Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

“In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks. ” – John Muir

Hiking around Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park wasn’t on our original itinerary for our Utah parks trip, but when we realized it was not too far out of the way between Moab (the town near Arches and Canyonlands) and our next stop, Bryce Canyon National Park, we headed that way to check it out. 

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

The Drive: Moab —>  Capitol Reef —> Bryce Canyon

We left Moab and drove through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The scenery was breathtaking. After leaving Capitol Reef we drove all of Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 to get to the very small town of Bryce Canyon. Some areas of this drive were the most remote I may have ever been.

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

Capitol Gorge Trail

After leaving the visitor’s center, we drove the whole Scenic Drive through the park and then drove down a short dirt road to the Capitol Gorge trail, a great one-mile hike between two canyon walls. It was one of my favorite hikes of our Utah parks trip.

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

Pioneer Registry and Petroglyphs

We saw both petroglyphs and and a “Pioneer Registry” at the park. The Pioneer Registry was part of the Capitol Gorge hike. The gorge used to be the the only road to town, and the pioneers would carve their names into the canyon walls on their way to town.

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

 

Fruita

The tiny Mormon settlement of Fruita is part of Capitol Reef National Park. Some of the historic buildings, like the schoolhouse, are still standing. They also have orchards — you can pick fruit from the orchards when it’s in season.

EXPLORE MORE  Snowshoeing at Mt. Rainier

I recommend buying homemade pie and coffee at the Gifford Homestead!

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

INTERESTED IN VISITING THE PARKS IN UTAH?

VisitUtah.com has  published several itinerary options for visiting Utah’s “Mighty 5” National Parks.

See my pictures from:


Capitol Reef National Park, Utah | Road Trips and Skymiles Blog

3 thoughts on “Capitol Reef National Park

  1. Gabby says:

    Well, it looks like I might be making a trip to visit the Utah parks this year! We’d likely be going in September/October. I’ve read all of your posts but any additional tips/itineraries would be super helpful! Did you camp or stay in hotels?

    • eblanton says:

      Yay! You’ll have such a great time. We stayed in hotels, but if I were to go back in spring or fall I think I’d try camping in or just outside Canyonlands (lots of state park options in the area, it looked like). Bryce Canyon has a lodge and I would’ve loved to stay there if it wasn’t already full when we planned our trip!

    • eblanton says:

      Oh, one other tip: stop somewhere for snacks and maybe non-perishable lunch food before you leave civilization! Bryce Canyon has food inside the park but the other 3 have nothing so you have to get back to town for lunch if you don’t have it with you, which isn’t always convenient on a hike day!

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