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4.3
27 votes

Capitol Reef National Park

16 Scenic Dr, Torrey, Utah 84775 USA

Tour & Activity Deals

Capitol Reef National Park

Experience Utah's National Parks: Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef 6-Day Tour

Salt Lake City
6 days
From $1,899
$
$$$$
Budget
Open Now
Sun 8a-4:30p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
Add to Trip

“a geologic wrinkle on earth!”

Capitol Reef National Park is a United States National Park, in south-central Utah. It is 100 miles long but fairly narrow. The park, established in 1971, preserves 378 mi and is open all year, although May through September are the most popular months. 

Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles.

The area of Capitol Reef has been a homeland to people for thousands of years. Archaic hunters and gatherers migrated through the canyons. Fremont Culture solidified around 500 CE, from food foraging groups, to farmers of corn, beans and squash. Petroglyphs etched in rock walls and painted pictographs remain as sacred remnants of the ancient Indians' saga. Explorers, Mormon pioneers and others arrived in the 1800s, settling in what is now the Fruita Rural Historic District. They planted and nurtured orchards of apples, pears, and peaches.

The geology of the Waterpocket Fold created conditions which allowed unique plant species to evolve here. A total of 887 plant species occur in the park many of which have very restricted distributions, occuring on specific geologic formations, soils, slopes, or elevation or precipitation ranges.

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Reviewed by
pamomlilly

  • 28 Reviews
  • 12 Helpful
January 8, 2016
Rated 5.0

Small Park and no fees. Stop at visitor center for map and junior ranger program and movie to learn about the park.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Stephen Rees

  • Road Warrior
  • 273 Reviews
  • 236 Helpful
September 26, 2014
Rated 5.0

Capitol Reef should be dubbed "Hipster National Park"--it's a really cool park, and you've probably never been to it. Capitol Reef is a little out of the way and really flies beneath the radar (especially compared to other national parks in Utah like Arches, Bryce, or Zion), but it's totally worth checking out. The area is beautiful, and it's free to drive through the park and dig its crazy awesome scenery. The drive in to Capitol Reef along Utah's Highway 24 is also one of the coolest drives I've ever taken.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Kathleen Oanes

  • Road Warrior
  • 79 Reviews
  • 37 Helpful
August 20, 2014
Rated 4.0

My family and I camped one night here. This geologic formation is one great place to go hiking. If you need advice on what to do, there is Visitor Center and they would be more than glad to help you with your hiking plans. They helped us in our hikes. They pointed out several routes that would be suitable for us. We did the Chimney Rock hike. And boy, it was not easy. It was kind of challenging. But the view of the rocks at the end of the hike was really fantastic. This park is surely breathtaking, figuratively and literally speaking. Haha

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 613 Helpful
March 27, 2016
Rated 4.0

This park is loaded with all kinds of offbeat and awesome things to do! Hike Cathedral Valley, visit the Elijah Cutler Behunin cabin (famed outlaw Butch Cassidy frequented Mr. Behunin's house back in the day, and called Robber's Roost, only 70 miles away, home), or just cruise around and take it all in.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
zachsterb

  • 8 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
January 22, 2016
Rated 5.0

I don't know what Stephen Rees is talking about, claiming this place should be referred to as "Hipster NP," but this is my favorite NP in Utah. Much less crowded than the others in the area...and the drive on Hwy 24 should be on every roadtripper's list.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
BrittanyWebb

  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 22, 2015
Rated 5.0

Totally worth the trip. Make sure to stop at the Gifford house for fresh pie. They also sell jams and pickles. So good!!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Gwenyth Jones

  • 8 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
June 20, 2016

We made the mistake of going at noon. Be sure to check out the orchards and custom center.

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Capitol Reef National Park

16 Scenic Dr
Torrey, Utah
84775 USA

Hours

Open now until 4:30 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • No Wifi
  • Private Parking

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