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Capitol Reef National Park

Google Map Coordinates: Latitude: 38.310001 / Longitude: -111.370003

There are three campgrounds located within the park, but only Fruita campground is developed. All sites at the Fruita Campground are first come, first serve, with the exception of the Group Campsite.

The Fruita Campground is often described as an oasis within the desert. Adjacent to the Fremont River and surrounded by historic orchards, this developed campground has 71 RV/tent sites, each with a picnic table and grill, but no individual water. Sewage or electrical hook-ups. An RV dump station, located near the entrance to Loops A and B, is open during the summer. Restrooms are heated and feature running water and flush toilets, but not showers. The nightly fee is $10.00, or $5.00 for Golden Age/Senior Pass and Golden Access/Access Pass holders. An accessible site is located in Loop B adjacent to the restroom.

Open year-round, the Fruita Campground is the only developed campground in Capitol Reef National Park and as a result often fills by early to mid-afternoon during the spring through fall seasons. Sites are first-come, first-served and self-serve, and campground hosts (located at the beginning of Loop A) are available to assist you during the summer season. We do not take reservations.

Group Site is available by reservation and can accommodate a maximum of 40 people.

Group Campsite Reservations
Capitol Reef National Park
HC 70, Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775
Or faxed to 435-425-3026

Other Campgrounds at Capitol Reef National Park

Cathedral Valley Campground
The campground is located 36 miles from the Visitor Center, about halfway on the Cathedral Valley loop road. It is a primitive campground with no-fee and has six sites. There is a pit toilet, but no water is available. Although the campground is open year round, visitors should check with the Visitor Center prior to planning an overnight stay. No reservations; first-come, first-served.

Cedar Mesa Campground
The Cedar Mesa Campground is located about 35 miles south of the Utah State Highway 24, and is at 5,500 feet in elevation. This primitive, no-fee campground has five sites. It includes a pit toilet, but no water is available. Although the campground is open year round, visitors should check with the Visitor Center for road conditions. No reservations; first-come, first served.

Climate
Summer temperatures often climb into the upper 90s(F), but nights cool down into the 50s(F) and 60s(F). The thunderstorm season from July through September brings cloudbursts, flash floods and lightning. Spring and fall are milder with highs generally in the 50s(F) and 60s(F). Daytime winter highs average less than 50(F). Snowfall is usually light, especially at lower elevations. Humidity is low all year.

Parking

  • All vehicles must be parked in the designated parking area at each site without extending into the roadway. Parking is not permitted on the grass or along the road.
  • Speed limit is five miles per hour in the campground.

Trash & Sewage Disposal

  • Dumpsters are located near the entrance to Loops A and B, and the entrance to Loop C.
  • Aluminum recycling bins are located near the dumpsters.
  • The dump station is located near the entrance to Loops A and B.

Drinking Water
Potable water is available at the spigots and drinking fountains located in front of each restroom. Water from sprinklers is NOT safe to drink.

Bathing & Dishwashing

  • Washing of any kind is not permitted at spigots or drinking fountains. Do not wash dishes in the restroom or gray water sinks. Gray Water (from dish washing, bathing, and solar showers at your campsite) must be collected and deposited in gray water disposal sinks.
  • Clotheslines are permitted only during daylight hours, in your own campsite and in a way that no resource damage occurs.

Campfires

  • Fires are permitted ONLY in the permanent fire grates located in each campsite or in an above ground portable grill or fire pan. Portable grills and fire pans must not scar the ground or damage vegetation.
  • Ground fires are not permitted.
  • Wood gathering is not permitted in the park. Firewood can be purchased at the Gifford House and local stores.

Pets

  • Pets must be restrained at all times on a leash six feet or less in length. Pets may be walked along the trail from the campground to the visitor center, along roads or in the orchards, but are not permitted on hiking trails.
  • Pets may not be left unattended.
  • Please clean up after your dog and dispose of waste in the dumpster.

Wildlife

  • Feeding any wildlife is prohibited. Please help keep them wild!
  • Deer are common in the campground year round. Please resist their begging and allow them some space – 30 feet or more is recommended. Cougar frequent the area.
  • Skunks, raccoons, and other small animals are often seen in the campground. Keep a clean camp, keep food in closed containers, and don't leave food outside at night to reduce the risk of unwanted visitors. Keep tents zipped and RV and car doors closed.

Fruit Picking

  • Fruit picking is not permitted unless the orchard is posted as open for picking.
  • During the public harvest, you may pick fruit at open orchards. There is no charge for fruit consumed in the orchards.
  • Please read and follow the ladder safety signs posted in the orchards or at the visitor center.

Bicycle Use

  • Bicycles are considered vehicles and as such are permitted ONLY on roadways.
  • Bicycles are not permitted on hiking trails of anywhere off-road.
  • Bicycles may be ridden along the trail between the campground and the visitor center.
Location – Directions

Traveling westbound on Interstate 70: Take Utah State Highway 24 west towards Hanksville (exit 149). Stay on Highway 24 for 95 miles to reach the park Visitor Center.

Traveling on Interstate 15: Take US Highway 50 east at Scipio (exit 188) towards Salina for 30 miles. At the junction with Utah State Highway 89/259, turn right (south) and travel 8 miles. Turn left (east) onto Utah State Highway 24 towards Sigurd. Continue on Highway 24 for 82 miles to reach the park Visitor Center.

Points of Interest & Attractions

From May to September, the park offers a variety of ranger-guided programs at no charge. These include guided walks, talks, and evening programs at the campground amphitheater.

The Fruita Schoolhouse is a restored and refurbished historic structure located on Utah Highway 24, .8 miles east of the visitor center.

The blacksmith shop, .5 miles south on the Scenic Drive, offers a recorded message about life in a Mormon pioneer community.

The Historic Gifford Homestead, 1 mile south on the Scenic Drive, is typical of rural Utah farm-houses of the early 1900s and is open during the summer season. Cultural demonstrations and handmade sales items are available.

A picnic area near the visitor center provides tables, fire grills, restrooms, drinking water and shade trees.

Bicycles are restricted to maintained roads open to vehicular traffic. A handout available at the visitor center identifies and describes recommended routes.

Fishing

Fishing is permitted in the Fremont River with a valid Utah fishing license.

Day Hiking

In the Fruita area, there are 15 day hiking trails with trailheads located along Utah Hwy. 24 and the Scenic Drive. These trails offer the hiker a wide variety of options, from easy strolls along smooth paths over level ground to strenuous hikes involving steep climbs over uneven terrain near cliff edges. Hikes may take you deep into a narrow gorge, to the top of high cliffs for a bird's eye view of the surrounding area, under a natural stone arch, to historic inscriptions...and much, much more! Round trip distances vary in length from less than 1/4 mile to 10 miles. All trails are well-marked with signs at the trailhead and at trail junctions and by cairns (stacks of rocks) along the way. Detailed trail descriptions and maps are available from the CRNHA at the Visitor Center; through the mail; or by clicking here. Some trails have self-guiding brochures which are available, for a nominal fee, at the trailhead or at the visitor center.

Backcountry Hiking

Capitol Reef offers many hiking options for serious backpackers and those who enjoy exploring remote areas. Marked hiking routes lead into narrow, twisting gorges and slot canyons and to spectacular viewpoints high atop the Waterpocket Fold. Popular backcountry hikes in the southern section of the park include Upper and Lower Muley Twist Canyons and Halls Creek. Backcountry hiking opportunities also exist in the Cathedral Valley area and near Fruita...the possibilities are endless! Stop in the visitor center and talk to a ranger if you are interested in a backcountry hike. They can help you pick out a hike that will fit your time and abilities. If you plan to take an overnight hike, you need to obtain a free backcountry permit at the visitor center prior to your trip. Backcountry group size cannot exceed 12 people.

Popular Backcountry Routes

  • Upper Muley Twist Canyon
  • Lower Muley Twist Canyon
  • Halls Creek Narrows
  • Spring Canyon
  • Burro Wash, Cottonwood Wash and Sheets Gulch slot canyons
  • Hamburger Rocks
  • Brimhall Natural Bridge

Historic Fruita Tour
Few western national parks combine the splendor of nature with man's handiwork like Capitol Reef National Park. Fruita, the remnant of a 200-acre late frontier settlement, hugs the banks of the Fremont River and Sulphur Creek. Mormon pioneers recognized its potential for agriculture and planted orchards in the 1880s. Although Fruita today represents only a small fraction of a large natural step-shrub preserve, this small valley, sheltered by soaring cliffs and domes, continues to enchant naturalist and historian alike. For visitors who can spend only a few hours, it is the portal for the Scenic Drive, a century-old road that draws visitors further into Capitol Reef.