Welcome to Capitol Reef National Park, with a little flare

Driving east along Utah state highway 24, one encounters the above welcome sign for Capitol Reef National Park. Comprising some 240,000 acres, Capitol Reef in outline resembles a huge exclamation point across the map of southern Utah.

The park is also a huge exclamation point whether in terms of a comfortable place to camp among enormous, ancient cottonwoods, a scenic drive which is scenic in every sense of the word, hiking trails that vary from the simple to the strenuous, extensive wildlife, and a multitude of incredible geologic features. Whether traveling by regular vehicle to go to its primary features or all-terrain vehicle to explore its more rugged tracks, Capitol Reef delights eye and soul.

It is photographer heaven.

Capitol Reef visitor's center

A good place to start a tour of the park is at the visitor center, shown above, which has a variety of maps, pamphlets, and books, including two pamphlets of detailed self-guiding tours, as well as variety of other information. (Because of image size reduction, you cannot see him, but there's a small side-blotched lizard perched on the boulder to the left: thus the animal-friendly park.)

The term waterpocket fold is synonymous with Capitol Reef, by which one can think of the park as a long fold of land or reef cutting southern Utah in two.
Waterpocket fold
The above thumbnail takes you to a larger image (around 42K) of the fold, as seen from Sunset Point, one of the viewing areas in the park.

Following is a list of page sets showing different aspects of Capitol Reef.

Photography note: The first two photos were taken with a Pentax LX and the SMC-A 20mm lens, and the third with the SMC 17mm fisheye.  

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