Capitol Reef Fast Facts

  • Capitol Reef National Park covers a total area of 241,904 acres
  • The number of people visiting Capitol Reef in 2017 was 1,150,165 *
  • Capitol Reef was made a national park on December 18, 1971
  • The lowest elevation found in Capitol Reef is 3,877 feet at Hall’s Creek
  • The highest elevation found in Capitol Reef is 8,960 feet near Billings Pass
  • The entrance fee for Capitol Reef is $15 per vehicle per week
  • Capitol Reef National Park lies in the Mountain time zone
  • We last visited Capitol Reef National Park in July 2017
* Complete annual visitation stats can be found at Capitol Reef Visitation Statistics


Random Facts About Capitol Reef

  • Like many national parks, Capitol Reef was first a national monument. On August 2, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the proclamation creating Capitol Reef National Monument.
  • Large fruit orchards may be one of the more unexpected features of Capitol Reef. Mormon pioneers planted this trees in the Fruita area starting in the 1880s. Visitors are allowed to pick the fruit, in season.
  • The name Capitol Reef comes from two things. Early settlers thought the white stone domes resembled the dome of the Capitol building in Washington, DC. The Waterpocket Fold was seen as a massive barrier, and was often called a reef.
  • The Fremont River’s year-round flow has a heavy influence on the Fruita area. Along with the fruit orchards mentioned above, it also supports other animal life and vegetation not otherwise found in such an arid desert region. Beavers and yellow bellied marmots can both be found in the area.

Where is Capitol Reef National Park?

Capitol Reef National Park is the middle park of the five national parks spread across southern Utah. It is a very remote park, far from population centers, with the small gateway town of Torrey being the only one nearby. People often visit some or all of the Utah parks on the same visit. It’s about 125 miles southwest via the amazingly scenic Utah Highway 12 to Bryce Canyon, and a further 75 miles to Zion, Utah’s most popular park. Arches and Canyonlands are in the opposite direction, east of Capitol Reef, with Arches being about 140 miles by road. Further directions and maps can be found at Getting to Capitol Reef.

Torrey (West) Entrance
(38.32505590033144, -111.37022656272165)

More About Capitol Reef

We have pages on all sorts of things about Capitol Reef National Park. We have sections on Weather, Getting to the Park, Lodging, Camping, Hiking Trails, Road Guides, and pages to buy Books, Trail Maps, and DVD & Blu-ray. You could also check out the park’s Photo Gallery.