Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef was established around a massive, 100-mile-long wrinkle in the earth’s crust called the Waterpocket Fold (the “reef” in the park name). This awesome and colorful mountainous layer cake showcases 10,000 feet—and 270 million years—of sedimentary history.
Cool Fact: The most popular day hike—Capitol Gorge, down a twisting dry-wash canyon, past a majestic domelike outcropping, to a series of natural water cisterns—takes you through the hills that were once the hideout of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch.
Don’t Miss: The spectacular drive to the park from the west along Route12, and the 1,400-year-old Indian petroglyphs on the roadside cliffs above the many orchards of Fruita, a historic hamlet where mule deer graze under the shade of cottonwoods along the Fremont River.