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The Castle
The Castle, Capitol Reef NP.jpg
The Castle, south aspect
Highest point
Elevation 6,387 ft (1,947 m)
Prominence 327 ft (100 m)
Isolation 0.52 mi (0.84 km)
Parent peak Peak 6700
Geography
Location Capitol Reef National Park
Wayne County, Utah, US
Parent range Colorado Plateau
Topo map USGS Twin Rocks
Geology
Age of rock Triassic
Type of rock Wingate Sandstone
Climbing
Easiest route class 5+ climbing

The Castle is a 6,387-foot (1,947-meter) elevation summit located in Capitol Reef National Park, in Wayne County of Utah, United States. This iconic landmark is situated 0.5 mi (0.80 km) immediately north of the park's visitor center, towering nearly 800 feet (240 meters) above the center and Highway 24. Precipitation runoff from this feature is drained by tributaries of the Fremont River.

Geology

The uppermost portion of The Castle is composed of hard, jointed Wingate Sandstone, which is great for rock climbing, and is believed to have formed about 200 million years ago. This overlays the exposed gray-green layer of the Chinle Formation which was laid down as volcanic ash about 225 million years ago, and beneath Chinle is the Moenkopi Formation (about 245 million years old), all of which date to the Triassic. Long after the sedimentary rocks were deposited, the Colorado Plateau was uplifted relatively evenly, keeping the layers roughly horizontal, but Capitol Reef is an exception because of the Waterpocket Fold, a classic monocline, which formed between 50 and 70 million years ago during the Laramide Orogeny.

Gallery

Climate

Spring and fall are the most favorable seasons to visit The Castle. According to the Köppen climate classification system, it is located in a Cold semi-arid climate zone, which is defined by the coldest month having an average mean temperature below 32 °F (0 °C), and at least 50% of the total annual precipitation being received during the spring and summer. This desert climate receives less than 10 inches (250 millimeters) of annual rainfall, and snowfall is generally light during the winter.

Climate data for Capitol Reef Visitor Center, elevation 5,653 ft (1,723 m), 1981-2010 normals, extremes 1981-2019
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 58.6
(14.78)
68.3
(20.17)
78.3
(25.72)
84.4
(29.11)
94.6
(34.78)
100.2
(37.89)
100.8
(38.22)
97.9
(36.61)
95.4
(35.22)
86.1
(30.06)
70.4
(21.33)
61.5
(16.39)
100.8
(38.22)
Average high °F (°C) 40.6
(4.78)
46.4
(8)
54.7
(12.61)
65.0
(18.33)
74.5
(23.61)
85.3
(29.61)
90.4
(32.44)
87.9
(31.06)
80.2
(26.78)
66.1
(18.94)
51.3
(10.72)
40.6
(4.78)
65.3
(18.5)
Average low °F (°C) 17.8
(-7.89)
22.7
(-5.17)
30.2
(-1)
36.2
(2.33)
44.7
(7.06)
53.1
(11.72)
60.4
(15.78)
58.5
(14.72)
50.4
(10.22)
39.0
(3.89)
27.6
(-2.44)
18.2
(-7.67)
38.3
(3.5)
Record low °F (°C) -4.2
(-20.11)
-11.8
(-24.33)
9.1
(-12.72)
18.1
(-7.72)
27.2
(-2.67)
34.6
(1.44)
42.4
(5.78)
45.1
(7.28)
29.9
(-1.17)
11.7
(-11.28)
8.0
(-13.33)
-7.5
(-21.94)
-11.8
(-24.33)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.52
(13.2)
0.34
(8.6)
0.53
(13.5)
0.47
(11.9)
0.59
(15)
0.47
(11.9)
0.91
(23.1)
1.20
(30.5)
0.80
(20.3)
0.98
(24.9)
0.49
(12.4)
0.32
(8.1)
7.62
(193.5)
Source: PRISM
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