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.

What is better Canyonlands or Capitol Reef? If you need to choose one or the other, Canyonlands wins hands down (there is a reason why Capitol Reef is not that crowded). I would even say that if you can add one more day to your trip, spending it in Canyonlands is still a better choice than going to Capitol Reef.

Consequently, Why do people go to Capitol Reef? Capitol Reef, often an overlooked national park, is full of many wonderful surprises. With an amazing scenic drive, hiking trails that rival those in Zion, rugged, remote areas to explore by 4×4, short, easy slot canyons, historical landmarks, and even delicious pie, this national park is absolutely amazing.

Does Capitol Reef require reservations? There is no reservation or timed-entry ticket needed to enter Capitol Reef National Park. The park is busy in spring through fall and it can be difficult to find parking at popular trailheads.


How busy is Capitol Reef?

Over 4,000 people backpacked in Capitol Reef in 2019. The bulk of these trips were March through May and in October. Over the last five years, an average of 850 people backpacked in March, 610 in April, 810 in May, and 376 in October.

What is the most beautiful park in Utah? Top 10 Most Beautiful Parks in Utah

  • Arches National Park, Moab. …
  • Canyonlands National Park, Moab. …
  • Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey. …
  • Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon. …
  • Zion National Park, Springdale. …
  • Antelope Island State Park, Syracuse. …
  • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Kanab. …
  • Kodachrome Basin State Park, Cannonville.

Which is better Zion or Capitol Reef? Unlike Zion, however, it also provides plenty of solitude, especially for those willing to navigate its unpaved roads and twisting canyons. Capitol Reef logged 1.2 million visits in 2018 — nearly a quarter of Zion’s visitation numbers — and at 245,000 acres, it’s nearly 60 percent bigger than Zion.

Is Arches or Bryce Canyon better? While Arches is very similar to Bryce Canyon in outdoor activities, Arches will be a better destination for most mountain bikers and four wheel-drive enthusiasts. Arches is a little dryer climate and does not have near the water (lake, ponds, reservoirs) it does have the Colorado river just a stone throw away.

What can you do on the Capitol Reef in one day?

With one day in Capitol Reef, here are the best things to see and do:

  1. Drive Highway 24 through the park.
  2. Take in the view from Panorama Point.
  3. Visit Sunset Point.
  4. See the petroglyphs.
  5. Drive Capitol Reef Scenic Drive.
  6. Hike to Hickman Bridge and/or Cassidy Arch.
  7. Stroll through the Grand Wash.
  8. Have pie at the Gifford Homestead.

How long is the Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef? The Scenic Drive is a 7.9 mile (12.7 km) paved road, suitable for passenger vehicles. Allot about an hour and half roundtrip to drive the Scenic Drive and the two dirt spur roads, Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge.

What is there to do in Capitol Reef in winter?

12 Things to Do This Winter in Capitol Reef National Park

  1. Hike the Waterpocket Fold. …
  2. Take an ATV Guided Tour. …
  3. Take a Scenic Drive on Cathedral Road. …
  4. Horseback Riding Along Robbers Roost. …
  5. Stroll Along Grand Wash Trail. …
  6. Take a Selfie with Cassidy Arch in the Background. …
  7. Wildlife Watching.

Can you do Capitol Reef a day? There are several different ways that you can spend one day in Capitol Reef. For some people, “one day” might mean a very quick visit, as you tour Capitol Reef while driving between two different locations in Utah. Or, you might have more time, with one or two overnight stays near the park.

Can you camp anywhere in Capitol Reef?

All of the campgrounds in Capitol Reef, with the exception of the Fruita Group Campsite, are open year round making a trip any time of year possible. However, keep in mind that it may be difficult to reach the Cathedral Valley and Cedar Mesa campgrounds during inclement weather.

Is Capitol Reef open right now?

Capitol Reef is a 24 hour park, open all day, every day. The visitor center is open daily, except for some major holidays.

What should I bring to Capitol Reef National Park? Capitol Reef National Park is located near Torrey, Utah.


  • First-aid kit: Much of the trails in Capitol Reef are rough rock, and a small first-aid kit is a great thing to have. …
  • Cash: If you want to pick some of the fresh fruit in Fruita, then you may want to bring some cash.

Is there a shuttle in Capitol Reef? Shuttle services are offered to the public, guest staying at Capitol Reef Resort, customers of the Llama Adventures, horseback rides, and business needing help transporting supplies, equipment or staff members.

What is the least visited National Park in Utah?

Canyonlands National Park is a gorgeous landscape made up of desert, mountains, canyons, and rivers. Of the state’s five national parks, it is the least visited, with 2019 seeing fewer than 750,000 visitors throughout the entire year.

Is Arches or Zion better? Zion probably has the more adventurous hiking options. Dead even on scenic splendor (Bryce Canyon and Arches are each simple amazing). Do one trip this year and the other next year! The Moab area would be more uniform in terms of weather.

What is the most visited National Park in Utah?

Zion National Park, Utah’s first national park, was established in 1919 and ranks as the state’s most-visited park today.

Does Capitol Reef get crowded? Although Capitol Reef National Park does not see the same levels of crowds as Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches national parks, the park does get busy during the summer months and on spring and fall weekends.

How crowded is Capitol Reef?

Backpacking is a popular activity, and some routes could feel crowded. Over 4,000 people backpacked in Capitol Reef in 2019. The bulk of these trips were March through May and in October. Over the last five years, an average of 850 people backpacked in March, 610 in April, 810 in May, and 376 in October.

Which is better Zion or Bryce? Both of these Parks offer great outdoor activities for all ages. For canyoneering and rappelling, Zion beats Bryce. You’ll find world-class hiking in either Park, but in Zion you can find yourself hiking through streams or on sandstone ledges, like Angels Landing – one of the scariest hikes in the world!

Which Southern Utah National Park is the best?

  • Utah National Parks Ranking System.
  • Utah National Park #1: Zion National Park.
  • Utah National Park #2: Arches National Park.
  • Utah National Park #3: Bryce Canyon National Park.
  • Utah National Park #4 Canyonlands National Park.
  • Utah National Park #5: Capitol Reef National Park.
  • Tips For Visiting Utah National Parks.


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