Camping and hiking information with tips for parents
Capital Reef National Monument
This park is located in central Utah
A highway runs through this park so there are no entrance fees. The Ranger Station is small and a bit old fashioned, but the personell were very friendly and helpful. I got the feeling from my visit that this park isn't as well traveled as most of the parks we visited in Utah.
park has some wonderful trails. We had planned to stay only one night until
we saw the great day hikes the park offered. The Hickman
Bridge trail is two miles round trip. The hike has numbered
areas of interest so be sure to grab the brochure. This trail leads to
a lovely arch. Goosenecks Overlook and Sunset Point trails
in the same area and the total distance if you hike both is under a mile.
This hike offers some interesting geological viewpoints as well as some
great photo opportunities.
The Frying Pan Trail leads from Cohab Canyon to The Cassidy Arch and on to another trail. We took the trail this way to the Cassidy Arch (named for Butch Cassidy). The photo of the arch is Cassidy Arch and if you look really closely you'll see me on top! We returned the same way we came, though there is a shorter trail to this area, the way we went was a bit over 8 miles. There were many climbs and descents and I am embarrassed to say that this hike just about left me dead on the trail. It's beautiful, but it is a long 8 miles.
There were many other hikes here under my present limit of 10 miles but we had to move on to the next park. My family plans to return here next spring and I'll complete the trail info then!
The campgrounds were very open so they lacked privacy but everyone was very friendly and we found camping here a pleasant experience. Do be careful to pack up your food well during the day while you are away from your site. There are a herd of deer (yes, deer) that roam through the campground in the late afternoon and the birds aren't shy either. There are some friendly horses corralled near the campground. My son loved the horses and the deer. There is water at the Ranger Station, at the campgrounds, and at several of the trail heads. The campgrounds also provide flush toilets and running water.
There is one fee area in the park.
This is for the scenic drive. The rock formations here are incredible and
the colors of the stone are very photogenic. If you can't hike to the Cassidy
Arch you can still see it from a distance on this drive. This little
side trip is about 2 miles each way.