Capital Reef National Park

Capital Reef was dedicated as a National Park in1971.

A Wrinkle in the Earth.  A vibrant palette of color spills across the landscape beforeyou. The hues are constantly changing, altered by the playof light against the towering cliffs, massive domes, arches,bridges, and twisting canyons. Over millions of years geologic forcesshaped, lifted, and folded the earth, creating this rugged, remote area known as the Waterpocket Fold.  This introduction is an exerpt from the Capital Reef brochure and prefectly describes what this Park represents and how it came to be.  The park covers 274,000 acres of Soutn-central Utah, and is accessible from Hwy 24.  Fruita is just outside the Park and Torrey, a larger town is only a few miles to the north-west of the Park's Visitor Center.
It is not a one-day stop if you want to fully explore this beautiful and fabulous geologic and archaeologic area of Utah.  Habitation by man dates back more than 10,000 years.  First hunters, then hunter-gatherers, then the ancestral native tribes, Anasazi, Freemont, Pueblo, Hopi and other tribes were habitants through about AD 1,300 when it is presumed a sever draught drove the early inhabitants further south.  The Mormons established themselves in the area as farmers and with fruit orchards in the 1800's.  
Capital Reef has a rich history that covers thousands of years andis  now accessible to anyone wanting to view an area that has appealed to humans for so many thousands of years.  I am happy to say that my history with this Park dates back to 1976, camping there prior to a visitor center or even an "official" campground was there.