Capitol Reef National Park : キャピトル・リーフ国立公園

Capitol Reef National Park is an American national park located in south-central Utah. The park is approximately 60 miles (97 km) long on its north–south axis but an average of just 6 miles (9.7 km) wide. The park was established in 1971 to preserve 241,904 acres (377.98 sq mi; 97,895.08 ha; 978.95 km2) of desert landscape and is open all year with May through September being the highest visitation months.

Located partially in Wayne County, Utah, the area was originally named “Wayne Wonderland” in the 1920s by local boosters Ephraim P. Pectol and Joseph S. Hickman. Capitol Reef National Park was initially designated a national monument on August 2, 1937, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in order to protect the area’s colorful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths; however, it was not until 1950 that the area officially opened to the public. Road access was improved in 1962 with the construction of State Route 24 through the Fremont River Canyon.

The majority of the nearly 100 mi (160 km) long up-thrust formation called the Waterpocket Fold—a rocky spine extending from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell—is preserved within the park. Capitol Reef is the name of an especially rugged and spectacular segment of the Waterpocket Fold by the Fremont River. The park was named for whitish Navajo Sandstone cliffs with dome formations—similar to the white domes often placed on capitol buildings—that run from the Fremont River to Pleasant Creek on the Waterpocket Fold. The local word reef refers to any rocky barrier to land travel, just as ocean reefs are barriers to sea travel.


Capitol Reef encompasses the Waterpocket Fold, a warp in the earth’s crust that is 65 million years old. It is the largest exposed monocline in North America. In this fold, newer and older layers of earth folded over each other in an S-shape. This warp, probably caused by the same colliding continental plates that created the Rocky Mountains, has weathered and eroded over millennia to expose layers of rock and fossils. The park is filled with brilliantly colored sandstone cliffs, gleaming white domes, and contrasting layers of stone and earth.

The area was named for a line of white domes and cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, each of which looks somewhat like the United States Capitol building, that run from the Fremont River to Pleasant Creek on the Waterpocket Fold.

The fold forms a north-to-south barrier that even today has barely been breached by roads. Early settlers referred to parallel, impassable ridges as “reefs”, from which the park gets the second half of its name. The first paved road was constructed through the area in 1962. Today, State Route 24 cuts through the park traveling east and west between Canyonlands National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, but few other paved roads invade the rugged landscape.

The park is filled with canyons, cliffs, towers, domes, and arches. The Fremont River has cut canyons through parts of the Waterpocket Fold, but most of the park is arid desert country. A scenic drive shows park visitors some of the highlights, but it runs only a few miles from the main highway. Hundreds of miles of trails and unpaved roads lead the more adventurous into the equally scenic backcountry.


Native Americans and Mormons

Fremont culture Native Americans lived near the perennial Fremont River in the northern part of the Capitol Reef Waterpocket Fold around the year 1000. They irrigated crops of maize and squash and stored their grain in stone granaries (in part made from the numerous black basalt boulders that litter the area). In the 13th century, all of the Native American cultures in this area underwent sudden change, likely due to a long drought]. The Fremont settlements and fields were abandoned.

Many years after the Fremont left, Paiutes moved into the area. These Numic speaking people named the Fremont granaries moki huts and thought they were the homes of a race of tiny people or moki.

In 1872 Alan H. Thompson, a surveyor attached to United States Army Major John Wesley Powell’s expedition, crossed the Waterpocket Fold while exploring the area. Geologist Clarence Dutton later spent several summers studying the area’s geology. None of these expeditions explored the Waterpocket Fold to any great extent, however. It was, as now, incredibly rugged and forbidding.

Following the American Civil War, officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City sought to establish missions in the remotest niches of the Intermountain West. In 1866, a quasi-military expedition of Mormons in pursuit of natives penetrated the high valleys to the west. In the 1870s, settlers moved into these valleys, eventually establishing Loa, Fremont, Lyman, Bicknell, and Torrey.]

Mormons settled the Fremont River valley in the 1880s and established Junction (later renamed Fruita), Caineville, and Aldridge. Fruita prospered, Caineville barely survived, and Aldridge died. In addition to farming, lime was extracted from local limestone and uranium was extracted early in the 20th century. In 1904 the first claim to a uranium mine in the area was staked. The resulting Oyler Mine in Grand Wash produced uranium ore.

By 1920 the work was hard but the life in Fruita was good. No more than ten families at one time were sustained by the fertile flood plain of the Fremont River and the land changed ownership over the years. The area remained isolated.] The community was later abandoned and later still some buildings were restored by the National Park Service. Kilns once used to produce lime can still be seen in Sulphur Creek and near the campgrounds on Scenic Drive.

Early protection efforts

Local Ephraim Portman Pectol organized a “booster club” in Torrey in 1921. Pectol pressed a promotional campaign, furnishing stories to be sent to periodicals and newspapers. In his efforts, he was increasingly aided by his brother-in-law, Joseph S. Hickman, who was Wayne County High School principal. In 1924, Hickman extended community involvement in the promotional effort by organizing a Wayne County-wide Wayne Wonderland Club. That same year, the educator was elected to the Utah State Legislature.[

In 1933, Pectol was elected to the presidency of the Associated Civics Club of Southern Utah, successor to the Wayne Wonderland Club. The club raised U.S. $150 (equivalent to $2,903 in 2018) to interest a Salt Lake City photographer in taking a series of promotional photographs. For several years, the photographer – J.E. Broaddus – traveled and lectured on “Wayne Wonderland”.

In 1933, Pectol himself was elected to the legislature and almost immediately contacted President Franklin D. Roosevelt and asked for the creation of “Wayne Wonderland National Monument” out of the federal lands comprising the bulk of the Capitol Reef area. Federal agencies began a feasibility study and boundary assessment. Meanwhile, Pectol not only guided the government investigators on numerous trips, but escorted an increasing number of visitors. The lectures of Broaddus were having an effect.]

President Roosevelt signed a proclamation creating Capitol Reef National Monument on August 2, 1937]. In Proclamation 2246, President Roosevelt set aside 37,711 acres (15,261 ha) of the Capitol Reef area. This comprised an area extending about two miles (3 km) north of present State Route 24 and about 10 mi (16 km) south, just past Capitol Gorge. The Great Depression years were lean ones for the National Park Service (NPS), the new administering agency. Funds for the administration of Capitol Reef were nonexistent; it would be a long time before the first rangers would arrive.

Administration of the monument

Administration of the new monument was placed under the control of Zion National Park.] A stone ranger cabin and the Sulphur Creek bridge were built and some road work was performed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. Historian and printer Charles Kelly came to know NPS officials at Zion well and volunteered to ‘watchdog’ the park for the NPS. Kelly was officially appointed ‘custodian-without-pay’ in 1943. He was to work as a volunteer until 1950 when the NPS offered him a civil service appointment as the first superintendent.]

During the 1950s Kelly was deeply troubled by NPS management acceding to demands of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission that Capitol Reef National Monument be opened to uranium prospecting. He felt that the decision had been a mistake and destructive of the long term national interest. As it turned out, there was not enough ore in the monument to be worth mining.]

It was not until 1958 that Kelly got additional permanent help in protecting the monument and enforcing regulations; Park Ranger Grant Clark transferred from Zion. The year Clark arrived, fifty-six thousand visitors came to the park and ‘Charlie’ Kelly retired for the last time, full of years and experiences.]

During the 1960s (under the program name Mission 66), NPS areas nationwide received new facilities to meet the demand of mushrooming park visitation. At Capitol Reef, a 53-site campground at Fruita, staff rental housing, and a new visitor center were built, the latter opening in 1966.]

Visitation climbed dramatically after the paved, all-weather State Route 24 was built in 1962 through the Fremont River canyon near Fruita. State Route 24 replaced the narrow Capitol Gorge wagon road about 10 mi (16 km) to the south that frequently washed out. The old road has since only been open to foot traffic. In 1967, 146,598 persons visited the park. The staff was also growing.]

During the 1960s, the NPS proceeded to purchase private land parcels at Fruita and Pleasant Creek. Almost all private property passed into public ownership on a “willing buyer-willing seller” basis.

Preservationists convinced President Lyndon B. Johnson to set aside an enormous area of public lands in 1968, just before he left office. In Presidential Proclamation 3888 an additional 215,056 acres (87,030 ha) were placed under NPS control. By 1970, Capitol Reef National Monument comprised 254,251 acres (102,892 ha) and sprawled southeast from Thousand Lake Mountain almost to the Colorado River. The action was controversial locally, and NPS staffing at the monument was inadequate to properly manage the additional land.

National park status

The vast enlargement of the monument and diversification of the scenic resources soon raised another issue: whether Capitol Reef should be a national park, rather than a monument. Two bills were introduced into the United States Congress.]

A House bill (H.R. 17152) introduced by Utah Congressman Laurence J. Burton called for a 180,000-acre (72,800 ha) national park and an adjunct 48,000-acre (19,400 ha) national recreation area where multiple use (including grazing) could continue indefinitely. In the United States Senate, meanwhile, Senate bill S. 531 had already passed on July 1, 1970, and provided for a 230,000-acre (93,100 ha) national park alone. The bill called for a 25-year phase-out of grazing.]

In September 1970, United States Department of Interior officials told a house subcommittee session that they preferred about 254,000 acres (103,000 ha) be set aside as a national park. They also recommended that the grazing phase-out period be 10 years, rather than 25. They did not favor the adjunct recreation area.]

It was not until late 1971 that Congressional action was completed. By then, the 92nd United States Congress was in session and S. 531 had languished. A new bill, S. 29, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Frank E. Moss of Utah and was essentially the same as the defunct S. 531 except that it called for an additional 10,834 acres (4,384 ha) of public lands for a Capitol Reef National Park. In the House, Utah Representative K. Gunn McKay (with Representative Lloyd) had introduced H.R. 9053 to replace the dead H.R. 17152. This time around, the House bill dropped the concept of an adjunct Capitol Reef National Recreation Area and adopted the Senate concept of a 25-year limit on continued grazing. The Department of Interior was still recommending a national park of 254,368 acres (102,939 ha) and a 10-year limit for grazing phase-out.

S. 29 passed the Senate in June and was sent to the House. The House subsequently dropped its own bill and passed the Senate version with an amendment. Because the Senate was not in agreement with the House amendment, differences were worked out in Conference Committee. The Conference Committee issued their agreeing report on November 30, 1971. The legislation—’An Act to Establish The Capitol Reef National Park in the State of Utah’—became Public Law 92-207 when it was signed by President Richard Nixon on December 18, 1971.


The area including the park was once the edge of an ancient shallow sea that invaded the land in the Permian, creating the Cutler Formation. Only the sandstone of the youngest member of the Cutler Formation, the White Rim, is exposed in the park. The deepening sea left Carbonate deposits, forming the limestone of the Kaibab Limestone, the same formation that rims the Grand Canyon to the southwest.

During the Triassic, streams deposited reddish-brown silt, which later became the siltstone of the Moenkopi Formation. Uplift and erosion followed. Conglomerate, itself followed by logs, sand, mud, and wind-transported volcanic ash, then formed the uranium-containing Chinle Formation.

The members of the Glen Canyon Group were all laid down in the middle to late Triassic during a time of increasing aridity. They include:

  • Wingate Sandstone: Sand dunes on the shore of an ancient sea.
  • Kayenta Formation: Thin-bedded layers of sand deposited by slow-moving streams in channels and across low plains.
  • Navajo Sandstone: Huge fossilized sand dunes from a massive Sahara-like desert.

The San Rafael Group consists of four Jurassic period formations, from oldest to youngest:

  • Carmel Formation: Gypsum, sand, and limey silt laid down in what may have been a graben that was periodically flooded by sea water.
  • Entrada Sandstone: Sandstone from barrier islands/sand bars in a near-shore environment.
  • Curtis Formation: Made from conglomerate, sandstone, and shale.
  • Summerville Formation: Reddish-brown mud and white sand deposited in tidal flats.

Streams once again laid down mud and sand in their channels, on lakebeds, and in swampy plains, creating the Morrison Formation. Early in the Cretaceous, similar nonmarine sediments were laid down and became the Dakota Sandstone. Eventually, the Cretaceous Seaway covered the Dakota, depositing the Mancos Shale.

Only small remnants of the Mesaverde Group are found, capping a few mesas in the park’s eastern section.

Near the end of the Cretaceous period, a mountain-building event called the Laramide orogeny started to compact and uplift the region, forming the Rocky Mountains and creating monoclines such as the Waterpocket Fold in the park. Ten to fifteen million years ago, the entire region was uplifted much further by the creation of the Colorado Plateau. Remarkably, this uplift was very even. Igneous activity in the form of volcanism and dike and sill intrusion also occurred during this time.

The drainage system in the area was rearranged and steepened, causing streams to downcut faster and sometimes change course. Wetter times during the ice ages of the Pleistocene increased the rate of erosion.

Visiting the park

The closest town to Capitol Reef is Torrey, about 11 mi (18 km) west of the visitor center on Highway 24, slightly west of its intersection with Highway 12.] Torrey has a population of less than 200, with a few motels and restaurants. Highway 12, as well as a partially unpaved scenic backway named the Burr Trail, provide access from the west through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the town of Boulder.]

The park has one developed campground that requires reservations from March to October, and two primitive free camping areas. Backcountry camping elsewhere in the park requires a free permit available at the visitor center.]

Activities in the park include hiking, horseback riding, and driving tours. Mountain biking is prohibited on park trails but allowed on roadways.]

The orchards planted by Mormon pioneers are maintained by the National Park Service. From early March to mid-October, various fruit—cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, or apples—can be harvested by visitors for a small fee

キャピトル・リーフ国立公園は、ユタ州南央部の米国の国立公園である。長さは160km(100マイル)で、かなり細長い。公園の設立は1971年、面積は979 km²(378平方マイル)。年間を通して開いているが、最も人気の季節は5月から9月までである。

キャピトル・リーフ国立公園は、地元の篤志家であるエフライム・P・ペクトル (Ephraim P. Pectol) とジョセフ・S・ヒックマン によって1920年代に「ウエイン・ワンダーランド」と呼ばれた。色とりどりの峡谷、尾根、切り立った丘、石柱を保護している。ウォーターポケット褶曲と呼ばれる約120 km(75 マイル)の長い隆起は、サウザンド・レイク山 から南方にレイクパウエルまでごつごつした背骨のように延び、公園の境界内で保護されている。キャピトル・リーフは、フレモント川近くの特にごつごつと壮大なウォーターポケット褶曲の一部の名前である。この地域は、ウォーターポケット褶曲上をフレモント川からプレザント川 まで続くナバホ砂岩の白いドームと崖が米国国会議事堂ビルのようにみえることに因んで名付けられた。地元の言葉のリーフは、旅の妨げとなる岩の障害物を指す。




この地域は、ウォーターポケット褶曲上をフレモント川 からプレザント川 まで続くナバホ砂岩の白いドームと崖が米国国会議事堂ビルのようにみえることに因んで名付けられた。






フレモント人が去った後何年もしてから、パイユート族がこの地に移り住んだ。これらのヌーミック語を話す人々は、フレモントの穀物倉を「モキの小屋」 (moki huts) と名づけ、小人、すなわち「モキ」族の家と考えた。

1872年、アラン・H・トンプソン は、アメリカ陸軍ジョン・ウェズリー・パウエル 少佐の探検に測量技師として参加し、その地の調査時にウォーターポケット褶曲を横断した。その後、地質学者クラレンス・ダットンは、地域の地質を研究するため幾度かの夏を費やしたが、いずれの探検もウォーターポケット褶曲をあまり詳しく調査しなかった。それは、今となっては信じられないほど洗練されない調査であった。

南北戦争の後、ソルトレイクシティの末日聖徒イエス・キリスト教会の人々は、インターマウンテン・ウエストと呼ばれるロッキー山脈とカスケード山脈、シエラネバダ山脈の間の非常に辺鄙な場所に「伝道本部」を設立しようとした。1866年、先住民を襲撃するため、モルモン教徒の準軍事遠征隊が、西方の奥地にある谷まで侵入した。1870年代、開拓者はこれらの谷に移り住み、結局はロア 、フレモント、ライマン、ビックネル、トリーの町を築いた。

モルモン教徒は、1880年代には、フレモント川渓谷に定住し、ジャンクション (後の「フルータ」)、 ケインヴィル 、アルドリッジの町を築いた。フルータは栄え、ケインヴィルはかろうじて生き延び、アルドリッジは滅んだ。20世紀初めには、農耕に加え、石灰石から石灰が抽出されたり、ウランが採掘されていた。1904年、この地のウラン鉱床の採掘権が初めて主張された。その結果できたグランド・ウォッシュのオリアー鉱山は、ウラン鉱石を産出した。



地元のエフライム・ポーター・ペクトルは、1921年、「ブースター・クラブ」 をトリーの町で組織し、雑誌や新聞に送るための情報を供給、宣伝キャンペーンを行った。キャンペーンを行う中で彼は、次第に義理の兄弟であるジョセフ・S・ヒックマンによって支援を受けるようになった。ヒックマンは、ウエイン郡高校の校長であった。1924年、ヒックマンは、ウエイン郡全体のウエイン・ワンダーランド・クラブを組織し、地域社会を宣伝の努力に巻き込んだ。同じ年、ヒックマンはユタ州議会議員に選ばれた。

ペクトルは、ウエイン・ワンダーランド・クラブを受け継いだ南ユタ・アソシエイテッド・シヴィックス・クラブの主宰者に選ばれた。クラブは、ソルトレイク・シティの写真家を一連の宣伝用の写真撮影に関与させるため150ドルの寄付金を集めた。数年間にわたり、その写真家 – J・E・ブローダスは、「ウエイン・ワンダーランド」を旅し、講演した。


ルーズベルト大統領は、1937年8月2日、キャピトル・リーフ国定公園 を設立する布告を行った。布告第2246号において、ルーズベルト大統領は、キャピトル・リーフ地域の 152 km²(37,711 エーカー)を公園とし、これは現在のユタ州道24号線の北約3 km(2マイル)からキャピトル・ゴージのすぐ近くの南約16 km(10 マイル)まで広がる地域から成っていた。世界恐慌の時代に新管理機関である国立公園局 (NPS) は人員を削減され、キャピトル・リーフの管理のための資金は存在しなかったため、最初の公園監督官が到着するのはずっと後のこととなった。


新しいモニュメントは、ザイオン国立公園の管理下に置かれた。しかし、公園監督官の石小屋とサルファー川橋の建設と道路工事は、民間資源局 (Civilian Conservation Corps) と公共事業促進局が行った。チャールズ・ケリーという名の歴史家兼印刷工は、ザイオンの国立公園局の職員を良く知るようになり、国立公園局のために公園の「番犬」を買って出た。1943年、彼は公式に「無給の管理人」に任じられた。彼は、国立公園局が初代の責任者という役職を提示する1950年まで、ずっとボランティアとして無給で働いた。




訪問者数は、1962年、フルータの近くのフレモント川を通る全天候型舗装のユタ州道24号線が建設されてから急増した。ユタ州道24号線は、約16 km(10 マイル)南の、しばしば冠水した狭いキャピトル・ゴージ荷馬車道路に取って代わった。旧道はそれ以来歩行者用にのみ供されている。1967年、146,598人の人が公園を訪れ、職員も増加した。


保護主義者達は、リンドン・ジョンソン大統領が職を辞す直前の1968年に、大統領に広大な公有地を公園にすることを首尾よく納得させた。大統領布告第3888号により、さらに 870 km²(215,056 エーカー)が国立公園局の管理下に置かれた。1970年には、キャピトル・リーフ国定公園は、1,028 km²(254,251 エーカー)の広さになっており、サウザンド・レイク山から南東にほぼコロラド川まで広がっていた。布告は地元では非常に物議を醸し、また増えた土地を適切に管理するには国定公園の国立公園局の職員は不十分であった。



ユタ州の下院議員ローレンス・J・バートンは、下院法案 (H.R. 17152) を提出し、728 km²(180,000エーカー)の国立公園と付属する194 km²(48,000エーカー)の恒久的な複合利用(放牧を含む)が可能な国立レクリエーション地域を求めた。 一方、アメリカ合衆国上院では、1970年7月1日に531号法案が既に通過しており、そこでは930 km²(230,000エーカー)の国立公園のみが規定されていた。法案は、25年間にわたっての放牧の段階的廃止を求めていた。

1970年9月、アメリカ合衆国内務省の当局者は、下院小委員会に約1,027 km²(254,000エーカー)の土地を国立公園の用に供するよう申し入れると述べた。また、放牧の段階的な廃止期間は25年ではなく10年とするよう提言した。付属するレクリエーション地域には賛成しなかった。

議会の行動は1971年後半まで終わらなかった。その時までに第92回アメリカ合衆国議会は始まっており、第531号法案は支持を失っていた。新法案第29号が、ユタ州上院議員フランク・E・モスによって上院に提出された。この法案は、キャピトル・リーフ国立公園に42 km²(10,834 エーカー)の公有地の追加を求めている点を除けば、基本的には廃案となった531号と同じであった。下院でユタ州下院議員K・ガン・マッケイ は、(ロイド下院議員と共同で)下院法案第9053号を、廃案となった下院法案第17152号の代わりに提案した。この頃には、下院の法案は付属のキャピトル・リーフ国立レクリエーション地域の構想を取り下げ、継続的な放牧に25年の制限を設けるという上院の考えを採用していた。内務省は、まだ国立公園を1,029 km²(254,368 エーカー)とし、放牧の段階的廃止期間を10年にすることを提言し続けていた。

第29号法案が6月に上院を通過し、下院に送られた。その後、下院は自らの法案を撤回し上院の法案に修正を加えて可決した。上院下院の修正に同意しなかったため、アメリカ合衆国両院協議会で意見の相違について解決が図られた。両院協議会は合意文書を1971年11月30日に発表した。法律—「ユタ州でのキャピトル・リーフ国立公園の設立に関する法律」 (“An Act to Establish The Capitol Reef National Park in the State of Utah”)—は、リチャード・ニクソン大統領によって署名された1971年12月18日に公法92-207号 (Public Law 92-207) となった。


公園を含む地域は、かつてペルム紀に押し寄せてきた古代の浅い海の海辺であり、この海がカトラー層 を生んだ。カトラー層の最も新しい層、ホワイト・リム層の砂岩だけが公園内で露出している。深くなる海は炭酸塩堆積物を残し、カイバブ石灰岩層を形成した。同じ地層はグランド・キャニオンの南西を縁取っている。



  • ウィンゲイト砂岩 – 古代の海辺の砂丘
  • カヤンタ層 – 川底や平野の緩やかな流れに堆積した薄層理の砂
  • ナバホ砂岩 – 広大なサハラ砂漠のような砂漠で化石化した巨大な砂丘

サン・ラファエル・グループ は、古い順に次の4つの三畳紀の地層から成る。

  • カーメル層 : – 石膏、砂、石灰を含むシルトが、海水が周期的に氾濫する地溝であったかもしれない土地の中に積もった。
  • エントラーダ砂岩 – 海岸に近い環境にある砂州からできた砂岩
  • カーティス層 : 礫岩、砂岩、頁岩でできている。
  • サマーヴィル層 – 干潟に堆積した赤茶の泥と白い砂

川が再び泥と砂をその河床に、湖床に、湿地の多い平野部に堆積させ、モリソン層を生み出した。白亜紀初期には、類似の非海成堆積物が積もり、ダコタ砂岩となった。最終的には白亜紀海路がダコタ砂岩を覆い、マンコス頁岩 を堆積させた。