Whenever hiking, climbing, or driving, your safety depends on your good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant awareness. Your safety is your responsibility.
Steep Cliffs & Slick Conditions
Falls from cliffs on trails can result in death. Loose sand or pebbles on stone are very slippery. Be careful of edges when using cameras or binoculars. Never throw or roll rocks. There may be hikers below you. Learn more about hiking safely.
The desert is an extreme environment. Carry enough water, one gallon per person per day. Drinking water is available at the visitor center, picnic area, and campground. Do not drink untreated water. Do no drink water from the sprinklers.
Flash floods can be caused by run-off from intense, localized thunderstorms that drop a large amount of rain over a short period of time. They are most common in July, August, and September, but can occur at any time of the year. Check the visitor center for current weather conditions, and look at the forecast before you hike in canyons. Learn more about Monsoon Safety.
Capitol Reef's roads are used by vehicles, bicycles, walkers, and even wildlife. Obey posted speed limits. Unless otherwise posted, the maximum speed limit is 25 mph (radar enforced).
Canyoneering & Rock Climbing
Canyoneering and rock climbing (permits required) are inherently dangerous activities. Groups should fully research the intended route and be prepared for unknown obstacles. Many canyons require full commitment once started and escape is often not possible.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses more fluid than is taken in. Signs of heat exhaustion include:
If a member of your party begins to experience any of these symptoms, stop your hike immediately. Find a cool, shady area and have the victim rest with his feet up to distribute fluids throughout his body. It is important to drink fluids, but it is also important to eat. While suffering from heat exhaustion, drinking fluids without eating can lead to a potentially dangerous condition of low blood salt. If heat exhaustion symptoms persist, seek medical help.
Heat stroke is an advanced stage of heat exhaustion. It is the body's inability to cool itself. Symptoms include:
If you believe that a member of your party is suffering from heat stroke, it is imperative to cool them using any available means and obtain mmediate medical assistance.
Hypothermia occurs when the body is cooled to dangerous levels. To prevent hypothermia, avoid cotton clothing (it provides no insulation when wet) and eat high energy food before you are chilled. The signs of hypothermia include:
If you recognize any of these signs, stop hiking and immediately replace wet clothing with dry clothing. Warm the victim with your own body and a warm drink, and shelter the individual from breezes. A pre-warmed sleeping bag will also prevent further heat loss.
Hand-held fruit pickers and ladders are provided to aid in picking. Never climb the trees to pick fruit! Be sure the ladder is on firm, level ground with the third leg fully extended and the chains pulled tight. Do not stand on the top three rungs and avoid leaning to either side while picking. Children should not use ladders unsupervised.
Firearms are permitted in Capitol Reef National Park. As of February 22, 2010, a federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under federal, Utah, and local laws, to possess firearms in the park. It is the visitor's responsibility to understand and comply with all applicable Utah local and federal firearm laws. If you have questions please contact the park at (435) 425-3791 or visit Laws & Policies for more information. The discharge, display, brandishing or any indiscriminate use of firearms (including hunting) within the park is strictly prohibited.
Last updated: March 26, 2020