Capitol Reef National Park Guide—high-quality Hikes & Accommodations

The first-rUtah ate vacations zoom you inside and out: What’s right in front of your face makes you keep in mind broader contexts, and the expanding horizon helps you apprehend the price of your present day little patch of floor. The beach… the mountains… the Pyramids of Giza…

and Capitol Reef National Park.

Capitol Reef National Park is a a hundred-mile pinch inside the earth’s crust within the geographical middle of nowhere, but it’s overloaded with geological, cultural and sensory outcome. Read more…


Capitol Reef National Park Fees & Permits

Weekly Passes

The following passes permit get admission to to Capitol Reef for seven Utah consecutive days:

Private vehicle: $20

Motorcycle: $15

Person getting into by way of foot or bicycle: $10 (underneath 15 is freed from fee)

Other Passes

These passes admit the skip owner and accompanying passengers to all U.S. country wide parks (which includes Capitol Reef) and federal recreational lands:

Annual Pass: $80

4th Grade Annual Pass: unfastened

Military Annual Pass: loose

Lifetime Senior Pass (62 and older): $eighty

Annual Senior Pass (62 and older): $20

Lifetime Access Pass (to be had for people with a permanent incapacity): free

Capitol Reef Annual Pass (Capitol Reef handiest): $35

A tiny go-segment of the spinning rock we’re clinging to. Capitol Reef is known as for what it looks as if (white rock domes like the U.S. Capitol, rocky ridges like marine reefs) — however isn’t — because it wasn’t like something all of us had ever visible.

Capitol Reef National Park Location & Directions

Capitol Reef National Park is placed a few minutes west of Torrey in the center of southern Utah. It’s handy by way of air or automobile from Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Grand Junction. Here’s how we advocate attending to Capitol Reef.

Nearest Airports to Capitol Reef National Park

Depending on in which you’re coming from, there are two airports we recommend near Capitol Reef National Park:

GRAND JUNCTION REGIONAL AIRPORT: Flights from Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix and Dallas. A three-hour drive to the park.

SALT LAKE CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Major airport with direct flights from many overseas and home destinations. A three.five-hour drive to the park.

Note: Some site visitors pick to fly into Las Vegas and visit other Utah countrywide parks on their manner to Capitol Reef. Las Vegas is a 5-hour pressure to Capitol Reef.

Driving Directions to Capitol Reef National Park

Take a have a look at how some distance Capitol Reef is from some extraordinary close by locations.

FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UT (218 miles): Take I-15 S toward Las Vegas. Take go out 188 for US-50 E and follow this for 24.four miles. Turn right onto UT-260 S for 4.2 miles. Turn right on UT-24 E for sixty eight miles.FROM LAS VEGAS, NV (327 miles): Take I-15 N towards Salt Lake City for 205 miles. Take go out 95 for UT-20 E for 20 miles. Turn left on US-89 N for 21 miles. Turn left on UT-62 E for 26 miles. Turn right onto UT-24 E for 41 miles.

Getting Around Capitol Reef

Unlike Utah’s more travel-y country wide park (Zion and Bryce Canyon), Capitol Reef calls for a few riding to get around. The Fruita section of the park is the maximum available, providing a paved scenic force, campgrounds, many hikes and even orchards (therefore the call). The Waterpocket Fold is more far flung, and this southern corner of the park is satisfactory navigated with a robust car. The backpacking, but, is out of this international. Cathedral Valley gives more unpaved scenic routes, plus trekking and backpacking amongst colossal monoliths.

Where to stay near Capitol Reef National Park

Want a place to sleep that’s as old fashioned as Capitol Reef is charming? The metropolis of Torrey is a short automobile ride away from the park and functions the whole thing from small condominium cabins to hotel/accommodations to rustic motels with certainly, actually exact pie. Range a bit in addition afield and shack up in Teasdale or Bicknell, wherein the pie recreation stays excessive and the small cafes and theaters beckon.

Capitol Reef National Park Hours

The park is open all yr (24 hours an afternoon).

The traveller center, located simply off UT-24, has information, maps, books, shows, and a slide Utah software. It’s open year-round (besides some predominant holidays) from eight:00 a.m. to four:30 p.m. (or until 6:00 p.m. in the summer time). There’s additionally a museum just down the road displaying off the geology, archaeology, and records of the place. Stop in to study your self some thing, like a way to visit the park with minimum effect on the fragile wilderness environment.

When to visit Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef is a excessive-elevation desolate tract. Here’s what you could expect climate-sensible from season to season.

WINTER: The park gets very little precipitation, however there are occasional snow storms come wintry weather. Usually, although, the daylight temps are mild, although you’ll be happy you brought a coat come sunset). Check forecasts to make sure that the scenic path is open and keep away from icy slopes.

SPRING: It doesn’t get better than spring in the park. The fruit timber are in bloom, the climate is balmy and the hiking is perfection. The night time continues to be nippy, however, so carry a few bundling options.

SUMMER: Summer in Capitol Reef isn’t quite the scorcher it’s miles in Zion, Canyonlands, and Arches, but come organized for hot, arid days besides. From July to September, monsoons can cause closed roads and flash floods, so test road and hiking situations and stay away from slot canyons when the sky is irritated.

FALL: Fall is the alternative primetime season at the park, mimicking the sunny climate of spring and presenting choice trekking conditions (plus free fruit-choosing in Fruita!). The mercury starts offevolved to drop in October, so convey layers and a can-do autumnal mind-set.

Best Hikes in Capitol Reef National Park

When you die and get to watch the movie of your existence, you’d higher wish there’s a montage approximately when you hiked all the following. If no longer all the angels will pity you and it will likely be awkward.

Hickman Bridge: This gawk-worthy Utah herbal bridge is a three-for-one nature unique: After a short hike and a moderate amount of effort, you’ll see the bridge in query, its child sister — the miniature Nels Johnson bridge — and the ruins from a Fremont pit house. Now that’s some efficient amusing!Cathedral Valley: Want to peer all the global’s non secular architectures achieved in crimson rock by using an invisible geologic hand? Head over to the faraway Cathedral Valley, where you could wander amongst the Temples of the Sun, Moon and Stars, in addition to the Walls of Jericho. When you’re performed selecting your jaw off the ground, head far from those stone monoliths to Glass Mountain — a hill of shimmering crystals — or the massive Gypsum Sinkhole.Goosenecks Overlook: Get some attitude on life and eons of geologic time with this short jaunt to a vista overlooking Sulphur Creek, which winds it way in tight turns through a layer cake of rainbow rock 800 feet beneath.Cassidy Arch

Frying Pan

View all hikes at Capitol Reef

Things to Do in Capitol Reef National ParkATV →

Backpacking →

Camping →

Fishing →

Hiking →

Horseback Riding →

Mountain Biking →

Tours →

A allow is needed for overnight backpacking


Accessible locations: Capitol Reef may be full of rugged backcountry, however it’s also accessible to people of all talents.The tourist center, petroglyph panels and numerous overlooks are wheelchair-accessible, and the following scenic routes provide a slideshow of natural splendor from the comfort of your car.

Scenic Drive

Cathedral Valley Loop


Burr Trail

Campgrounds: The lovely Fruita campground is located near aromatic orchards and consists of 5 wheelchair-reachable campsites.

Dogs at Capitol Reef National Park

Dogs are allowed (on leash):

Within 50 toes of center line of roads (paved and dirt) open to public automobile tour

In parking regions open to public automobile travel

In unfenced and/or unlocked orchards

In the Chestnut and Doc Inglesbe picnic regions

On the path from the vacationer middle to the Fruita Campground

On the Fremont River Trail from the campground to the south quit of Hattie’s Field

At the campgrounds

Dogs aren’t allowed:

On hiking trails

In public homes

In the backcountry

There’s the Waterpocket Fold…

…a jagged scar where the devil dragged his pitchfork at the manner to Las Vegas (a.okay.a a monocline — the seam left over when transferring plates lifted one side of a fault 7,000 toes). Spend three days absorbing what took 70 million years and two most important geologic events to create.

There are crimson and white rock bands…

…more virtuosic than Jack White hisself. The Waterpocket fold horizontalizes layers of white Navajo Sandstone, pink Wingate, shale and pinkish Entrada Sandstone like an entropic chew of tipped cake. Depending on wherein you stand, the stripes are Utah half an inch or half a mile huge. (You may find the iron inside the pink rocks magnetizes your digicam lens.)

There are ruined civilizations…

…each historical and current. Fremont Indian rock shelters a mile and 1000 years from Mormon settlers’ cabins. Pictographs and grinding stones inside the cliffs; a one-room schoolhouse, flourishing orchards and the Gifford House’s home made pie in Fruita down below. See how in advance Utahns lived and see if they didn’t do a few matters higher than us.

There’s one of the darkest skies you’ll ever see…

…which equates to the most stars you may ever see. Capitol Reef is an International Dark Sky Park, licensed via the International Dark-Sky Association (we are speakme gold-tier fame). With so little artificial mild, you will see the Milky Way just like the place’s pioneer settlers did. Click right here to peer the park’s clean sky chart.

…and more.

Narrow rivers cutting gaping Goosenecks. Chimney Rock. Hickman Bridge. Broken towers’ jagged shadows. Look deep into the earth’s time and space from this one little foothold on, say, a Tuesday.

Drive, camp and hike. Consider the bighorn sheep.

Zoom in. Zoom out.

Things to DoCapitol Reef National ParkTop matters to doAdditional Things To DoTransportation From Salt Lake City or Las Vegas

Salt Lake City- 290 miles to Capitol Reef

Las Vegas, NV- 360 miles to Capitol Reef

Traveling on Interstate 15: Take I-70 east (go out 132). At the junction with Utah State Highway 89/259, turn right (south). Then flip left (east) onto Utah State Highway 24. Continue on Highway 24 for 82 miles to attain the Capitol Reef Park Visitor Center.

From Grand Junction, CO

196 miles to Capitol Reef

Traveling westbound on Interstate 70: Take Utah State Highway 24 west in the direction of Hanksville (exit 149). Stay on Highway 24 for ninety five miles to reach the Capitol Reef Park Visitor Center.

Travel Bureau Information Capitol Reef Country Travel Council

12 UT-24

Torrey, UT


Visit website


38F17FAverage Temperature

1.5″Avg. Precipitation (inches)

17.1″Avg. Snowfall (inches)

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