Things To Do


Whether you have a couple hours or multiple days, Capitol Reef is full of opportunities to recreate. The park has something to offer to all visitors. Below are some ideas to get started and suggested itineraries.

Black and white photo of old fashioned car meeting two wagons pulled by horses in a narrow canyon.
Road Tours

Explore Capitol Reef by vehicle.

RVs, tents, cars, and vans in a green, shaded campground, with some fall colors.

With one developed campground, two primitive campgrounds, and vast backcountry options, there are many places to stay the night in the park.

Hikers looking at the rock walls on the Capitol Gorge trail
Hiking Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef is a hiker's dream. Learn more about the trails and routes.

Packhorse and person by wooden fence in a large canyon
Outdoor Activities

Most of the park's 243,921 acres is open for exploration. Try hiking, wildlife-viewing, horseback riding, or rock climbing.

Ranger presenting program to visitors at Capitol Reef National Park
Ranger Programs

Join a ranger to discover more about the natural and cultural wonders of Capitol Reef.

Tree with green leaves, light greenish red pears in front of a log building with rocky slopes behind
Explore Fruita

Whether you have half a day or more, spend your time exploring the Fruita area by car or on foot.

Blue sky, large white slopes, with red triangular shaped rocks below, green grass in the foreground
Waterpocket District

Experience the less-visited, southern part of Capitol Reef, where the dramatic angle of the Waterpocket Fold is on display.

Large red, triangular monolith, reflected in a puddle, with blue sky above, and red rock to the side
Cathedral Valley District

The remote and rugged northern part of Capitol Reef offers adventurous visitors solitude and spectacular views.

Volunteer saying Junior Ranger pledge with three children and an adult.
For Kids

Capitol Reef offers activities for people of all ages. Check out these ideas!

Visitor picking fruit in an orchard open for picking

Historic orchards contain about 2,000 trees including cherry, apricot, peach, pear, apple, plum, mulberry, almond, and walnut.

Black and white long-haired dog with a woman walking it and another dog on a leash.

Where can you take your pet in Capitol Reef National Park?

Maps & Brochures

Plan your visit with maps and information about Capitol Reef.

Visitors in the bookstore operated by the Capitol Reef Natural History Association

The Capitol Reef Natural History Association operates the bookstore in the Capitol Reef Visitor Center.

Person rapelling down redrock cliff wall with blue sky above.

Find out what permits you need for special activities, like canyoneering, rock climbing, commercial tours, and others.


Suggested Itineraries

Below are some suggested ways to spend your time. If you have:

One or Two Hours:

One Day:

Several Days:

  • Combine several day trip options.

  • Hike the shorter trails and routes in the South/Waterpocket District or North/Cathedral Valley.

  • Enjoy the park's pristine night sky by stargazing. Night sky charts are available at the visitor center.
  • Backpack into remote areas of the park and experience solitude and quiet. Check for current weather, road, and trail conditions at the visitor center. A free backcountry permit is required for overnight backcountry use.

Public Lands within 5 hours drive of Capitol Reef:

Anasazi State Park Museum (~1 hour drive)
Arches National Park (~3 hour drive)
Bryce Canyon National Park (~3 hour drive)
Canyonlands National Park (~3 hour drive)
Dixie National Forest (~1 hour drive, or more, depending on destination)
Fishlake National Forest (~1 hour drive, or more, depending on destination)
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (~1 hour drive, or more, depending on destination)
Goblin Valley State Park (~1.5 hour drive)
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (~1 hour drive, or more, depending on destination)
Hovenweep National Monument (~3.5 hour drive)
Natural Bridges National Monument (~2.5 hour drive)
Zion National Park (~5 hour drive)
And many Utah State Parks

Check for alerts before you visit other Utah parks.

Last updated: February 13, 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