News Release

National Park Service Seeks Input for the Proposed Rehabilitation of Scenic Drive

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Date: June 13, 2023
Contact: Capitol Reef National Park

The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is seeking public input on a proposed project to rehabilitate the Scenic Drive and multiple parking lots in Capitol Reef National Park. 

Many of the park’s parking lots were originally designed and built in the 1960s when the park received about 160,000 visitors per year. Currently, more than 1.2 million visitors experience Capitol Reef National Park annually and improvements are needed for park infrastructure to accommodate the increased visitation. Parking lots are routinely overcrowded, resulting in visitors parking along adjacent roadways causing resource and safety concerns. The parking lot at Chimney Rock Trailhead and Scenic Drive shows signs of pavement cracking, shoulder erosion, and damage to various drainage structures. 

The project seeks to expand parking capacity and delineation of parking spots; improve drainage due to the area’s flood-prone landscape; widen roads especially in tight curve areas; and make accessibility improvements including additional accessible parking spaces, sidewalks, and low-slope grading. To complete this work, Scenic Drive would be closed for construction from approximately April to October 2024. The visitor center parking lot would be partially closed, and the Chimney Rock parking lot would be closed in the spring or fall 2024. 

Capitol Reef National Park conducted investigations to identify possible cultural and natural resource impacts due to the proposed project. Proposed improvements may result in adverse effects to the Capitol Reef Mission 66 District and the Scenic Drive Cultural Landscape. A draft memorandum of agreement to address resolution of impacts to the district is included in the materials in the below link. 

The project website provides project information about the proposed improvements, project design, and the draft Memorandum of Agreement to address impacts to cultural resources. 

A virtual meeting will be held on June 21, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom at; Webinar ID: 811 8131 5206 

or join by phone (toll free): 1-877-853-5247; call in passcode: 311321 

Comments can be submitted anytime online before July 6, 2023, at, or written comments can be submitted by mail and must be postmarked by June 30, 2023, to: 

Attn: Rehabilitate Scenic Drive and Multiple Parking Lots 
HC70 Box 15, Torrey, Utah 84775 

Last updated: June 13, 2023

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HC 70, Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775


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