• Strike Valley and the Waterpocket Fold

    Capitol Reef

    National Park Utah

History & Culture

Making Petroglyphs
Painting of American Indians etching petroglyphs onto rock walls.
Joe Venus/NPS
 
The area of Capitol Reef has been a homeland to people for thousands of years. Archaic hunters and gatherers migrated through the canyons. Fremont Culture solidified around 500 CE, from food foraging groups, to farmers of corn, beans and squash. Petroglyphs etched in rock walls and painted pictographs remain as sacred remnants of the ancient Indians' saga. Explorers, Mormon pioneers and others arrived in the 1800s, settling in what is now the Fruita Rural Historic District. They planted and nurtured orchards of apples, pears, and peaches.

Did You Know?

Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs were inscribed into rock walls by ancestral Puebloan people and Fremont. Found throughout the park, the most accessible petroglyph panel is 1.1 miles (1.8 km) east of the visitor center on Utah State Highway 24. More...