Selected Capitol Reef
National Park Viewpoints A:
Entering the Park from the East
We visited Capitol Reef in 2001, and did some walking around the "scenic drive" on the west side of the park at that time.
This time we stayed on the west side, and then drove into the park from the west (this page), drove through the park eastward and turned south on the road for an overview of the Waterpocket Fold (next page). We then drove just a little to the south and then turned back to explore the center of the park (third page).
On the next page you will see some of the characteristics of the Waterpocket Fold, how it was lifted up on its western edge, giving cliffs facing west and gentler slopes on the east.
That means that coming from the west, Capitol Reef exposes its older sandstone layers along a series of steep cliffs.
There are signs along the road naming all the formations.
The deep red is the same Entrada sandstone we have seen in other national parks (and a state park) on this trip.
The lighter colored and younger top layers are Navajo sandstone.
The gray to green (in some places) shale layer toward the bottom is the Chinle formation that we also saw in Canyonlands, which in some places is rich in uranium and has been mined.
The Mancos shale also plays a role here, with its saltladen layers.
As I always say in defense of people like me who do not retain information such as this very long: just because you can name it (or him or her) does not mean you know it (or him or her)
Now let's take another look and see the Henry Mountains sticking up behind Capitol Reef.
A sign here points out that in the canyon you see, through which the Fremont River runs, there are boulders from way up on the slopes of the Aquarius Plateau which is to the right in this picture. How did they get there? Glaciers on that plateau during the last ice age, which only ended about 10 million years ago, pushed them downhill and meltwaters rolled them the rest of the way. I'll have to come back and see that next ice age!
Here is a better view of that canyon's western entrance where the glacial boulders are found:
Our last views, before we zoom through that canyon in the above photo and look at Capitol Reef from the east, is this one of a tree (we have to like trees):
This one of a rock called "Chimney":
And this one of a cute double rock remnant that I believe is called the "twins" but I do forget such things:
So now let's go through that canyon from a few photos ago and take a look at this general area from the east instead of the west, and talk more about the Waterpocket Fold. (I know, stop the yakking and just show the pictures. . . . . )