Nestled in the heart of Utah’s red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park invites families to embark on an unforgettable journey through stunning landscapes, ancient petroglyphs, and hidden orchards. Far from the crowds, Capitol Reef offers a peaceful retreat where families can connect with nature and create lasting memories together. Here are eight reasons why Capitol Reef is the perfect destination for families:

Scenic Drive: Begin your adventure with a scenic drive along the park’s main road, which winds through towering cliffs, colorful rock formations, and expansive vistas. Stop at overlooks along the way for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Fruita Historic District: Step back in time at the Fruita Historic District, where you can explore the remnants of a 19th-century Mormon settlement. Visit the Gifford Homestead to sample homemade pies and learn about pioneer life in the desert.

Hickman Bridge: Embark on a family-friendly hike to Hickman Bridge, a natural sandstone arch spanning 133 feet across a narrow canyon. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and canyons, making it a perfect spot for a family photo.

Petroglyphs: Discover ancient rock art left behind by the Fremont people at the Capitol Reef Petroglyphs. Kids will love searching for intricate designs and symbols carved into the sandstone walls, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural history.

Grand Wash: Explore the towering cliffs and narrow slot canyons of Grand Wash on a family hike through this scenic canyon. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including desert bighorn sheep and golden eagles, as you traverse the sandy wash.

Cassidy Arch: Hike to Cassidy Arch for panoramic views of the park’s rugged landscape. Named after the infamous outlaw Butch Cassidy, this natural arch offers a thrilling adventure for families willing to make the trek.

Chimney Rock: Marvel at the towering spire known as Chimney Rock, which rises 400 feet above the desert floor. Take a short hike to the base of the rock for a closer look and enjoy views of the surrounding cliffs and canyons.

Junior Ranger Program: Engage the whole family in Capitol Reef’s Junior Ranger Program, where kids can learn about desert ecology, geology, and history through fun and interactive activities. Upon completion, they’ll receive a badge and a sense of pride in protecting this unique landscape.

With its stunning scenery, rich history, and opportunities for outdoor adventure, Capitol Reef National Park offers families a chance to connect with nature and create memories that will last a lifetime. Pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and prepare for an unforgettable journey through the desert wilderness of Capitol Reef.


It was drizzling when we arrived at Capitol Reef National Park. The rain created a more vibrant red on the multi-colored rock layers, canyons, domes, cliffs and bridges in the waterpocket fold….

Canceled July 28, 2010