For Teachers

A ranger stands in front of an iPad, pointing at the cliffs in the background
A ranger presenting a distance learning program to students

NPS / A. Huston

Distance Education

Learn about Capitol Reef National Park from your classroom!

The park generally offers distance learning programs from November through the end of February. Distance learning programs are typically 30-45 minutes long. They generally cover geology and are geared toward elementary school students. However, other program topics are available as well as programs geared toward middle school and high school students.

Distance learning programs are available Tuesday through Thursday. Morning programs are offered between 9:00 am and 11:00 am Mountain time and afternoon programs are offered between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm Mountain time.

Students join a park ranger out in the park, with the landscape as a backdrop, to learn about the geology, ecology or human history of Capitol Reef.

To request a distance learning program for your classroom or if you have questions on our education program, please email us! When requesting a distance learning program, please let us know what topic you are interested in and provide the top three best times and dates for your program. Please also inform us if your classroom has any accessbility needs.


Planning a field trip to Capitol Reef?

Contact us!

Ranger-led curriculum programs are generally offered from approximately mid-November through the end of February. To request a ranger-led curriculum program, please email us.

Please know parking and space are limited so it may be useful to inform the park of your visit even if you won't have a ranger lead your class. We may be able to assist by letting you know of any potential conflicts with other school groups. It is also possible your group may need a special use permit.

The following suggestions may help you to plan a safe and rewarding educational experience at Capitol Reef. Please review the following with your group. Have a safe and enjoyable visit!


Bus parking is limited and in high demand due to school group visits and private bus tours. Busses can park at the picnic area as well as along the road between the Ripple Rock Nature Center and the picnic area. Please consider informing the park of your visit with the number of students, busses, and the date. Park staff hope reduce congestion in the park and can inform you if there are potential conflicts. You can limit congestion by carpooling.

A ranger and visitors at a viewpoint on the Hickman Bridge trail
A ranger and visitors at a viewpoint on the Hickman Bridge trail

NPS photo/C. Roundtree

Visitor Center

The park visitor center has museum exhibits and an 18-minute orientation movie (also available online).


Flush toilets and sinks are located at the visitor center and picnic area. Vault toilets are located at many trailheads. There are no facilities on the trails, so use the restrooms before you hike.

Picnic Area

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. Please do not feed or approach wildlife, such as marmots and deer.

Cultural Resources

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. A pioneer Blacksmith Shop exhibit, located on the Scenic Drive near the picnic area, is also open to the public.


Explore the park's geology and natural history by going for a hike! There are many short hiking trails to choose from. Please see the Fruita Area Map and Guide for a list of the trails, distances, and difficulty. This will help you decide which hike may be best for your students. Suggested hikes for all ages are Grand Wash or Capitol Gorge.


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.

Fourth Graders?

Fourth grade students currently qualify for the free Every Kid Outdoors pass. This pass gets the student and their family into National Parks for free while they are in 4th grade. If you would like to get each student a pass while you visit the park, please visit the Every Kid Outdoors website to print the certificate for each student. Large school groups should contact our fee program office a month in advance to ensure there are enough passes for the day of your visit.

Fee Waivers

Fee waivers are available for groups traveling for educational purposes. Fee waiver requests must be submitted at least two weeks prior to your visit. Qualifications for fee waivers can be found on the Fee Waiver Application. Fill out sections 1, 2, and 5 and email, mail, or fax completed form to Capitol Reef National Park. If you have any questions, please contact the Fee Office during normal business hours at (435) 425-4173 or email the Fee Office.

map of the Fruita Historic District
Map of the Historic Fruita District to aid in planning your visit.

Last updated: February 23, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

HC 70, Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775


Recorded park information available 24 hours a day. Phones are answered when staff is available. If no one answers, please leave a message, your call will be returned. Questions may also be sent to

Contact Us