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Capitol Reef National Park (U.S.)

Milky Way over Chimney Rock, Capitol Reef National Park

The Milky Way arches over Capitol Reef National Park’s iconic Chimney Rock. Photo by Jacob W. Frank.

Capitol Reef location cutout map

Designated

2015

Category

Dark Sky Park

Address

Utah, USA

Contact

Terry Fisk
Website

Land Area

980 km2

Documents

Application
Press Release
2016 Annual Report

About

Capitol Reef National Park sprawls over 98,000 hectares of federal land in southern central Utah. It is named for a visually spectacular region of the Waterpocket Fold, a geological feature that made the area virtually impassable to early Anglo-American settlers. Its domes and cliffs of white Navajo Sandstone define the park’s landscape and reminded early visitors of the dome of the United States Capitol building.

Despite serving over 830,000 visitors in 2014, Capitol Reef has largely resisted infrastructure development and instead offers visitors a rustic experience. As a consequence there is very little artificial lighting in the park, so visitors experience a night that is remarkably close to what it would have been in the pioneer era.

Weather

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