Capitol Reef National Park is characterized by sandstone formations, cliffs and canyons, and a 100-mile long bulge in the earth’s crust called the Waterpocket Fold. Erosion has carved the rock into marvelous shapes. Since its designation as a national park in 1971, the majesty of Capitol Reef has been intriguing visitors with its twisting canyons, massive domes, monoliths and spires of sandstone for the past century.
Capitol Reef National Park offers marvelous scenery, hiking trails, historic sites including a deserted pioneer town, and unique geology and plant life. You can also find amazing rock art from the ancient Fremont Indian culture. Capitol Reef matches the wonder of nearbyÂ All American Road Scenic Byway 12.
A destination of extraordinary beauty and solitude, Capitol Reef offers a less-crowded alternative for national park visitors. Other nearby attractions includeÂ Goblin Valley State ParkÂ andÂ Fish Lake.
Top 10 Things to do while in the area.
- In Capitol Reef National Park – See the cliffs, canyons and domes along Hwy. 24, and along the Park’s Scenic Drive. View Capitol Dome (named after the U.S. Capitol Building), the park’s old orchards and historic buildings. Consider driving into the park’s backcountry for more superb scenery and hiking opportunities.
- All American Hwy 12 – Enjoy spectacular views overlooking Capitol Reef while driving Hwy 12 along the edge of Boulder Mountain.
- Hiking Trails – Explore exciting trails like Grand Wash, Hickman Bridge, Halls Creek Narrows, Brimhall Double Arch and many others.
- Burr Trail – Drive this extremely scenic road, which stretches from the town of Boulder down through Capitol Reef National Park and into the Bullfrog area at Lake Powell.
- Fish Lake – This high mountain lake is set in a beautiful forest. It offers very good fishing, excellent campgrounds, lodges and summer home sites. The area is also popular for riding ATVs and snowmobiling.
- Petroglyphs – Study the rock art along Hwy. 24, located 1.5 miles east of the visitor center.
- Cathedral Valley – Drive or bike through this remote and less visited area of the park.
- Goblin Valley – Kids love playing in this valley, which is filled with rocks shaped like goblins and animals and monsters and various phantoms. Located off Hwy 24, about 32 miles from Hanksville.
- Boulder Mountain and adjacent Thousand Lake Mountain – Explore thes high mountain areas located west of Cathedral Valley.
- Torrey (west gateway) and Hanksville (east gateway) – Pamper yourself by enjoying the facilities and visitor services offered in these quaint communities, which serve as gateways to the national park.