Capitol Reef National Park is known for its captivating geology, stunning rock formations, and rich historical significance. Located in south-central Utah, the park encompasses a unique landscape shaped by the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile-long wrinkle in the Earth’s crust.
The park derives its name from the white Navajo Sandstone domes that resemble the United States Capitol building, coupled with the term “reef” that refers to the impassable nature of the Waterpocket Fold. Capitol Reef National Park is renowned for its towering cliffs, narrow canyons, and colorful rock layers, creating a paradise for geology enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Visitors can explore scenic drives, hike along breathtaking trails, and marvel at iconic landmarks such as the Hickman Bridge and the Fruita Historic District. The park also preserves remnants of ancient cultures, including petroglyphs and ruins of the Fremont people, providing a glimpse into the region’s rich human history.
VISIT Capitol Reef National Park:
Capitol Reef National Park was established on August 2, 1937, and has a total area of 241,904 acres (378 square miles, or 979 square kilometers).
|Address||52 West Headquarters Drive, Torrey, UT, 84775|
|Hours||Open year-round, 24 hours a day|
|Entrance Fee||$20 per vehicle, valid for 7 days|
|Learn More||Official Website|
When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation
Capitol Reef National Park is the 66th most visited park in the country.
We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Capitol Reef National Park. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Capitol Reef National Park is.
Our data shows the best months to visit Capitol Reef National Park are June, May, January & February.
Capitol Reef National Park Road Trips
Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Capitol Reef National Park is visited.
|Trip Name||Trip Miles||Trip Days|
|South to North, Arizona to Montana & Saguaro to Glacier||2,120||14|
|Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Staircase–Escalante to Capitol Reef||583||9|
|Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon to Zion||750||10|
|Grand Canyon to Zion National Park||686||9|
Other Nearby National Park Sites
From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Capitol Reef National Park.
|Bryce Canyon National Park||67 mi|
|Natural Bridges National Monument||75 mi|
|Canyonlands National Park||76 mi|
|Rainbow Bridge National Monument||78 mi|
|Glen Canyon National Recreation Area||85 mi|
|Arches National Park||93 mi|
|Cedar Breaks National Monument||99 mi|
|Navajo National Monument||111 mi|
|Zion National Park||121 mi|
|Pipe Spring National Monument||126 mi|
Nearby Campsites & RV Parks
If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Capitol Reef National Park, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.
|Fruita - Capitol Reef National Park||Torrey, UT more||7 miles|
|Lower Bowns||Torrey, UT more||9 miles|
|Singletree||Teasdale, UT more||9 miles|
|Pleasant Creek||Torrey, UT more||11 miles|
|Mix Pad Dispersed||Hanksville, UT more||12 miles|
|Oak Creek||Torrey, UT more||12 miles|
|Cedar Mesa - Capitol Reef National Park||Torrey, UT more||14 miles|
|Swing Arm City OHV Dispersed||Hanksville, UT more||18 miles|
|Coal Mine Wash||Hanksville, UT more||19 miles|
|Horse Canyon - Grand Staircase Nat Mon||Escalante, UT more||19 miles|
Nearest Ski Resorts
For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Capitol Reef National Park:
|Snowbasin||Orangeville, UT||9,350 ft||79%||77 mi|
|Brian Head Resort||Brian Head, UT||10,929 ft||47%||99 mi|
When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Capitol Reef National Park, we've listed the closest airports in the area.
A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Capitol Reef National Park.
|Salt Lake City International Airport||SLC||Salt Lake City, UT||184 mi|
|Harry Reid International Airport||LAS||Las Vegas, NV||264 mi|
|Lake Havasu City International Airport||LHS||Lake Havasu City, AZ||310 mi|
|Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport||PHX||Phoenix, AZ||332 mi|
|Denver International Airport||DEN||Denver, CO||367 mi|
|Ontario International Airport||ONT||Ontario, CA||459 mi|
|Reno–Tahoe International Airport||RNO||Reno, NV||471 mi|
A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Capitol Reef National Park.
|Cedar City Regional Airport||CDC||Cedar City, UT||111 mi|
|Provo-Utah Lake International Airport||PVU||Provo, UT||143 mi|
|Saint George-Southwest Utah International Airport||SGU||St George, UT||151 mi|
|Grand Junction Regional Airport||GJT||Grand Junction, CO||156 mi|
|Grand Canyon National Park Airport||GCN||Grand Canyon - Tusayan, AZ||164 mi|
|Durango-La Plata County Airport||DRO||Durango, CO||200 mi|
|Ogden Hinckley Airport||OGD||Ogden, UT||212 mi|
Credits: Campground data provided by USCampgrounds.info. Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from OurAirports.com. Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.