Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Quick Facts

Capitol Reef National Park

Utah

(435) 425-3791

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Capitol Reef National Park is characterized by sandstone formations, cliffs and canyons, and a 100-mile long bulge in the earth's crust called the Waterpocket Fold. Erosion has carved the rock into marvelous shapes. Since its designation as a national park in 1971, the majesty of Capitol Reef has been intriguing visitors with its twisting canyons, massive domes, monoliths and spires of sandstone for the past century.Hiking, backpacking, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and walking through the orchards are favorite activities at Capitol Reef National Park.The Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile long wrinkle in the earth's crust known as a monocline, extends from nearby Thousand Lakes Mountain to the Colorado River (now Lake Powell). Capitol Reef National Park was established to protect this grand and colorful geologic feature, as well as the unique historical and cultural history found in the area.

Map of Capitol Reef

Latitude, Longitude: 38.291201, -111.262604

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    There a a number of great bike trails in the park. Choose the one that fits your time frame, skill level, and the scenery you want to see.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Two tours are available, as well as a scenic drive.

  • Camping

    The 71-site Fruita campground is the only developed campground in the park, located south of the visitor center in the Fruita Historic District. The no-fee Cathedral and Cedar Mesa Primitive Campgrounds, located in more remote parts of the park, have pit toilets and picnic tables, but no water. The Group Site is available by reservation and can accommodate a maximum of 40 people.

  • Climbing

    Traditionally, Capitol Reef National Park has experienced minimal use by technical rock climbers. However, recent years have seen an increase in climbing in Utah's canyon country. Included here are the park regulations and concerns regarding technical climbing.The rock at Capitol Reef is comprised predominately of sandstone. It varies in hardness from the soft crumbly Entrada to the relatively hard Wingate. The Wingate cliff walls are the most popular for climbing, as natural fracturing has created many climbable crack systems. In addition, the hardness of the Wingate lends itself more readily to the successful use of chocks, nuts, and camming devices; however it can flake off easily and be very unpredictable. Climbing in canyon country is not something to be taken lightly.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is not available.

  • Hiking

    There are day hikes and backcountry opportunities in the park. In the Fruita area, there are 15 day hiking trails with trailheads located along Utah Hwy. 24 and the Scenic Drive. These trails offer the hiker a wide variety of options, from easy strolls along smooth paths over level ground to strenuous hikes involving steep climbs over uneven terrain near cliff edges. Hikes may take you deep into a narrow gorge, to the top of high cliffs for a bird's eye view of the surrounding area, under a natural stone arch, to historic inscriptions...and much, much more! Round trip distances vary in length from less than 1/4 mile to 10 miles. All trails are well-marked with signs at the trailhead and at trail junctions and by cairns (stacks of rocks) along the way.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horse and pack animal use is considered a valid means of viewing and experiencing Capitol Reef National Park. Animals designated as "pack animals" are limited to horses, burros, and mules. Stock use in any part of the park may be prohibited when, at the discretion of the superintendent, such action is necessary to protect park resources or visitors.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is available. Please be considerate of local wildlife and other visitors; do not litter.

Park Partners

Capitol Reef Natural History Association

The Capitol Reef Natural History Association was founded in 1963, and is a non-profit organization that manages a bookstore in the visitor center, as well as the Gifford House. The Association offers support for scientific, educational, and historic activities in the park including restoration and tours of the 1930's Gifford House located in the Fruita Valley region of the park.

(435) 425-4106

Directions

Driving

Capitol Reef National Park is located in south-central Utah on Utah Highway 24.

Flying

Nearest major airport is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, approximately 250 miles north of the park.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(435) 425-3791

Links