Jailhouse Rock (Utah)

Coordinates: 38°24′07″N 111°13′10″W / 38.4020524°N 111.2193556°W / 38.4020524; -111.2193556
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jailhouse Rock
Jailhouse Rock, northeast aspect
Highest point
Elevation6,123 ft (1,866 m)[1]
Prominence503 ft (153 m)[1]
Parent peakPoint 6220[1]
Isolation0.60 mi (0.97 km)[1]
Coordinates38°24′07″N 111°13′10″W / 38.4020524°N 111.2193556°W / 38.4020524; -111.2193556[2]
Jailhouse Rock is located in Utah
Jailhouse Rock
Jailhouse Rock
Location in Utah
Jailhouse Rock is located in the United States
Jailhouse Rock
Jailhouse Rock
Jailhouse Rock (the United States)
CountryUnited States
Protected areaCapitol Reef National Park
Parent rangeColorado Plateau
Topo mapUSGS Fruita NW
Age of rockJurassic
Type of rockEntrada Sandstone, Curtis Formation
Easiest routeclass 5.x climbing[1]

Jailhouse Rock is a 6,123-foot (1,866-meter) elevation summit located in Capitol Reef National Park, in Wayne County of Utah, United States.[2] This remote iconic monolith is situated nine miles (14 km) north of the park's visitor center, and four miles (6.4 km) south of Temples of the Sun and Moon, in the South Desert of the park's North (Cathedral Valley) District. South Desert is a long, narrow valley that runs parallel to the strike of the Waterpocket Fold monocline. Cathedral Valley was so named in 1945 by Charles Kelly, first superintendent of Capitol Reef National Monument, because the valley's sandstone monoliths reminded early explorers of ornate, Gothic cathedrals, with fluted walls, alcoves, and pinnacles.[3] Jailhouse Rock rises 500 feet (150 meters) above its surrounding terrain, and can be seen from the Lower South Desert Overlook, which is 15 miles northwest of Highway 24 via the Hartnet Road.[4] The hiking approach to the base of this large promontory rising from the valley floor is made from the Lower South Desert Overlook via a switchback trail until it disappears along the valley floor.[5] Precipitation runoff from this feature is drained by Deep Creek, a tributary of the Fremont River, which in turn is within the Colorado River drainage basin.


Jailhouse Rock is composed of reddish Entrada Sandstone with a hard, grayish-green sandstone and siltstone Curtis Formation layer caprock which protects it from erosion.[6] The sandstone, which was originally deposited as sandy mud on a tidal flat, is believed to have formed about 160 million years ago during the Jurassic period as a giant sand sea, the largest in Earth's history.[7] Long after these 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.[8]

Jailhouse Rock from the northeast


Spring and fall are the most favorable seasons to visit Jailhouse Rock. 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.

Jailhouse Rock

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Jailhouse Rock - 6,123' UT". listsofjohn.com. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Jailhouse Rock
  3. ^ Peter Massey, Jeanne Wilson, Utah Trails Central Region, 2006, Adler Publishing Company, page 106.
  4. ^ Ron Adkison, Utah's National Parks: Hiking Camping and Vacationing in Utah's Canyon Country, 2001, Wilderness Press, page 186.
  5. ^ Peter Massey, Jeanne Wilson, Utah Trails Central Region, 2006, Adler Publishing Company, page 109.
  6. ^ North (Cathedral Valley) District, National Park Service
  7. ^ Capitol Reef National Park, National Park Service
  8. ^ Capitol Reef Geology, NPS.gov

External links[edit]