Devils Tower National Monument

A view of Devils Tower from the north at sunset.

You will not forget the first time you see Devils Tower in Devils Tower National Monument.  Approaching from the south on Highway 24 in Wyoming, the tower suddenly appears from the top of the last rise in the road. It is a solitary sentinel on the rolling plains surrounding the Black Hills, near the Belle Fourche River. So, it is easy to understand why Theodore Roosevelt established this iconic tower as our nation’s first national monument.

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Capitol Reef National Park

Sunset behind rock outcrop along Cathedral Road near Capitol Reef National Park. The projecting rock looked amazingly like a Mayan carving of a skull.

Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park, near Torrey, exists to protect the area around a 65 million year old warp in the earth’s crust, called the Waterpocket Fold. Even more noteworthy, it is the largest exposed monocline in the United States.

According to the National Park Service, the name capitol refers to the white domes of Navajo Sandstone that resemble capitol building domes, and the name reef refers to the rocky cliffs that are a barrier to travel, like a coral reef. Domes and reefs are just the start of the wonders in the park.

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