CapitolReef

Originally called Wayne Wonderland in the 1920s, Capitol Reef National Park houses canyons,
buttes, and the astounding rock formations of the Waterpocket Fold in South Central Utah near the
Fremont River, land of the ancient Fremont Indian Culture (600-1300 AD) and Mormon Pioneers
from the 1880s, who built the town of Fruita in the Fremont Valley. Capitol Reef National Park
contains some of the most spectacular rock formations in the Southwestern United States,
exposing 200 million years of strata from the Permian, Triassic and Jurassic periods.

This page is an overview with selected images from each section page
and display composites linked to the page below each group of images.

Click a preview image for a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.
Click a Display Composite to visit the 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.

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Direct Link to the Capitol Reef National Park gallery:

Capitol Reef

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Capitol Reef Scenic

Capitol Reef Scenics are displayed on two pages. Images of some of the named formations
are on the Scenic page and the Scenic Drive page, each page showing different scenes.
Other named formations and scenic areas are present only on one or the other page.
Fruita Scenics and the Fremont Petroglyphs are displayed on the Fruita page.

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Juniper Panorama Point Capitol Reef 5791
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An ancient gnarled Juniper stretches its roots to maintain its precarious foothold atop
the red rocks and boulders of the Moenkopi Formation sandstone of Panorama Point.

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Goosenecks Capitol Reef 5794
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The Goosenecks of Sulfur Creek cut 800 feet deep into the Moenkopi sandstone, the oldest of the Capitol Reef strata.

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Castle Meadow Capitol Reef 5827
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The Castle formation from Castle Meadow. Fluted Wingate sandstone crags stand atop Chinle and Moenkopi layers.

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Hickman Natural Bridge Capitol Reef 1515
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The Hickman Natural Bridge is one of the largest rock spans at Capitol Reef, standing
125 feet high and 133 feet between abutments. It is in a side canyon two miles east of the
Visitor’s Center near the Fremont River Bridge. Hickman Bridge was formed when the
Kayenta sandstone was weathered over time by flowing water of the canyon stream.

CapitolReefScenics


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Capitol Reef Scenics page

Capitol Reef Scenic Drive

Capitol Reef Scenics are displayed on two pages. Images of some of the named formations
are on the Scenic page and the Scenic Drive page, each page showing different scenes.
Other named formations and scenic areas are present only on one or the other page.
Fruita Scenics and the Fremont Petroglyphs are displayed on the Fruita page.

Chimney_Rock_Capitol_Reef_7126


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

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
Formation sandstone with Shinarump Chinle Formation capstone blocks atop the formation.

ScenicDrive


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive page

Fruita and the Fremont Petroglyphs

The Fruita area was originally settled by the Fremont Indian Culture between 600-1300 AD, who
left their petroglyphs on the Wingate Sandstone cliff faces. In 1880, the first Mormon settlement
was started in the valley by Nels Johnson, who was joined by others to form the community they
called Junction. In 1902, the name of this remote settlement was changed to Fruita based upon
the fruit of the famed orchards of this Eden in the Desert, widely known across Southern Utah.

Gifford_Barn_Capitol_Reef_5846


Gifford Barn Capitol Reef 5846
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In the heart of the Fruita Valley is the Gifford Homestead and Barn, built in 1908 by the
first owner of the ranch, polygamist Calvin Pendleton, whose family lived here for 8 years.
The Pendletons sold the farm to Jorgen Jorgenson in 1916, who sold the ranch in 1928 to his
son-in-law Dewey Gifford, who stayed until 1969. The Giffords were the last residents of Fruita.

Fruita_Schoolhouse_Capitol_Reef_7290


Fruita Schoolhouse Capitol Reef 7290
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The Fruita Schoolhouse was built in 1896 on land donated by Elijah Behunin, who built the one-room log schoolhouse. His twelve year old daughter Nettie was the first schoolteacher.

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Mule Deer in Velvet Capitol Reef 7253
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In the Johnson Orchard, located on the site of Nels Johnson’s original homestead in Fruita, Mule Deer in full velvet (vascular skin coating the antlers) browse amongst fruit and nut trees.

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Fremont Anthropomorphs Capitol Reef 7294
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The Anthropomorph panel at the Fruita Petroglyph Cliff depicts several trapezoidal-bodied
anthropomorphic figures in headdresses. Some have square featureless heads, some have
trapezoidal featureless heads, one has a square head with eyes and a nose, and several have
no head at all... just a neck with the headdress growing out of it. Bighorn Sheep are cavorting
around and above each of the figures, and there are a number of symbols on the panel.
Trapezoidal bodies are typical of the Classic Vernal style of Fremont petroglyph.
The earbobs on some of the figures were derived from Anasazi petroglyphs.

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Fremont Anthropomorph Sheep Capitol Reef 1479
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“Ice Cream Cone” anthropomorph with a trapezoidal body and head and a style of headdress different than typical Fremont curved horns (this headdress has two curved arcs, as does that of the petroglyph to its right shown further below), with a Bighorn Sheep figure above its head. Two open arcs in sign language or petroglyphs usually translate as empty space or a similar concept depending on context, so this symbol may be saying that the anthropomorph is an ‘airhead’.   :^)

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Fremont Kokopelli Capitol Reef 1484c
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Kokopelli is a spirit figure dating back over 3000 years. Often represented as a humpbacked anthropomorphic insect with a flute (and sometimes a huge phallus), Kokopelli is a fertility deity (childbirth, agriculture and game reproduction), a healer, a prankster and is also the spirit of  music. The name derives from the Hopi name for the deity (Koko: wood, Pilau: hump). There are numerous myths associated with Kokopelli, and  his image has become a universal symbol of the Southwest. The hump is said to represent the bag of seeds and the songs he carries from place to place in his travels.

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Fremont Petroglyphs Capitol Reef 7306
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This image shows the context of the Kokopelli petroglyph to the panel in which it resides.
Kokopelli is in the upper left of the panel, presiding over a series of different anthropomorphs
in headdresses, symbols, and a rabbit (below left). Note the cruder anthropomorph (lower right).

Fruita


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Fruita and Fremont Petroglyphs 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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Southwest


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

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