PLANNING A FIELD TRIP TO CAPITOL REEF?
The following suggestions will help you to plan a safe and rewarding educational experience at Capitol Reef. Please review the following with your group. You can schedule a short Ranger Orientation Program and slide show viewing for your students at the visitor center by contacting the park's education outreach specialist by phone at (435) 425-4112 or by e-mail. Enjoy your visit!
The park visitor center has museum exhibits and an eighteen minute movie. Your group can be scheduled for ranger-led orientation presentation.
Be sure to visit the one-room Historic Fruita Schoolhouse, the Behunin Cabin, and the Fremont Culture Petroglyphs, located along Utah Highway 24. The Historic Gifford Homestead, located on the Scenic Drive, is open seasonally. Arrangements may be made for a guided tour of the farmhouse or the schoolhouse for your group. A pioneer Blacksmith Shop exhibit, located on the Scenic Drive near the picnic area, is also open to the public.
Facilities are located at the visitor center, picnic area, some trailheads, at the park's east entrance along Utah Highway 24, and in the campground (please do not trespass through campsites). There are no facilities on the trails, so use the restrooms before you hike.
The picnic area, located on the Scenic Drive south of the visitor center, is open to all visitors. Picnic tables, metal grills, a drinking fountain, and shaded grassy areas are available. Parking is generally adequate for busses.
Capitol Reef National Park has been set aside by Congress to be preserved for future generations because of its valuable resources. Inform your students that everything in the national park is protected, from rocks to wildflowers to wild animals. Respect wildlife. Stay on designated trails only. Dispose of trash properly. Leave no trace.
SPECIAL RESOURCE CONCERNS
Biological soil crust is vital to the health of desert ecosystems, and one misstep kills decades of growth. Take time to read the display in the visitor center and keep your students single-file on the trails. Mule Deer offer students an exciting opportunity to see large wild animals up close. Help them to maintain a healthy respect for people; keep a 30 foot (9.1 m) distance and do not feed or touch any animal in the park. Collecting of any kind is prohibited in the park. Pretty rocks, wildflowers or objects are not souvenirs, but treasures for the next person to enjoy and learn from. Leave the park in the same or better condition than you found it.
Educational Group Fee Waivers are available to groups traveling the Scenic Drive for educational purposes. Requests must be submitted two weeks prior to your visit. Applications can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact the Fee Office during normal business hours at (435) 425-3791.
Did You Know?
Desert bighorn sheep, once common in the Capitol Reef area, were reintroduced in 1996 and 1997, and have since thrived here. Visitors have reported seeing them in Capitol Gorge, Grand Wash, and along the Fremont River corridor.