ScenicDrive

The rock formations in Capitol Reef National Park are part of the Waterpocket Fold, with sedimentary
strata laid down between 300 million and 100 million years ago. The entire area was once the site of
an ancient shallow sea, but the area went through several climate changes which are reflected in the
various forms of sedimentary rock visible in the Park. Some exceptional formations are present
 in Capitol Reef NP, exposing rock layers from the Permian, Triassic and Jurassic periods.

The Capitol Reef section is split into three pages. Images of some of the named formations
are on this page and on the Scenic Drive page, with each page showing different scenes.
Other formations and areas are present on one or the other page. Fruita has its own page.

Click an image to open a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Scenic Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Capitol Reef National Park gallery:

Capitol Reef

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Capitol_Reef_View_Boulder_Mountain_1554


Capitol Reef View Boulder Mountain 1554
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The view east towards the Miners Mountain uplift and the Henry Mountains from
the Larb Hollow Overlook on Boulder Mountain, near the end of Scenic Byway 12.

This image is at the top of both of the Capitol Reef Scenic pages.

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Twin Rocks Capitol Reef 1342
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Twin Rocks are knobs of tabular Shinarump sandstone of the Chinle Formation standing atop the
red bases of Moenkopi Formation shale and sandstone. The boulders are all Shinarump sandstone.

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Mummy Cliff Panorama Point Capitol Reef 5806
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An old tree skeleton on Panorama Point leads the eye towards Mummy Cliff in the
central distance, with the 400 foot tall Chimney Rock formation on the left side of the cliff.

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Mummy Cliff Panorama Point Capitol Reef 5809
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A view across the Panorama Point landscape towards Mummy Cliff and Chimney Rock.

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Mummy Cliff Capitol Reef 1350
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Eroded layers of Moenkopi Formation shale and sandstone of Mummy Cliff,
with the lighter, uranium-rich Chinle Formation sedimentary deposits above.

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Chimney Rock Capitol Reef 1347
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Chimney Rock is a 400 foot tall reddish-brown eroded pillar of layered Moenkopi Formation sandstone.

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Chimney Rock Capitol Reef 1353
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The smoother capstones atop Chimney Rock are Shinarump Member sandstone of the Chinle Formation.

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Chimney Rock Capitol Reef 1354
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The layered Moenkopi Formation rock is composed of shale and sandstone deposited by an ancient sea.

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Chimney Rock Capitol Reef 1529
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This was taken in the early afternoon, causing the rock to be a redder color (the previous shots were taken in mid-morning).

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Chimney Rock Capitol Reef 7126
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The layered Moenkopi shale and sandstone of the 400 foot tall Chimney Rock
formation stands at the western end of Mummy Cliff on Capitol Reef’s Scenic Drive.

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Chimney Rock Capitol Reef 7129
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Chimney Rock taken two minutes later with a gap in the clouds outlining the capstone.

These two images of Chimney Rock were taken at mid-afternoon in August.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Scenic Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Capitol Reef National Park gallery:

Capitol Reef

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Fluted_Wall_Capitol_Reef_1374


Fluted Wall Capitol Reef 1374
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The Fluted Wall is a Wingate Sandstone formation rising above the scree and gray streaks
of the Uranium-rich Chinle Formation, which itself stands above layered Moenkopi sandstone.

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Fluted Wall Capitol Reef 1375
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The Fluted Wall area is a good place to see the stratified geology of this section of the Capitol Reef National Park.

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Fluted Wall Capitol Reef 1378
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A section of Wingate Sandstone cliffs in the Fluted Wall area, taken from further east at mid-morning in late September.

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Fluted Wall Capitol Reef 5826
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The Fluted Wall at mid-morning in late August, from a bit further away and to the east.

The Wingate Sandstone cliffs stand above the Owl Rock Member of the Chinle Formation.
The layered rocks above the gray streaks are the Petrified Forest Member of the Chinle,
the grayer streaks below are Monitor Butte Member Chinle, and the eroded cliffs at the
base are Moenkopi Formation shale and sandstone capped with Shinarump Chinle.

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Fluted Wall Capitol Reef 1380
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A wider view of the Wingate Sandstone Cliffs east of the Fluted Wall. Detail of
this section of the cliff face is shown below in comparison with the Grand Wash cliffs.

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Fluted Wall Capitol Reef 1383
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Detail of the red unbleached Wingate Sandstone of the cliffs in the Fluted Wall area, which are rich in iron oxides.

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Grand Wash Cliffs Capitol Reef 1448
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Bleached and unbleached Wingate Sandstone in the Grand Wash Cliffs, topped by Kayenta and Navajo Sandstone.

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Castle Capitol Reef 1385
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The Wingate Sandstone crags of the Castle formation stand above a Wingate rubble overlaying
the Owl Rock Member Chinle, atop layers of Petrified Forest Member Chinle shale and sandstone.

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Castle Capitol Reef 7144
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Detail of the Wingate Sandstone of the Castle formation, taken in the mid-afternoon in late August.

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Castle Capitol Reef 7351
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The Castle formation from Castle Meadow, polarized at 25% in the late afternoon to increase contrast and color saturation.

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Castle Capitol Reef 1386
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The Castle Formation from Castle Meadow in the late morning in September.

Above the trees is the dark red layered rock of the Moenkopi Formation. Behind
the Moenkopi layers is the grayish Monitor Butte streak at the base of the Chinle
Formation, topped by Petrified Forest Chinle shale and sandstone layers below
 Wingate rubble on Owl Rock Chinle, and the vertically fluted Wingate Sandstone.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Scenic Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Capitol Reef National Park gallery:

Capitol Reef

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Castle Meadow Capitol Reef 1390
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A fallen tree provides foreground material for this low-angle shot across Castle Meadow towards the Castle formation.

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Castle Meadow Capitol Reef 7139
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A smooth Wingate Sandstone cliff rises above the Moenkopi and Chinle Formation sediments above Castle Meadow.

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Castle Meadow Cliff Capitol Reef 7338
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A view of the Wingate Sandstone cliff over Castle Meadow from the nearby Visitor’s Center.

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Moenkopi Formation Capitol Reef 1400
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Spires in the layered Moenkopi Formation shale and sandstone, late morning in September.

Moenkopi Formation layers contain a very high concentration of Triassic period marine fossils.

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Moenkopi Formation Capitol Reef 1399
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Detail of the eroded Moenkopi spires on the left side of the formation. This shot was taken in the late morning.

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Moenkopi Formation Capitol Reef 1456
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This frontal angle of the left section of the layered Moenkopi formation was taken at noon on the same September day.

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Moenkopi Formation Capitol Reef 1457
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A wider frontal view of the spires in the Moenkopi Formation taken at noon in September.
The gray steak above the formation is Monitor Butte Chinle Formation sedimentary rock.
The littered slope below the Wingate Sandstone cliff is the Chinle Owl Rock Member.

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Egyptian Temple Capitol Reef 1416
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Shooting almost directly into the sun, this is the western side of the “front facade” of
the Egyptian Temple, formed from ripple-laminated Moenkopi Formation sandstone.
The lighter capstone is the uranium-rich Shinarump Member of the Chinle Formation.

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Egyptian Temple Capitol Reef 1411
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An oblique view of the eastern facade of the Egyptian Temple formation from the meadow on the opposite side of the road.

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Egyptian Temple Capitol Reef 1412
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Another oblique view of the eastern facade of the Egyptian Temple taken from further east in the meadow.

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Egyptian Temple Capitol Reef 1415
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A side view of the Egyptian Temple from the meadow directly east of the formation.

The ripple-laminated formation known as the Egyptian Temple is one of the most
interesting rock formations in Capitol Reef National Park. It is formed from Moenkopi
shale and sandstone layers with Shinarump Chinle capstone blocks atop the formation.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Scenic Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Capitol Reef National Park gallery:

Capitol Reef

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Egyptian_Temple_Capitol_Reef_7199


Egyptian Temple Capitol Reef 7199
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A side view of the Egyptian Temple formation taken from deeper within the eastern meadow.

This image was taken in the late afternoon in August. Additional images of the Egyptian Temple
and cliffs above the eastern meadow taken in the morning and afternoon are on the Scenics page.

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Grand Wash Cliffs Capitol Reef 1404
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The Grand Wash Cliffs are halfway down the Scenic Drive as it heads southeast towards
Capitol Gorge. The 19th century outlaw Butch Cassidy allegedly had a hideout in Grand Wash.
More information on Butch Cassidy, his boyhood home and his exploits is on the Utah Scenic page.

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Grand Wash Cliffs Capitol Reef 1405
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This view of the Grand Wash Cliffs illustrates the layering of the geologic formations.
The layered red sandstone at the base is Moenkopi Formation, capped with the lighter red
uranium-rich Shinarump Member of the Chinle Formation. The gray material in the center is
Monitor Butte Member Chinle sediment, topped by the reddish sandstone and shale of the
Petrified Forest Member of the Chinle Formation. The lighter red Owl Rock Member of
the Chinle Formation is obscured by rubble fallen from the Wingate Sandstone cliffs.

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Grand Wash Cliffs Capitol Reef 1442
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These cliffs are at the western end of the Grand Wash, which cuts across the Waterpocket Fold to the Fremont River.

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Grand Wash Cliffs Capitol Reef 1443
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Detail of the central section of the western Grand Wash cliffs, formed of bleached and unbleached Wingate Sandstone.

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Tree Skeleton Capitol Reef 1444
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A tree skeleton in the meadow provides foreground material in this view of the Grand Wash Cliffs.

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Grand Wash Cliffs Capitol Reef 1449
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Bleached and unbleached Wingate Sandstone at the western edge of the Grand Wash Cliffs.

The bleached sandstone was caused by water carrying away iron oxides in the sediment.

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Grand Wash Cliffs Capitol Reef 7210
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Fluted cliffs in Grand Wash taken in mid-afternoon in August.

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Grand Wash Cliffs Capitol Reef 7213
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A smoother Wingate Sandstone cliff in the Grand Wash area.

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Grand Wash Cliffs Capitol Reef 1452
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Fluted cliffs in the western Grand Wash area taken from further within the meadow in September.

This shot was taken in the late morning. Note the heavily shaded Moenkopi cliff at the far right.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Scenic Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Capitol Reef National Park gallery:

Capitol Reef

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CapitolReef


Click the Display Composite above to return to the Capitol Reef Index page

Southwest


Click the Display Composite above to return to the Southwest Index page

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