Capitol Reef National Park lies in Utah’s south-central desert, an oasis of colorful sandstone cliffs, impressive domes, and soaring monoliths. Once called “Wayne Wonderland,” the park got its name in part from the great white rock formations which resemble the U.S. Capitol building, and from the sheer cliffs that presented a barrier to early travelers. Early inhabitants referred to the area as the “land of the sleeping rainbow” because of its beautiful contrasts: multi-colored sandstone surrounded by verdant riverbanks and arid desert vegetation, all nestled beneath deep blue skies. The area was designated as a national monument in 1937 and reclassified as a national park in 1971. The park is open year-round.
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