Capitol Reef Park Info
VISITATION: Approximately 706,000, primarily between April and October. Visitation is the highest April through June, September and October; lowest in January.
OPERATING HOURS AND SEASONS: The park and campgrounds are open year round. The Visitor Center is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with extended hours during the summer season.
CLIMATE: Summer tempertures often climb into the upper 90s (F), but nights cool down into the 50s (F) and 60s (F). The thunderstorm season from July through September brings cloudbursts, flash floods and lightning. Spring and fall are milder with highs generally in the 50s (F) and 60s (F). Daytime winter highs average less than 50 (F). Snowfall is usually light, especially at lower elevations. Humidity is low all year.
Capitol Reef National Park has an arid climate with precipitation averaging just 7.2 inches annually at the park Visitor Center weather station.
DIRECTIONS: The park is located in south-central Utah. From Green River, Utah, take Hwy 24 west through Hanksville; from Richfield, take Hwy 24 east through the communities of Loa, Lyman, Bicknell and Torrey.
In Park: Personal vehicle, biking, hiking.
FEES: The fee for entering the Scenic Drive is $5. There is no charge for the Scenic Drive for holders of Golden Eagle, Golden Age or Golden Access passes. Campsites in the 70 site Fruita Campground are $10 per night and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Group Campground, on a reservation basis, is $3 per person per night with a minimum charge of $50.
FACILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES: There are no lodging facilities in the park.
RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES/PARK USE: The park is always open, but Visitor Center hours vary with the season. Activities include: Auto tours, interpretive exhibits and programs, picnicking, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking on established roads, and rock climbing.
RESERVATIONS / PERMITS: We take reservations for our group campground ONLY. Backcountry hiking permits are required for overnight stays in areas outside park campgrounds, and are free. These can be obtained at the park visitor center.
BASIC VISIT RECOMMENDATIONS:
Visitor Center Exhibits: Located at Utah Hwy 24, the visitor center museum offers an overview of park features and includes exhibits on geology, archeology, and history as well as a short orientation slide program. A variety of brochures, books, and maps are available for sale. Rangers are on duty to answer questions and provide information including travel and trail information, road conditions and weather updates.
Trails, Roadways: The park is a haven for backcountry hiking. Many trails are available for people of all abilities and time constraints. Capitol Reef also has a number of scenic roadways, many of them unpaved, that can be taken to all corners of the park. Please contact the Visitor Center to ask about specific trails and/or roads.
Programs, Activities: Summer walks, talks, and evening campfire programs. Kids, become a Junior Ranger or explore the park with a Family Fun Pack.
Lodging and Camping Facilities: The Fruita Campground contains 70 sites; 7 sites are for tents only. The remaining sites can accommodate RVs, but there are no hookups. There are also two primitive campgrounds, each with pit toilets, fire grates, and picnic tables (no water).
Although there are no lodging facilities in the park, there are surrounding cities with everything from lodging, private campgrounds with RV hookups, restaurants, and tour outfitters, to local attractions and events.
Food and Supplies: None inside the park. Convenience marts and grocery stores are located in Torrey, Bicknell, and Loa, west of the Visitor Center on Utah Hwy 24.
Harvest Homecoming: Held on a Friday in mid to late September, Harvest Homecoming celebrates the pioneer legacy and fruit harvest of Capitol Reef. Watch as traditional craftspeople demonstrate skills ranging from soapmaking to tinsmithing. Learn about Native American culture or hear stories of the Mormon pioneer settlement. Reenact a day in the life of a student at the Fruita schoolhouse. Come celebrate the crafts, skills and talents of turn of the century pioneers whose isolation required self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Contact the Visitor Center for the date and events schedule of Harvest Homecoming.
Visitor Safety: Capitol Reef is subject to flash flooding from late June through early October. Flash floods can leave you stranded in a canyon or on a backcountry road. Please check with the park’s automated phone system at 435-425-3791 for recorded messages on up-to-date weather and road conditions before you embark to the backcountry.