Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef Fast Facts

How big is Capitol Reef National Park?

Capitol Reef covers a total area of 243,921 acres or 381 square miles.

How many people visit Capitol Reef National Park?

1,405,353 people visited Capitol Reef in 2021. A table showing all years can be found at Capitol Reef Visitation Stats.

When was Capitol Reef National Park created?

Capitol Reef was made a national park on December 18, 1971.

What are the highest and lowest elevations in Capitol Reef National Park?

Capitol Reef’s lowest point is 3,877 feet at Hall’s Creek. The highest point in Capitol Reef is 8,960 feet near Billings Pass.

What time zone is Capitol Reef National Park located in?

Capitol Reef is in the Mountain Time Zone.

How much does it cost to enter Capitol Reef National Park?

$20 per private vehicle per week for the Capitol Reef Scenic Drive beyond Fruita Campground, otherwise free.

Five Random Facts About Capitol Reef

one 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.

two 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.

three 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.

four 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.

five The remote Waterpocket Fold area was the last land to be mapped and charted in the continental United States.

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.