Capitol Reef National Park – Utah

Capitol Reef National Park

It’s National Park Week and we are exploring a new park (to us)! Capitol Reef National Park surrounds a 100-mile-long “wrinkle in the earth” known as the Waterpocket Fold and is located in south central Utah. It is part of Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks which also include Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, and Zion. If you love to escape the crowds, this park is for you!

Top Things To Do – Capitol Reef National Park

Get homemade pies and cinnamon rolls at the Gifford Homestead!! The pie is homemade from fruit grown in the orchards. The green orchards among the red rocks is so beautiful. Get there early because the pie goes fast! It’s the best pie I’ve ever tasted. So fresh and delicious! Our favorite flavor was the strawberry rhubarb.

After pie, explore the Historic Fruita District. There are historic buildings, the visitor center, campground, and many hikes and trails. Eight families lived in the Fruita District until 1969 (Capitol Reef became a National Park in 1971) and lived completely off the land including the orchards and drinking unfiltered water from the Fremont River. There have been people living in this area for thousands of years as you will see by the petroglyphs below and they believe the first Latter Day Saints settler in this specific area was around 1879. At that time it was known as Junction and mail was delivered to the Fremont Cottonwood tree (“mail tree”), which still stands today.

Scenic Byway 24

Drive Scenic Byway 24 – This is the main road that runs through the park and the views are breathtaking. Some of the top sights along this route are Panorama Point, Sunset Point, and Goosenecks Overlook.

See the Petroglyphs carved by the Fremont Culture in the 300-1300 Common Era. The more you look, the more you will see.

We stayed at Rim Rock Inn located in Torrey, Utah at the entrance to the park. It’s a great location! There are regular hotel rooms and individual cabins. We loved the cabins, the view is incredible. The cabins are super spacious with cool antique furniture and are dog-friendly. There is a very good restaurant onsite plus an awesome bar/patio with outdoor patio with live music.

There’s so much more- we only had one day to visit so this barely scratches the surface. There are a lot of scenic drives and hikes to do in this park. I can’t wait to go back and explore more! 

While in Southern Utah, another fantastic drive is Cottonwood Canyon Road at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Read more HERE. Life is short, find what stirs your soul. ❤️

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I'm a freelance content creator and photographer. My passion is telling stories through my photography and writing. Freelancing has allowed me to fulfill my dream of traveling alongside my freelancing husband and our rescue dog. We share our experiences on our blog offering inspiration for life and travel. We hope to stir your soul from our backyard in Minnesota to road trippin’ the US!

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