On the Road - Capitol Reef National Park

One of the less well known national parks, Capitol Reef is often visited only by tourists passing between Bryce NP and Arches NP and even then only the northern route through the park.

Alas, that was our story also.  The very enjoyable detour down the Burr Trail came at the expense of spending more time venturing farther into the 378 square miles of Capitol Reef.  The region is filled with colorful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths.  About 75 mi of the long up-thrust called the Waterpocket Fold is also contained within the park.  We only managed a short visit at Panorama Point at about 4:30 PM.  Much too early for good light.  Although the park is about 100 miles from north to south the highway from east to west is less than 20 miles.

Potential visitors need to be aware that the park has no services other than a visitor center and rest rooms.  Restaurants, groceries, gas and lodging are available in nearby towns along UT-24.  Torrey, the closest, is 8 miles west of the visitors center.

There are over 140 miles of roads in the park, less than 20 miles along UT-24 and a 9 mile scenic loop is paved. The rest are dirt road, much of which requires four wheel drive high clearance vehicles.  Download the park map or get one at the visitors center.  A visitor might also want to look into local jeep tour operators.

I found several guided photo tours listed for Capitol Reef.  A promising site for future reference is http://redrockadventureguides.com/phototours.

Mummy Cliff along UT-24

View From Panorama Point