Sandstone butte in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
© Amazing Aerial Premium/Shutterstoc
A painter's palette of nature's hues. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Filled with the rugged grandeur of Utah's red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a historic destination that offers some truly spectacular scenic vistas. The park doesn't draw as many visitors as the more popular Zion and Bryce Canyon, which means visitors can enjoy a pleasantly uncrowded experience. Spanning approximately 810 kilometres, this hidden gem of the American Southwest is characterised by a tapestry of towering cliffs, twisting canyons, colourful sandstone buttes and sweeping desert landscapes. Its crown jewel, the nearly 161 kilometre long Waterpocket Fold, is a geological wonder. The Fold is a monocline, a wrinkle on the surface of the planet, which was formed around 50 to 70 million years ago. Capitol Reef is also home to diverse plants and fauna, including the elusive desert bighorn sheep and more than 230 bird species.