Grand Capitol Reef in Utah

Fruita Valley in Grand Capitol Reef

The Grand Capitol Reef in Utah, USA, became a National Monument in 1937, and a National Park in 1971.

The park possesses unique geological formations, important archaeological finds, different plants and animal communities and is home to some of the first Mormon pioneers. They followed the Fremont River into the Valley, which they called the Fruita Valley, where they planted orchards and other crops grown to the day and the road. The start was not so difficult for this, as there were already on the site irrigating channels that the Indians, who had previously lived on the spot, had made. The valley was later abandoned, as the place is simply too remote for trading to take place easily. First in 1985 was a new road from Boulder constructed, which allowed connection per car all year round.

Fruita Valley

Autumn colors in Fruita valley with mountain formations in the background

The Mormons, immigrating in 1880, planted many apple trees, peaches, pears and apricots. They made irrigation systems and built a tiny school. You can still see the old school and the blacksmith.

The Mormons old school, closed in 1942

Scenic drive

Capitol Reef is a huge park. As you drive out of a scenic drive, you are constantly surprised that it can be even more beautiful. The view is breathtaking and you are once again amazed and humble about how incredibly beautiful nature is.

Chimney Rock, just one of the great rock formations

Hiking Trails

A great gorge for a hike

In Capitol Reef there are many well marked hiking trails. We chose to hike a trail in a mile long gorge, where we saw petroglyphs and unique water holes high up on the plateau next to the trail. It required some use of leg muscles to climb up the cliff side, but everything was worth the effort.

Petroglyphs are carvings and paintings made by the people who lived around 300 to 1300. They were ancestors of the present Hopies, Zunies and Paiuter indians

The trip was pretty hard but it was worth it when we first got up and enjoyed the view

200 m above the gorge on the cliffs we found these water holes

In some places, these winterhary cacti grow

At the waterhole we found this at the size of a thumbnail




Petroglyphs are carvings and paintings made by the people who lived around 300 to 1300

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