- Karla Gadea
Nearest City: Torrey- Torrey is located on the west side of Capitol Reef National Park and is only 14 minutes from the parks visitor center. Dining and lodging for this city is listed below.
In Capitol Reef, there are over 140 miles of roads in and around the park and over 150 miles of trails and backcountry routes. The park is located in the southeast part of Utah and has so much beauty to offer. The park also has many kid-friendly activities like exhibits, games and activities, educational programs, and so much more! Adults can borrow a Family Fun Pack free of charge at the visitor center and nature center which contains books, games, and activities to encourage children to learn about the park. During the winter, Capitol Reef becomes a virtually private playground. Parents can unwind and explore the amazing and different features the park has to offer. Activities in Capitol Reef include Biking, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback riding, ATVing, Cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and more!
If you do decide to stop by the park on this day there is a $10 fee per vehicle that is good for seven days, with this pass you and your family can enjoy the stunning 90 minute (round trip) “Scenic Drive”. The park is open every day 24 hours a day. For more information on what you need to know before visiting the park check out their website.
Weather: For the month of November Capitol Reef National Park averages about 51 degrees F (high) to 31 degrees F (low). Average snowfall during November is about 1.48 inches and rainfall averages to about 0.53 inches. Taken from national parks service: “Low temperatures usually range about 10° F on either side of the average low temperatures shown for the months January through April and November through December. Low temperatures for May through October will range about 5° F on either side of the average monthly low shown.” Ask at the visitor center about potentially dangerous weather conditions. Make sure to dress in layers to keep warm.
Sunset Point: head west from the visitors center on Highway 24 and turn left at the signed road to Panorama Point. From there, drive until you reach the trailhead for this brief 1/3 of a mile walk out point. If snow blocks the way, the continuation of the dirt road past the gravel turnaround will be barricaded. Park, walk and enjoy the beautiful sunrise eastward over the rock spires and domes of Capitol Reef.
Hike Cassidy Arch: The Cassidy Arch hike offers visitors with a stunning view of an amazing arch. The hike is a 3.5 out-and-back trail and is located near the scenic road just past the Fruita Campground on the first dirt road on the left.
Fremont Indian Petroglyphs: Explore the Fremont Indian Petroglyphs located along the highway, east of the visitors center on the north side. You can enjoy the petroglyphs while walking on a sturdy wooden walkway that runs alongside the cliff wall, complete with viewing scopes for the largest panel.
Waterpocket Fold: great for couples. Is a 100-mile long feature known as a monocline, that resembles a shoved up wrinkle of land.
Scenic Drive to hike Grand Wash Road: The Grand Wash Road goes through vertical sandstone walls. Most of the trail is wide with few “narrows”. Before hiking, please check with the visitor center for any weather warnings before hiking this trail.
Enjoy Capitol Reefs Dark Skies: Did you know that Capitol Reef National Park received International Dark-sky Destination award? The park has succeeded in reducing light pollution making it easy to embrace a starry night. So come out and enjoy the beautiful view of the night sky anywhere in the park!
Mountain Biking Variety: The Capitol Reef area has a variety of mountain biking adventures. There are more than a dozen trails with great views. You can ride the Grand Wash, Capitol Gorge, or the Capitol Scenic Drive. For Biking trails and a map check this link out.
Cross Country Skiing: Cross-country skiing offers a great way to traverse the backcountry of the Capitol Reef region.
Snowmobiling in Capitol Reef: Riding snowmobiles in the Capitol Reef back-country can provide access to amazing scenic overlooks and distances you wouldn’t be able to reach by foot during snowy days.
Horseback riding in Wayne County: Riders can enjoy a variety of scenery, like high alpine Lakes and forests, historical and archaeological sites and the feeling of the old west! Capitol Reef National Park allows for some horseback riding but is limited. Boulder Mountain and Thousand Lake Mountain offer a variety of scenery. For horseback riding in Capitol Reef, call Capitol Reef Resort at (435)633-5508
Fremont River Attractions(Fremont is located about 30 minutes east of Capitol Reef):
Jeep/UTV & ATV Tours: The ATV and jeep tours help you explore the park with a fun ride! The tours are open for Thanksgiving, but make sure to call ahead to schedule a ride. For more information on different tours and prices visit Fremont River Guides.
Fishing in Fremont: November has mild weather. The river may hold an opportunity for dry-fly fishing. Since days are shorter during winter, trout will be most active during the afternoon.
If you arrive with only a couple hours left in the day here are some quick things to do around the park:
- The family can stop at the visitor center and view the displays and orientation movie.
- Pick delicious, seasonal fruit. During November, apples and pears are ready for picking! Conditions may apply; for more information and updates on their orchards and fruit available check the park’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CapitolReefNPS/?fref=ts
Love driving? Take the parks 90 Minute (roundtrip) Scenic Drive. The drive takes you through 11 scenic stops throughout the park like, Moenkopi Formation (reddish-brown sedimentary rock, formed in layers from loose materials), the twisting Grand Wash (a canyon which is dramatically different from the dark red hills), amazing solution pockets (shallow holes in the cliff excavated as water erosion removed sand grains), and a lot more!
- Or, join a ranger-guided program.
Hiking, Horseback Riding, Fishing, Cross-country Skiing, Biking, ATV, Snowmobiling
Additional Logding Options
Capitol Reef Resort
Description: Located at the doorstep of Capitol Reef National Park, Capitol Reef Resort offers an abundance of lodging options sure to satisfy. From guest rooms and luxury cabins to Conestoga wagons and teepees; guests will find a unique and comfortable destination, along with fine amenities, to recharge for your next adventure. Resort Highlights include Guided Horseback Tours, Pool + Hot Tub, Free Wi-fi, and On-Site Restaurant.
Nightly Cost (Nov.19- Nov.21): ~$55.20 to $170.00/Day
Address: 2600 UT-24, Torrey, UT 84775
Distance: 2 minutes west of Capitol Reef National Park
Phone: (435) 425-3688
Red Sands Hotel:
Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse: One room available (Double Queen Room)*
Description: In your search for Torrey Utah Hotels, you’ll find our lodging accommodations to be one of the best values in town! For Capitol Reef Lodging, we are one of the closest properties to that famous scenic drive that leads through the park. Enjoy an up close view of the unique and remarkable canyon lands from every room at our motel.
Nightly Cost (Nov.19-Nov.21): ~$99.00/night
Address: 955 East SR24, Torrey, UT 84775
Distance: About 6 minutes from Capitol Reef National Park
Boulder Mountain Lodge
Description: In the middle of Utah’s red rock canyon country sits Boulder Mountain Lodge, an unexpected oasis of tranquility and comfort. This nationally recognized luxury lodge provides everything for a fabulous getaway: spacious rooms, intimate ambiance, unparalleled views, fine dining, and an impressive array of opportunities, services, and amenities. Family friendly; includes a jacuzzi and common area for planning your day trips!
Nightly Cost(Nov.19-Nov.21): ~$250.00/night
Address:20 N Highway 12, Boulder, UT 84716
Distance: About one hour south of Capitol Reef National Park