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A view of the Castle, a prominent sandstone formation in Capitol Reef National Park. This area, known as the Fruita, is made up of three primary layers. The bottom sandstone layer is known as the Moenkopi Formation and is about 245 million years old. The middle gray-green layer is known as the Chinle Formation and was laid down as volcanic ash about 225 million years ago. The top layer, including the Castle, is known as the Wingate Sandstone and is believed to have formed about 200 million years ago.
Capitol Reef is primarily made up of sandstone formations within the Waterpocket Fold, monocline that extends nearly 100 miles. A monocline is a step-like fold in rock strata that can resemble an enormous wrinkle in the earth.