Capitol Reef National Park
Reef National Park was established to protect a 100-mile long wrinkle
in the earth's crust. It is known as The Waterpocket Fold. This
fold runs from Thousand Lakes Mountain to the Colorado River (now
Lake Powell). Not only does Capitol Reef contain this amazing geologic
features, but it also contains unique historical and cultural history.
The park is open year round along with the three campgrounds. The
Visitor Center is open year round also, except for Christmas Day.
It's open 8am-4:30pm with extended hours during the summer. The
Visitor Center is located 10 miles east of the town of Torrey, Utah
or 37 miles west of the town of Hanksville, Utah on Utah Highway
24. The drive into the park is spectacular, especially if you're
coming from the west.
Reef National Park has three campgrounds: Cathedral Valley Campground,
Cedar Mesa Campground and Fruita Campground. All three are open year
round. Cathedral Valley and Cedar Mesa offer free primitive camping
while Fruita is developed and has picnic tables, restrooms and water.
There is a $10 for Fruita. May through 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.
during the summer can climb to the upper 90s, but nights cool down
to the 50s and 60s. July through September is thunderstorm season
and brings cloudbursts, flash floods and lightning. Spring and fall
are milder with highs generally in the 50s and 60s. Winter highs
average less than 50 with ligh snowfall. Utah Highway 24 runs east
and west through the park and there is a 25 mile loop that travels
through the park and starts at the Visitor Center. There are also
many dirt roads that traverse the park but check with the Visitor
Center first to get the road conditions for these roads.