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Capitol Reef National Park

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

114 mi 183 km of trail 8 Featured Hikes

Gems 8 Gems Easy Trails 18 Trails Intermediate Trails 25 Trails Hard Trails 0 Trails

Rising out of the arid desert of southern Utah, Capitol Reef National Park is sure to capture the imagination. Formed through millions of years of geologic processes, the park highlights spectacular sandstone formations, living cryptobiotic soils, and a textbook example of a massive monocline. The Waterpocket Fold is now home to specialized desert plant and animal species in addition to the desert landscapes that are protected within the park. Skyscraping spires, winding canyons, colorful cliffs, and massive domes and arches all make Capitol Reef a one of a kind destination.

To learn more about Capitol Reef, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Center:
The visitor center is open 8 am to 4:30 pm daily, and is closed on some major holidays. Extended hours exist from the spring through the fall, and more information about seasonal operations can be found here.

Visiting Tips

Capitol Reef is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Even with Capitol Reef's arid climate, inclement weather sometimes causes road closures. For updated weather information, current closures, and up to date information on the park, visit the park's website.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

There is one developed campground and two primitive campgrounds maintained within the Capitol Reef National Park. It is not possible to make reservations for the Fruita Campground, so you'll want to come early as it usually fills by early to mid-afternoon in the spring and the fall. All camping areas in Capitol Reef fill on a first come, first served basis. While each campground is open year-round, it is best to check road reports, as road closures can make reaching a campground impossible.

  • Fruita Campground: $20 per site, per night. Open year round. Potable water is available.
  • Cathedral Valley Campground: No fee. Open year round. No potable water available.
  • Cedar Mesa Campground: No fee. Open year round. No potable water available.

Backcountry camping is also available, free of charge. A permit must be obtained from the visitor center during normal business hours. More information on camping in the park, can be found here.

Food & Drink

There are no restaurants or lodges that operate within the park. The Gifford House Store and Museum sells fresh baked goods such as cinnamon rolls, breads, and pies, in addition to ice cream, canned good, chips, and other novelties. Other packaged snacks are also available at the visitor center. There are many dining options available outside of the park. More information about dining in the nearby areas can be found here.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Guided Tours:
There are a variety of ranger-led walking tours, evening programs, and astronomy programs. Check at the visitor center or at Capitol Reef's event calendar for more specific information. All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

REI Adventures:
REI offers over 30 National Park trips, each led by an expert guide capable of taking you off the beaten path. Adventurers are often treated to hidden gems and aspects of the parks that most visitors never see.

Check out REI Adventures' national park offerings here.

Other Activities

Capitol Reef National Park is located near excellent areas for a variety of outdoor activities. When not exploring the park on foot, there are ample opportunities for other non-motorized activities around the park, such as trail running, mountain biking, and rock climbing. There are also many areas where motorized activities such as dirt biking, rock crawling, and ATV riding are popular as well.

Maps & Guidebooks

The definitive guidebook is "Capitol Reef National Park - The Complete Hiking and Touring Guide", by Rick Stinchfield. All proceeds benefit Capitol Reef Natural History Association.

A variety of guidebooks, pamphlets, and brochures are available at the parks website to help plan your trip.

Gems in Capitol Reef National Park - 8

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Featured Hikes in Capitol Reef National Park - 8

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Trails in Capitol Reef National Park - 35

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Loa, UT
0.5 mi 0.7 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry - Bony dry, pack in all water.
10 days ago
1.9 mi 3.1 km
#2 Rim Overlook Trail
Loa, UT
1.9 mi 3.1 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry
9 days ago
2.8 mi 4.5 km
#3 Frying Pan Trail
Loa, UT
2.8 mi 4.5 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry
79 days ago
1.0 mi 1.6 km
#4 Hickman Bridge
Loa, UT
1.0 mi 1.6 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry
9 days ago
10 
1.4 mi 2.2 km
#5 Cassidy Arch Trail
Loa, UT
1.4 mi 2.2 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry
23 days ago
5.8 mi 9.3 km
#6 Sulphur Creek
Loa, UT
5.8 mi 9.3 km Loa, UT
Unknown
Update
Escalante, UT
8.0 mi 12.9 km Escalante, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry - Bony dry, pack in all water.
10 days ago
Loa, UT
1.4 mi 2.2 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry
79 days ago
3.1 mi 4.9 km
#9 Chimney Rock Trail
Loa, UT
3.1 mi 4.9 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry
9 days ago
2.4 mi 3.8 km
#10 Grand Wash Trail
Loa, UT
2.4 mi 3.8 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry - It’s beautiful out there
25 days ago
Escalante, UT
1.2 mi 1.9 km Escalante, UT
Unknown
Update
7.3 mi 11.8 km
#12 Lower Spring Canyon
Loa, UT
7.3 mi 11.8 km Loa, UT
Unknown
Update
Loa, UT
2.5 mi 4.1 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry - Bony dry, pack in all water.
10 days ago
Loa, UT
1.8 mi 3.0 km Loa, UT
Unknown
Update
Loa, UT
3.8 mi 6.1 km Loa, UT
Unknown
Update
3.4 mi 5.4 km
#16 Cottonwood Wash
Loa, UT
3.4 mi 5.4 km Loa, UT
Unknown
Update
Escalante, UT
1.1 mi 1.8 km Escalante, UT
Unknown
Update
Loa, UT
2.2 mi 3.6 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry
79 days ago
Loa, UT
1.6 mi 2.6 km Loa, UT
Unknown
Update
Loa, UT
1.6 mi 2.5 km Loa, UT
All Clear
Update
Dry
79 days ago

Photos of Capitol Reef National Park - 115

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