Capital’s Castle


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Southern Utah is known for its fantastic rock formations, and everywhere one can see tortured, twisted rock jutting from the earth, making a magical and mystical landscape. Capital Reef National Park is an area that encompasses an unusually large range of these rock formations, and is provides an excellent geologic history of the area.

The Reef wasn’t named because of a marine reef, like the Great Barrier Reef, but rather because the early settlers called formations that blocked their way for hundreds of miles a reef. The name stuck, and today the national park carries on the tradition. In this case, the reef is a narrow band of rocks, called the Waterpocket Fold, over a hundred miles long that form an almost impassible barrier. Even today, there are few roads that cross the reef. Capital Reef National Park encompasses much of the most scenic area of the entire fold, and is an excellent choice for a National Park.

Just to the west of the main reef a single spire of rock ascends into the air. The earth below it has eroded into what look like ramparts, while the main spire resembles a castle. Calling it The Castle was an easy naming task.

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