Capitol Reef National Park is located in southern Utah, encompassing the Fruita Historic District and a nearby scenic drive. Capitol Reef is known for its sweeping sandstone landscapes including features such as Capitol Dome, Navajo Formation and Chimney Rock, a 400 foot tall sandstone pillar.
Camping in Capitol Reef National Park
There is a developed campsite available inside the park in Fruita Historic District. Camping costs $20 and requires an advanced online reservation. The National Park itself is long and narrow and is just a few miles drive from either entrance to BLM land or National Forest where there is free dispersed camping, with no services.
Driving and hiking the scenic route of Capitol Reef
One of our favorite things to do in Capitol Reef is drive along the eight mile one-way scenic drive. Entrance to the national park is free, but if you would like to enjoy the scenic drive and its many viewpoints, it costs $15 per car.
Our favorite easy hikes were Goosenecks, Sunset point, and Capitol Gorge. Goosenecks has stunning and dramatic views of the canyons while Sunset point is obviously best point in the Capitol Reef to watch the sunset and take panoramic photography.
In Capitol Gorge you will be hiking into a deep canyon and find petroglyphs along the way, and on towards the tanks, water pockets. Grand Wash Trail is also an easy hike that goes through canyons and narrows.
To reach the Goosenecks Overlook the 0.2 miles round trip trail is more of a walk with an elevation of less than 50 feet. Sunset Point is a 0.8 miles round trip trail with a similar elevation than the Goosenecks trail.
If you are more of an adventure type of hiker we recommend you to go to Cassidy Arch, Chimney Rock Loop and The Golden Throne. All three hikes are considered strenuous.
Cassidy Arch, a 3.4 mile roundtrip (5.6 km) hike with an elevation gain of 670 ft (204 m) offers slickrock, canyon views and of course the natural Cassidy Arch. If the hike is too strenuous for you, consider going to the viewpoint half a mile before the start of the trail.
Chimney Rock Loop
Chimney Rock Loop, a 3.6 mi roundtrip (3.6 km) with a 590 ft (180 m) elevation gain has beautiful panoramas of water pocket fold cliffs and it is also another great place to watch the sunset.
The Golden Throne
The Golden Throne, one of Steven’s favorite hike, is a 4 mile round trip (6.4 km) with an 730 ft (223 m) elevation gain trail has a beautiful panoramic view of the Capitol Gorge and the Golden Throne. The changing sky and clouds at the top give this formation a golden glow worth waiting for.
Exploring the historic district of Fruita
At the center of Capitol Reef National park the charming historic district of Fruita. While you are exploring Fruita you need to stop by the Gifford House and try one of the delicious fresh pies and homemade ice cream. It is the perfect treat to end your day of hiking and adventure.
More Inspiring Photos from Capitol Reef National Park
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