One Epic Day in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef may just be Utah’s most underrated gem. Tucked deep in southwestern canyon country, Capitol Reef is Utah’s least visited National Park. But whether you’re an avid hiker, casual road tripper, or canyoneering thrill-seeker, you really don’t want to miss spending one day in Capitol Reef National Park.

When I visited in 2023 I discovered a wonderland of canyons, mesas, rugged scenic drives, natural stone arches, indigenous and pioneer history – and of course homemade pie. And I got to see it all without the tons of crowds!

This guide covers the best hikes, scenic drives, and must-visit stops – including 🥧 pie – that you can’t miss if you only have one day in Capitol Reef National Park.

In this one day Capitol Reef itinerary, you’ll hike to Cassidy Arch and the Grand Wash, drive Capitol Reef Scenic Drive to Capitol Gorge, explore the historic town of Fruita, visit Hickman Bridge, and take one final scenic drive along Goosenecks Road for sunset.

I’ve also included some important need-to-know information about planning a one day trip to Capitol Reef National Park below, plus tips for where to stay during your visit.

Grand Wash in Capitol Reef National Park

Disclosure: This page may contain sponsored content or affiliate links, including Amazon links, where I earn a small commission from any purchase – at no extra cost to you. This commission helps keep Brooke In Boots up and running. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

What to See in Capitol Reef in One Day

If you only have one day in Capitol Reef National Park, here are my favorite must-see spots I recommend:

  1. Cassidy Arch
  2. Capitol Reef Scenic Drive
  3. Capitol Gorge
  4. Gifford Homestead and Fruit Picking in Fruita
  5. Hickman Bridge
  6. Goosenecks Road Scenic Drive at Sunset

2024 Update: Capitol Reef Scenic Drive will be closed April 29, 2024 to October 31, 2024 for repairs. If you’re visiting during this time, I’ve included some suggestions, below, for an alternate trip to Cassidy Arch via the Grand Wash, instead of the Scenic Drive and Capitol Gorge.

How Long to Spend in Capitol Reef National Park?

Wondering how many days to spend in Capitol Reef National Park?

Ideally, you’d want several days to truly experience all this underrated park has to offer. I spent 2 full day in Capitol Reef and could have easily extended my stay by several days.

But, if you’re short on time, you can definitely still experience the highlights of visiting Capitol Reef in one day.

Use this Capitol Reef National Park one day itinerary to plan your perfect day trip.

Want to learn more about planning an epic National Parks trip? Grab my free Ultimate National Parks Planning Guide, including 70+ pages of National Park packing checklists, planning tips, and everything you need to know to start planning a trip to all 63 National Parks!

Is Capitol Reef National Park Worth Visiting?

As Utah’s least visited National Park, you might wonder, “is Capitol Reef worth visiting?” After visiting myself, I’m telling you YES!

In fact, this Park quickly became one of my absolute favorites in Utah! Arches, slot canyons, exhilarating unpaved scenic backroads, history, fun and funky local hotels and restaurants – oh and almost no crowds? Come on!

Even if you only have one day in Capitol Reef National Park – it’s worth the visit!

Entrance Fees, Reservations & Visitor Centers in Capitol Reef

Unlike nearby Arches National Park, there are no timed-entry reservations required to enter Capitol Reef National Park.

Learn more about which National Parks required timed-entry or other reservations, here.

Entrance Fees

The entrance fee to Capitol Reef is $20 per vehicle. Your entrance pass is valid for 7 days.

Traveling to more than 2 National Parks or National Forests this year? Purchase an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass for $80, which covers entrance fees at all National Parks and NPS managed sites.

Capitol Reef Visitor Center

The Capitol Reef visitor center is conveniently located at the intersection of UT-24 & UT-12, in the Fruita area of the Park.

The Visitor Center is open daily, except major holidays, from 8AM to 4:30PM. In winter (December – March) the visitor center is open 9AM to 4:30PM.

Here you can collect your National Park Passport Stamp , learn a bit about the park, refill your water bottle and hit the gift shop.

Best Time to Visit Capitol Reef National Park

Spring and fall are the best times to plan a Capitol Reef National Park itinerary. The weather is pleasant and perfect for hiking, and you avoid the summer heat and possible monsoon floods.

If you want to pick your own snack at Capitol Reef’s famous orchards, apples, apricots, peaches, and pears are ripe for picking from June until mid-October.

I visited in July (during a heat wave) and it was hot. Like, “oops I got heat exhaustion” hot. If you visit during summer, make sure to drink plenty of water and electrolytes, and avoid hiking during the hottest times of the day.

Take care visiting during the summer monsoon season, July and August, when dangerous flash floods can turn trails, gorges, and roads into rivers of water and mud.

During winter, temperatures regularly fall below freezing and snow and ice are common. Roads may temporarily close due to winter conditions, and snow traction devices, like MICROspikes, may be needed while hiking.

historic barn and horse grazing in Capitol Reef National Park
Historic Fruita in Capitol Reef National Park

How to Get to Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef is located in southern Utah, just outside the small town of Torrey. There is no public transportation to Capitol Reef, so you’ll want to fly into a nearby airport and rent a car.

Flying to Capitol Reef

These are the closest major airports to Capitol Reef National Park:

  • Salt Lake City International Airport – 230 Miles (4 Hours)
  • Las Vegas McCarran International Airport – 350 Miles (5.5 Hours)
  • Denver International Airport – 500 Miles (8 hours)

Driving to Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef is located approximately 230 miles, or a 4 hours drive, southeast of Salt Lake City.

The Park is approximately 340 miles, or 5.5 hours drive, northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’re driving from Vegas, don’t forget that Utah is located in the Mountain Time Zone, 1 hour ahead of Las Vegas’s Pacific Time.

Here’s a quick look at the approximate distances from Capitol Reef to other major Southwestern cities and destinations:

  • Kanab, Utah – Approximately 184 Miles (3.5 hours)
  • Page, Arizona – Approximately 260 Miles (4.5 hours)
  • Denver, Colorado – Approximately 430 miles (7 hours)
  • Phoenix, Arizona – Approximately 500 miles (8.5 hours)
  • Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) – Approximately 365 Miles (7 hours)

Capitol Reef is located nearby to Utah’s other “Mighty Five” National Parks. If you’re traveling between Zion and Bryce Canyon to Moab (Arches and Canyonlands), don’t miss a day trip to Capitol Reef!

Getting to Capitol Reef from Utah’s “Mighty Five” National Parks

Capitol Reef is located within a day’s drive from Utah’s other “Mighty Five” National Parks, Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, and Bryce Canyon.  

Combine a visit to Capitol Reef with one of these other amazing Parks – or see them all on an epic Utah National Parks road trip!

Even though it’s less famous than, say, Arches or Zion, in my opinion, Capitol Reef is what happens if you smash Zion and Arches National Park together – but without all the crowds!

From Arches and Canyonlands in Moab, Utah, it’s 150 miles, or a 2.5-hour drive to Capitol Reef. If you get up early and don’t mind a long day, you can visit Capitol Reef on a long day trip from Moab. Along the way, take the short detour to Goblin Valley State Park.

From the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park, it’s 120 miles, or a 2.5-hour drive to Capitol Reef. Along the way, you can take Utah’s Route 12 – an epic scenic byway stretching through Dixie National Forest, Bryce Canyon, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, and finishing at Capitol Reef.  

Zion National Park is the furthest Utah National Park from Capitol Reef, about 190 miles of 4 hours away. It’s a little long for a day trip from Zion to Capitol Reef, so I suggest spending the night in nearby Torrey, before or after your visit to Capitol Reef.

Getting Around Capitol Reef National Park

There are two main paved roads through Capitol Reef: Highway 24 – which crosses the park east to west – and Capitol Reef Scenic Drive, an out-and-back scenic road which run North to South.

Highway 24, provides access to the visitor center, campground, and a number of trails. The Scenic Drive travels from Fruita to Capitol Gorge, with lots of viewpoints and access to trailheads along the way.  

Road Conditions in Capitol Reef

2024 Update: Capitol Reef Scenic Drive will be closed April 29, 2024 to October 31, 2024 for repairs. To access Cassidy Arch during this time, park at the Grand Wash northwest trailhead on Highway 24, a moderate 6.5 mi round trip hike to Cassidy Arch through the Grand Wash. Get directions to this trailhead and trail information, here.

Both Highway 24 and the Scenic Drive are well-maintained and open year-round, except during flooding and winter storms.

To really experience Capitol Reef, and to access most trailheads on this itinerary, you’ll need to be prepared to do some driving on unpaved gravel and dirt roads.

On this one day Capitol Reef itinerary, you’ll travel on Grand Wash Road, Capitol Gorge Road, and Goosenecks Point Road. These roads are unpaved, but generally well-maintained dirt and gravel roads. Most sedans driving carefully will have no problem driving these roads, although an SUV with a higher clearance will make everything easier.

During my visit, I drove my Mazda CX5 small AWD SUV without any problems.

No matter what vehicle you have, do not drive any unpaved roads in the area during rain or inclement weather.

Burr Trail – an unpaved scenic drive in Capitol Reef

Unpaved Scenic Drives in Capitol Reef

If you’re spending more than one day in Capitol Reef National Park, make sure to bring a high-clearance AWD or 4×4 vehicle to explore the vast network of unpaved roads and trails throughout the Park.

Two of the most popular off-road drives in Capitol Reef are the Cathedral Valley Loop, and “Loop the Fold.”  

Talk to a ranger before embarking on either of these drives to learn about current road conditions. You can also pick up a map and in-depth guide to each of these drive in the Visitor Center.

Remember there is NO cell service out there – be prepared to self-rescue!

Cathedral Valley Loop

A rugged dirt, gravel, and sand off-road trail to some of the most remote and beautiful areas of the Park. The Capitol Reef Cathedral Valley Loop is a 58 mile long dirt and gravel scenic drive through Capitol Reef’s vast backcountry.

It takes about 4 hours to drive the Loop straight through – but give yourself a full day to explore the many side roads and trails along the way.

Along the way, don’t miss the Temple of the Sun & Moon, Cathedral Valley Overlook, Desert Overlook, and Cathedrals Trail.

Explore remote corners of Capitol Reef with a 4×4 or AWD vehicle

“Loop the Fold”

Get up close and personal to the beating heart of Capitol Reef, the Waterpocket Fold, while you “Loop the Fold” on this off-road drive. Explore this unique literal wrinkle in the earth’s crust, hike remote slot canyons, and test your nerves (and brakes) on the Burr Trail Switchbacks.  

The entire drive is 125 miles and takes about 4-5 hours to drive, but I recommend devoting an entire day to exploring the many slot canyons and side trails along the way.

I completed this epic drive in my mid-size SUV with AWD during my visit. It was remote, rugged, and absolutely epic!

Capitol Reef 1 Day Itinerary: Best Things to Do With One Day in Capitol Reef National Park

Make the most of one day in Capitol Reef with this action-packed itinerary. You’ll hit all the park’s “must see” spots, while still getting to really enjoy your amazing surroundings!

While crowds are as big an issue here as Arches or Zion, starting your day early means you’ll have an easy time finding trail parking and get to experience the red rock canyons, arches, and washes all to yourself.

I suggest starting your day no later than 8 am, or earlier if you’re here during peak visitation periods, like Spring Break and weekends.

One Day in Capitol Reef National Park Itinerary Map

How to Use This Map: Click the Icons on the map to see more information about each location. Click the star at the top of the map to add the map to your Google Maps account.

the paved road and distant cliffs of the Waterpocket Fold on Capitol Reef Scenic Drive
Don’t miss the Scenic Drive on your Capitol Reef itinerary

Morning: Capitol Reef Scenic Drive & Cassidy Arch

2024 Update: Capitol Reef Scenic Drive will be closed April 29, 2024 to October 31, 2024 for repairs. Instead, I recommend hiking to Cassidy Arch first thing in the morning via the Grand Wash northwest trailhead on Highway 24.

You’ll pass through a wide canyon that slowly closes in to the “Grand Wash Narrows” before arriving at the Cassidy Arch trailhead. Continue to Cassidy Arch and return the way you came, before heading back to Fruita. Get directions to this trailhead and trail information, here.

Start your one day in Capitol Reef National Park by heading straight to Capitol Reef Scenic Drive.

This 7.0 mile paved road start at the Capitol Reef Visitor Center in the historic district of Fruita. It takes about 15 minutes to reach the scenic drive from the nearby town of Torrey.

Along the way, take in the stunning views of the towering cliffs and colorful rock formations of the Waterpocket Fold. This geologic feature is the centerpiece of the park, and a rare and unusual look back into the geologic history.

The Waterpocket Fold is a giant wrinkle in the earth’s surface that extends 100 miles. From the Scenic Drive you can see dozens of layers of rock and sediment laid down over millions of years. Over time, intense pressure from a fault line uplifted (or “folded”) the layers over 6,800 feet into the massive, long, narrow formation you can see now.

Cassidy Arch is a must if you’re visiting Capitol Reef in one day

Cassidy Arch Trail

Distance: 3.1 Miles / 700′ Gain
Difficulty: Moderate

After 3.4 miles on the Scenic Drive, take a left onto Grand Wash Road, an unpaved road, following signs for the Grand Wash.

Park at the trailhead and head into the sandy canyon ahead of you. The Grand Wash is one of several washes, or canyons, that cut through the Waterpocket Fold.

Do not enter the Grand Wash during rain or when storms are present in the area. Stay flash flood aware while traveling in this area.

After a short 0.2 miles, keep an eye out on the left for signs pointing to Cassidy Arch.

This massive stone arch and canyon is probably the most iconic spot in the Park and one of my favorite hikes.

Cassidy Arch is named after the notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy, who frequented the area and may have used the wash as a hideout between robbing banks, trains, and running from the law.

To get to Cassidy Arch, follow the trail up a short series of switchbacks to the rim of the Grand Wash. From there , the trail follows a semi-narrow ledge along the edge of the canyon before reaching Cassidy Arch.

The arch itself is massive, rising 400 feet above the wash below.

If you’re lucky like I was, you might see climbers and canyoneers preparing to repel into the canyon below.

Don’t miss the turnoff to Cassidy Arch in the Grand Wash

Capitol Reef Scenic Drive to Capitol Gorge

Distance: 1 mi to Pioneer Register / 2 mi to Water Tanks / 3.5 mi to Golden Throne

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Hike back from Cassidy Arch and continue driving south on Capitol Reef Scenic Drive. Where the paved road ends, follow the unpaved Capitol Gorge Road for 2.5 miles to the Capitol Gorge Trailhead.

From here, you can follow multiple trails further and further into this historic canyon, depending on how much time you have.

Don’t miss walking 0.5 miles into the gorge to view the historic Pioneer Register. Here you can see dozens of names carved high up on the canyon wall from Capitol Reef’s long and colorful history.

The earliest names were carved by prospectors in 1871. If you look closely you can see notes left by cowboys, miners, settlers, and many of Fruita’s founding families.

Look – but don’t touch at Pioneer Register

Keep going another 0.3 miles to reach the turn off trail to the Capitol Gorge Water Tanks. The ‘Tanks’ are naturally occurring basins in the sandstone, which collect and hold rainwater that seeps down from above.

Return to the trailhead via the same trail.

the entrance to Capitol Gorge at the end of the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive
the entrance to the Capitol Gorge Road from the Scenic Drive

For a longer hike, return to the Capitol Gorge Trailhead parking area and take the Golden Throne Trail. This 3.5 mile round trip hike climb nearly 800 feet, making it a moderate workout. Along the way, you’ll have great views of the canyon below and massive Golden Throne formation. This trail takes about 2 hours.

Midday: Fruita

By now you’ve definitely worked up and appetite, or at least earned the right to sit down and relax with a homemade fruit pie!

Pick Your Own Lunch at Fruita Orchards

Return to Fruita via the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive. As you approach the beginning of the drive keep an eye out for the fruit orchards that surround the Fruita campground and Highway 24.

These historic orchards were planted in the 1880s by Mormon pioneers. Today, they are still maintained by the park service and, depending on the time of year, open to the public for pick-your-own harvesting!

Picking ripe apricots at the historic orchards in Fruita in Capitol Reef National Park
Picking lunch at the Fruita orchards in Capitol Reef National Park

Make sure to bring cash to pay for your harvested fruit. The park provides picking poles, ladders, and scales to weigh your harvest.

Below is an estimated harvest schedule, although exact times will vary from year to year:

  • Apricots: late June to mid-July
  • Peaches: late July to early September
  • Pears: early August to early September
  • Apples: mid-August to mid-October

For the latest updates on fruit blossom and harvest schedules, contact the park’s information hotline at (435) 425-3791 (press #1 for Visitor Information, then #5 for the fruit hotline).

You can also check the Park’s fruit blossom and harvest times will also be updated on Facebook and Twitter.

Sign and weigh station to pick your own fruit at the historic orchards in Capitol Reef
Harvest season is one of the best times to visit Capitol Reef for a sweet treat!

Get a Slice of Gifford Homestead Pie

Afterwards, stop at the Gifford Homestead, just up the road from the Fruita campground and orchards. Don’t leave Capitol Reef without a slice of homemade Gifford Homestead pie.

The Gifford Homestead was built in 1908, and was occupied by the Jorgensen and later Gifford families who farmed and ranched in the rural Fruita community. The Gifford family sold the homestead to the NPS in 1969, the last family to move out of this idyllic valley.

These day, the Gifford home is a mini time-capsule and bakery. Here you can enjoy a slice of fruit pie made with fresh-picked fruit from the orchards you just visited or try one of their other delicious flavors such as rhubarb, cherry, or peach. You can also buy jams cookbooks, and other homsteading gifts.

Inside the Gifford Homestead, where you can buy locally made jams, baked goods, and historically-inspired cookbooks
retro jams, cookbooks and other goodies at Gifford Homestead

Enjoy your treats in the shaded picnic area outside the homestead.

If you’re visiting during a busy season, I suggest stopping by the Homestead earlier in the day, on your way to Cassidy Arch. The Homestead often sells out by afternoon during busy days!

consider picking up your pie early in the day on busy spring and fall days!

Capitol Reef Visitor Center

From the Gifford Homestead, continue driving north on Capitol Reef Scenic Drive to the Visitor Center.

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to stop in, learn about the geologic and historic history of Capitol Reef, and of course get your National Parks passport stamped.

You’ll have to use a zoom lens or the viewfinders to view the Petroglyphs like this at Capitol Reef

Petroglyph Panel

From the Visitor Center, take a right on Highway 24 and drive 1 mile to the pull off for the Petroglyph Panel, located on the side of Highway 24.

A short boardwalk follow the base of the canyon walls, where you can view beautiful ancient rock carvings.

These carvings were created by the Fremont Culture, who lived in the area for roughly 1000 years, between 300 and 1300 AD / CE.

The carvings are barely visible from the boardwalk, so bring binoculars, a telephoto lens camera, or use the free viewfinders installed on the boardwalk to get a good view of these ancient artworks.

Exploring Hickman Bridge in Capitol Reef

Afternoon: Hickman Bridge

Continue driving east on Highway 24 for another mile past the Petroglyph Panel and keep an eye out for the Hickman Bridge parking area. This short but epic hike is a must-do when visiting Capitol Reef.

Distance: 1.7 Miles / 400′ Elevation Gain

Difficulty: Moderate

The Hickman Bridge trail is a 1.7-mile round trip hike with a moderate uphill climb. From the parking area, the trail follows the river for a bit, before steadily climbing up into the Waterpocket Fold.

At the end, you’re rewarded with an up close view of Hickman Bridge, a natural stone bridge spanning 133 feet – one of the largest in the park.

Follow the trail under the Bridge and around to an overlook of the river below before returning via the same trail.

Standing underneath Hickman Natural Bridge, a massive sandstone arch, in Capitol Reef National Park
don’t miss walking underneath the arch at Hickman Bridge

Sunset: Panorama & Goosenecks Road Scenic Drive

If you have the opportunity to stay in Capitol Reef until sundown, don’t miss the Panorama Point Road and Goosenecks Road Scenic Drive, the most popular spots in the park for sunset.

There are multiple overlooks along this scenic drive looking out over Capitol Reef and the vibrant red rocks of Utah’s canyon country.

To reach Panorama Point Road, take Highway 24 east from the Visitor Center (back towards Torrey) and turn left onto Panorama Point Road.

Goosenecks Point is one of the best spots to end your day in Capitol Reef National Park

Panorama Point

The paved Panorama Point Road leads to Panorama Point. A short walk from the parking area leads to a beautiful 360 degree views of the park and surrounding area.

Goosenecks Point

Continue past Panorama Point on the dirt and gravel Goosenecks Point Road. This road is well maintained and accessible for most passenger vehicles and RVs.

From the parking area, a short trail leads to Goosenecks Point, with spectacular views of the long cliffs and deep canyons that surround you.

Sunset Point Trail

If time permits, the 0.4 mile (one way) trail from the Goosenecks Point parking area leads to Sunset Point. From this vantage point, the red, orange, and golden walls of the Waterpocket Fold glow in the sunset, the perfect spot to end your epic one day in Capitol Reef National Park.

Capitol Reef Half-Day Itinerary: Best Things to Do With A Few Hours in Capitol Reef

Only have a few hours in Capitol Reef? Even if you’re just driving through this Park on the way to Moab, Bryce, or Zion, I promise that getting out of the car and exploring even a little bit is worth the detour.

Check out these suggestions for my favorite things to do in Capitol Reef if you’re short on time:

Hickman Bridge or Cassidy Arch

With plenty of short and moderately easy hikes, Capitol Reef is the perfect park to lace up your hiking boots, even if you only have a short time to spend in the park.

Hickman Bridge and Cassidy Arch are two of the most popular hikes in Capitol Reef, and both are well worth the hike.

Hickman Bridge vs Cassidy Arch? Only have time for one and wondering which to hike? Hickman Bridge is located right off Highway 24, and no gravel/unpaved road driving is required. But there’s no denying that Cassidy Arch is the most famous hike here, and probably the best bang-for-your-buck in terms of non-stop views.

The hike to Hickman Bridge takes approximately 1 hour, and the hike to Cassidy Arch takes approximately 2 hours, not including drive time.

Capitol Reef Scenic Drive

Take a tour of the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive, the perfect introduction to Capitol Reef, even if you only have an hour. If time permits, get out and explore Cassidy Arch or the Pioneer Register in Capitol Gorge.

Fruita Historic District

If you’re visiting during fruit picking season (June – November) don’t miss picking your own lunch at the historic orchards in Fruita. While you’re there, grab a slice of locally made pie from the Gifford Homestead – a sweet treat even if you only have a few hours in Capitol Reef!

Cassidy Arch from the trail

Where to Stay in Capitol Reef

For such a remote and relatively unvisited National Park, there are a great selection of campgrounds, hotels, and glamping accommodations in and around Capitol Reef.

Most visitors stay in Torrey, a town about 15 minutes outside of the Park entrance. Here you’ll find several of restaurants, coffee shops, and killer ice cream (I went twice in two days!).

Here are some of my favorite options for where to stay in Capitol Reef:

Relaxing in an authentic Conestoga Wagon at the Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse outside Capitol Reef

Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse

Price: $$ / Starting at $185 per night

Amenities: Indoor Pool, Glamping Cabins & Wagons, Restaurant on Site

>> Book the Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse

Those craving comfort and a hearty meal after a day on the trails will appreciate this modern and family-friendly property. The Broken Spurr graciously hosted me during my last visit to Capitol Reef.

The rooms are modern and comfortable, or live out your Oregon Trail fantasy in one of the Conestoga Wagon glamping cabins. Don’t worry, you won’t have to caulk the wagons or truly rough it – each wagon has AC, mini-fridge, microwave, and private bathroom.

Relax with a locally brewed cider and a delicious (but surprisingly affordable) farm-to-table steak at the casual Steakhouse on property, or kick back in the indoor/outdoor pool with views of the Park.

The Broken Spur is located less than 15 minutes from the Park entrance, and a short drive to downtown Torrey, where you can find more restaurants and shops.

Stay in a hotel-style room or Conestoga Wagon at the Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse

Capitol Reef Resort

Price: $$$ / Starting at $219 per night

Amenities: Outdoor Pool, Glamping Cabins & Wagons, Restaurant on Site

>> Book the Capitol Reef Resort

Looking for luxury accommodations near Capitol Reef? The upscale Capitol Reef Resort is located just outside Torrey, Utah and boasts stunning views of the Waterpocket Fold. Book one of their upscale suites with a balcony view of the Park, family-style cabins with kitchenettes, or luxury glamp in their conestoga wagon or teepee rooms.

Days Inn by Wyndham Torrey

Price: $$ / Starting at $150 per night

Amenities: Indoor Pool, Continental Breakfast included, laundry

>> Book Days Inn by Wyndham Torrey

If you’re looking for a convenient chain hotel near Capitol Reef, check out the Days Inn by Wyndham in Torrey. What it lacks in charm, it makes up for in convenience, with grab and go breakfast included, an indoor pool, and laundry room, located about 15 minutes from Capitol Reef National Park.

the Broken Spur Steakhouse is a great option for dining in Torrey, UT
Get farm to table steaks in this ranching community at Torrey, UT outside Capitol Reef

Fruita Campground

Price: $ / $25 per night

Amenities: RV dump station, potable water, fire pits, picnic tables, flush toilets, no showers, no electric

>> Book the Fruita Campground

For campers, it doesn’t get better than staying inside the Park in the historic Fruita Campground. Here you’re literally steps away from trailheads, historic barns and homesteads, and Fruita’s pick-your-own orchards.

The Fruita Campground has 71 sites, 65 sites can be reserved in advance, March – October, and the rest are first-come-first-served. Reservations are absolutely recommended during peak visiting seasons and on weekends.

RV dumps and potable water are available at the campground entrances. There are no individual hookups at campsites for RVs.

Conclusion: One Day in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is an underrated gem in Utah, with stunning landscapes, rich history, and tons of things to do. Regardless if you have a day, an hour, or a week, don’t miss visiting Capitol Reef National Park.