Special Places # 35

H.J. Ruiz - Avian101

Capitol Reef National Park


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

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

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