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Capitol Reef Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary

Capitol Reef National Park

National Park News

For the past 75 years, the National Park Service has been preserving and protecting the geologic wonder known as the Waterpocket Fold, a nearly 100 mile monocline, as well as the diverse biologic and cultural resources within Capitol Reef National Park. 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the proclamation creating Capitol Reef National Monument on August 2, 1937.  The legislation that created Capitol Reef National Park was signed 34 years later, on December 18, 1971.

The park and its partner, the Capitol Reef Natural History Association, hosted a three-day event from August 2nd to August 4th to celebrate this important milestone.  More than 6,000 visitors joined in the festivities.

The event included special programs and activities such as geology walks and talks, Fremont Culture programs at a prominent petroglyph panel, tours of the Fruita historic schoolhouse, bird walks, evening programs and star talks. On the park’s anniversary, visitors enjoyed a cake cutting, displays on Capitol Reef’s 75 year history, a book signing by local authors, the unveiling of new visitor center exhibits and a special evening campfire program on the history of the National Park Service and Capitol Reef presented by park superintendent Al Hendricks. 

Other highlights included park biologists demonstrating bat research, live music all day with cultural demonstrations, and a cowboy cookout on Saturday, August 4th, at the historic Gifford Homestead. The event ended with special guest speaker, geology professor Tom Morris, PhD, sharing the story of the geologic wonders of the park.

Capitol Reef is a hidden treasure in the red rock landscape of the Colorado Plateau. More information, including a continuing schedule of programs, can be found at:,, and at


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