Capitol Reef National Park and Vicinity

Mule deer graze in the orchards near Capitol Reef’s Fruita Campground. Partridges and marmots coexist in some of the park’s tumbled rock ridges.

One of the nation’s few remaining free-roaming herds of bison can be observed in the Henry Mountains near Hanksville. In 1941, eighteen head of bison from Yellowstone National Park were transplanted to the Burr Desert south of Goblin Valley. Another five bison were added to the herd in 1942. In 1960, a brucellosis outbreak thinned their numbers. The bison migrated further south to the Henry Mountains in eastern Garfield County. Today, the herd has a managed population of approximately 400 animals ranging across the 11,000-foot desert and mountain terrain throughout the year. An annual hunt is held every year to help regulate the herd, with only 25 permits available. Last year, more than 1,000 hunters applied for the 25 permits.

Capitol Reef Country (800-858-7951 can provide more information on this area.

St. George and Vicinity

A northern extension of the Mojave Desert in the southwest corner of Utah forms the habitat base for Lytle Ranch Preserve. This is the only place in Utah to view such species as vermilion, flycatcher, white winged dove, Gambel’s quail, and cactus wren. The site is also home to the desert tortoise and a variety of reptiles.

The Color Country Travel Region (800-233-8824) can provide more information on this area.