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Discover the Beauty of Capitol Reef National Park on Your Next Utah Camping Trip
Capitol Reef National Park is located in south-central Utah and is 100 miles long, although it is pretty narrow. Established in 1971, the park preserves 378 square miles of a very unique piece of land. The Water-Pocket Fold is a warp in the earth caused 65 million years ago most likely by the same continental shift that created the Rocky Mountains. New and old layers of rock and fossils folded over each other in an S shape, and over millions of years of weather erosion, became exposed. Brilliantly colored sandstone cliffs, contrasting layers of stone and earth, and gleaming white domes make this park a unique Utah camping destination.
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Capitol Reef National Park has an arid climate with little rain. Summer days are hot, often reaching 90+ degrees, while nights cool down into the 50’s. July through September brings thunderstorms and flash floods and lightning are possible. Just a quarter of an inch of rain can cause a flash flood! Spring and fall are mild with temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s. Winter is colder with daytime temperatures generally below 50 degrees. Snowfall is light, although the higher elevations get more than the lower. Capitol Reef National Park is open year round and there is a $5 vehicle fee to enter the park and is valid for 7 days.
Once you reach Capitol Reef National Park, you'll discover plenty of things to do places to explore. There are many hiking trails, road tours, and the park is rich with human and geological history. Many free ranger-guided programs are offered May through September at no cost. There are walks, talks and evening programs which are very informative and a great way to get to know the park. Hiking opportunities range from easy strolls to strenuous hikes with steep climbs. Hiking trails can take you deep into narrow gorges, up to the top of high cliffs, under stone arches, through twisting canyons and much more. The Scenic Drive is a century old road that takes visitors deep within Capitol Reef and has beautiful views of the park below. The Historic Fruita Tour combines the natural splendor of the land with the handiwork of men. This 200 acre late frontier settlement was built by Mormon settlers in the 1880’s. They recognized the potential for agriculture and planted orchards here. Sheltered by soaring cliffs and domes, it is an enchanting piece of American history. With so much natural and human beauty, Capitol Reef National Park is an amazing Utah camping destination!
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