem Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii  Purple three-awn Aristida purpurea  Blue grama Bouteloua gracilis  Smooth brome Bromus inermis var. inermis  Cheatgrass Bromus tectorum  Orchard grass Dactylis glomerata  Desert saltgrass Distichlis spicata  Squirreltail Elymus elymoides  Salina wildrye Elymus salinus  Slender wheatgrass Elymus trachycaulus  Foxtail barley Hordeum jubatum  Foxtail muhly Muhlenbergia andina  Scratchgrass Muhlenbergia asperifolia  Sandhill muhly Muhlenbergia pungens  Timothy Phleum pratense  Common reed Phragmites australis  Galleta Pleuraphis jamesii  Muttongrass Poa fendleriana RA Poales: Typhaceae (Cattail family)  Broad-leaved cattail Typha latifolia C Two-needle pinyon pine Relative Abundance (RA) Indian ricegrass A = Abundant: large numbers of individuals, occurring in many areas of the park C = Common: large numbers of individuals, occurring in specific habitats and/or in certain areas of the park U = Uncommon: few to moderate numbers of individuals, occurring in specific habitats in certain areas of the park Plants listed as rare or unconfirmed are not included here. This checklist is a only a partial listing of currently-known species at Capitol Reef National Park. For more information, visit the NPS Northern Colorado Plateau Network Inventory and Monitoring website: http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/ncpn/speciesSelect.cfm Non-native trees and shrubs commonly seen in park orchards and other areas directly associated with human settlement are not included on this list. 4/15 Habitat/Community Codes (HC) B = Badlands G = Grasslands S = Upland Shrublands P = Pinyon-juniper Woodlands F = Upland Forest and Woodlands R = Riparian and Wetland Communities W = Ephemeral Washes Name RA NS HC Name RA NS HC Name RA Trees Shrubs Shrubs (continued) Cupressales: Cupressaceae (Cypress family) Asterales: Compositae (Aster/composite family)  Utah juniper Juniperus osteosperma  Rocky Mountain juniper Juniperus scopulorum  Bigelow’s sagebrush Artemisia bigelovii  Sand sagebrush Artemisia filifolia  Fringed sagebrush Artemisia frigida  Black sagebrush Artemisia nova var. nova  Pygmy sagebrush Artemisia pygmaea  Budsage Artemisia spinescens  Big Basin sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata  Longleaf brickellbush Brickellia longifolia  Rough brickellbush Brickellia microphylla var. scabra  Mohave brickellbush Brickellia oblongifolia var. linifolia  Rubber rabbitbrush Ericameria nauseosa  Green rabbitbrush Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus  Broom snakeweed Gutierrezia sarothrae  Spineless horsebrush Tetradymia canescens  Littleleaf horsebrush Tetradymia glabrata  Slender wild buckwheat A Eriogonum microthecum var. simpsonii A U N N GSPRW PFR Fagales: Betulaceae (Birch family)  Water birch Betula occidentalis U N R Fagales: Fagaceae (Oaks and Beeches)  Gambel’s oak Quercus gambelii var. gambelii C N SPFRW Malpighales: Salicaceae (Willow family)  Narrow-leaved cottonwood Populus angustifolia  Fremont cottonwood Populus fremontii var. fremontii  Quaking aspen Populus tremuloides U N RW A N RW U N FR Pinales: Pinaceae (Pine family)  Engelmann spruce Picea engelmannii  Blue spruce Picea pungens  Two-needle pinyon pine Pinus edulis  Western bristlecone pine Pinus longaeva  Ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum  Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca U N F U N FR A N SPF U N F C N FW U N FW Rosales: Cannabaceae (Hemp family)  Netleaf hackberry Celtis reticulata U N SRW Rosales: Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster family)  Russian-olive Elaeagnus angustifolia U X R Sapindales: Sapindaceae (Soapberry family)  Box elder Acer negundo U N RW A N GSP NS HC N U N GSP U N GSFW U N SPF U N
Capitol Reef National Park List of Fruit and Nut Varieties, Including Heirlooms Prepared for the National Park Service through the Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit by Kanin Routson and Gary Paul Nabhan, Center for Sustainable Environments, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona ALMONDS (Prunus dulcis) (Texas) Mission. Almonds first came into the Southwest in a delivery to Juan de Oñate at San Gabriel (near Taos) New Mexico in 1698. But it was not until 1891 that someone spotted a chance seedling in Texas with unique characteristics. It was first called Texas or Texas Prolific, but later became known as Mission, Texa or Texas Mission due to its association with old Spanish era churches. It was soon introduced to other parts of the Southwest, and its production took off on a large scale when it was introduced to Acampo, California. This heirloom has hard-shelled nuts with relatively small kernels inside—roughly 25 to 28 per ounce. The trees are prolific bearers and extremely vigorous when young, but growth and yield decline markedly with age. The tree has an upright growth habitat, and is easy to train to facilitate production, which occurs mostly on the spur branches rather than the shoots. Because it is susceptible to mallet wound canker, it is short-lived wherever this Ceratocystis infection occurs. It is also sensitive to alkaline soils and saline irrigation. Its tendency to bloom well after frost in the spring keeps it popular among dwellers in river valleys where temperature inversions freeze the blossoms of earlier blooming varieties. We believe that the almonds in the Mott Orchard of Capitol Reef National Park are Mission Almonds. However expert knowledge or DNA are necessary to confirm this. APPLES (Malus X domestica) Ben Davis. The origin of the Ben Davis apple dates back to 1799 when William Davis and John Hills brought a young seedling from either Virginia or North Carolina to where they settled at Berry’s Lick in Butler County, Kentucky. Others have placed its origin in Washington County, Arkansas, about 1880. Captain Ben Davis, kin to the other two men, planted the tree on his land where it began to attract attention. They took root cuttings and planted them out as a full orchard, which provided root suckers to many others passing though Kentucky. By the end of the Civil War, millions of Ben Davis suckers had spread throughout the South and Midwest. Apple historian Tom Burford reminds us that this tree was called Mortgage Lifter by growers who got out of debt by shipping this apple down the Mississippi and out on ships from New Orleans. As it spread south, north and west, many of its growers forgot the Ben Davis epithet for this apple, and offered it a different folk name in each locale where it took root. Many local synonyms for this variety include Baltimore Pippin, Baltimore Red, Baltimore Red Streak, Ben Davis, Carolina Red Cheek, Carolina Red Streak, Funkhauser, Hutchinson’s Pippin, Joe Allen, Kentucky Pippin, Kentucky, Kentucky Red Streak, Kentucky Streak, New York Pippin, Red Pippin, Robinson’s Streak, Tenant Red, Victoria Pippin, Victoria Red, and Virginia Pippin. It is grown in northern Arizona as well as southern Utah, where the fruiting season is long enough to mature the variety properly. The fruit of Ben Davis is typically uniform in shape and size, which is medium to large. Its shape is usually round, especially at the base, though infrequently it is elliptical, conic or oblong. While maturing, its clear yellow or greenish skin is tough, and thick enough that it seldom bruises. Its skin is quite waxy, glossy or bright, and smooth. The green or yellow basal color is overwhelmed by a wash of splashes and stripes of bright carmine, often with subtle dots of white or brown. At maturity, it is a deep carmine or red striped apple. The flesh is whitish, tinged slightly yellow. It is somewhat coarse, dry and wooly, not very crisp, but firm, slightly aromatic, juicy, mildly sub-acidic, and keeps for over a year. However, its rather unspectacular taste and texture has long been the butt of jokes among apple enthusiasts. Madonna Hunt of Boulder Utah quipped, “Those Ben Davis apples? Yes, they were good keepers, because no one wanted to eat them!” Tom Vorbeck put it bluntly, “It keeps like a rock, but it’s not a very good rock.” Keith Durfey apprenticed to an apple expert who claimed he could be blindfolded and still tell any variety by flavor. His students at the end of a long sampling gave him a piece of cork. He sat blindfolded for a long while, then quipped, “You may have stumped me for once, but I believe that’s the flavor of one of those old Ben Davis apples!” Although never rating high in flavor, nurserymen like Ben Davis because of its free-growing habit and the rapidity with which trees produce fruit of marketable size. The tree is hardy when exposed to a range of climatic extremes, remaining healthy and vigorous. Although not particularly long-lived, it

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