• Strike Valley and the Waterpocket Fold

    Capitol Reef

    National Park Utah

People

People
From left to right: petroglyphs etched in stone are left on canyon walls from early American Indians; the Behunin family were early settlers in the Fruita area; a ranger explains the historical signficance of a resource
NPS
 

A geological palette of sedimentary and igneous textures creates the colorful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths of Capitol Reef National Park. This area has been a homeland to people for thousands of years. Archaic hunters and gatherers migrated through the canyons and later, the Fremont Culture began farming corn, beans, and squash. Petroglyphs etched in rock walls and painted pictographs remain as sacred remnants of the ancient Indians' saga. Explorers, 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.

Learn more about the ancestors of the Waterpocket Fold Country by beginning a timeline tour here.

Did You Know?

Rabbit Valley Gilia in a crack in rocks at Capitol Reef

The geology of the Waterpocket Fold created conditions which allowed unique plant species to evolve here. A total of 887 plant species occur in the park many of which have very restricted distributions, occuring on specific geologic formations, soils, slopes, or elevation or precipitation ranges.