Capitol Reef National Park in South-Central Utah

The Golden Throne in Capitol Reef National Park

The Golden Throne in Capitol Reef National Park

One of Utah’s best-kept secrets, this south-central park preserves unique geology (including the 100-mile-long Waterpocket Fold, a “wrinkle” in the earth’s crust), a preserved Mormon frontier settlement, and vast wilderness ideal for multiday backpacking trips.

Waterpocket Fold as seen from Strike Valley Overlook in Capitol Reef National Park

Waterpocket Fold as seen from Strike Valley Overlook in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef is further defined by a dry and warm climate (be sure to drink plenty of fluids while hiking in the area) and home to miles of slickrock, a geological feature that is a popular mountain biking attraction in places like nearby Moab, Utah. Much of the ground is covered by cyanobacteria, or cryptobiotic soil, a sort of living crust that is integral to the ecosystem…so watch your step!

Cassidy Arch in Capitol Reef National Park. Photo by John Fowler [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

4 Things to See at Capitol Reef National Park

The best viewpoints, trails, and attractions in this under-the-radar park. Read More...

Chimney Rock in Capitol Reef National Park. Courtesy Wayne County, Utah

Capitol Reef Country – Wayne County, Utah

A diversity of landscape like no other in Utah – red rock formations, arches, plateaus, meadows, forests, lush green valleys and astounding deserts. Read More...

Spring sunrise in Fruita. Photo by Wayne Dixon

Capitol Reef Orchards in Fruita

It’s a surprise to see orchards in the desert. The trees were planted by settlers but are now part of the park. See blossoms in spring and pick fruit in fall. Read More...

Factory Butte north of Hanksville, Utah by John Menard [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hanksville, Utah to Capitol Reef National Park Scenic Drive

From Hanksville, a mining and ranching town, through the ghost town of Caineville to see more recent ruins, and on to Capitol Reef National Park Read More...

The Hickman Natural Bridge in Capitol Reef National Park

Natural Rock Arches in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park has over 20 natural arches including the most famous one, Hickman Natural Bridge. Read More...

Official Capitol Reef National Park Map PDF

A very specific and useful map of Capitol Reef National Park showing roads, features, and entrances. Read More...

The white domes of the Navajo formation are stop #10 on the Capitol Reef scenic drive.

Perfect Day in Capitol Reef National Park

Known for its incredible red-rock formations and its fruit orchard, Capitol Reef National Park is a fantastic place to spend a day or more exploring. Read More...

Utah Route 12

Scenic Utah Byway 12 from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef

Car and Driver rated it among ten most scenic highways, Forbes as one of America’s best snowy drives, and Backpacker magazine as a favorite Wild Road. Read More...