RV Road Trip to Capitol Reef National Park

Hoping to find a family RV vacation spot that combines history and geology with plenty of outdoor exploration? Come to Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park and discover the land of Butch Cassidy, ancient petroglyphs and hundreds of awesome geologic formations.

Let’s cover the camping details first, shall we? RV campgrounds in the area include:

  • Sand Creek RV Park near Torrey, UT, offers affordable RV camping amidst scenic canyons.
  • Thousand Lakes RV Park, also near Torrey, features large pull-thru campsites and off-road vehicle rentals.
  • Fruita Campground within Capitol Reef National Park offers no-hookups camping in an historic Mormon orchard.

Now that we’ve helped you find a place to stay, here are some favorite attractions reported by our customers:

  • Cassidy Arch: A well-known formation within the park is Cassidy Arch, named for famed outlaw “Butch Cassidy” who hid with his Wild Bunch in the surrounding Waterpocket Fold and Grand Wash after robbing a bank or train. It’s visible from the park’s Scenic Drive (see below) and there’s a hiking trail nearby.
  • Fruita Historic Tour: If you’re planning to take the Park’s Scenic Drive, start your day at Fruita, a former Mormon settlement home to lush orchards still bearing fruit. Your family can even pick fruit and nuts in those orchards for a fee during harvest season! In the shadow of eight-story cliffs you’ll find remnants of the settlement worth spending a morning exploring.
  • Petroglyphs: Your kids will get a peek into ancient Native American history with a stop at the Fremont Petroglyphs. These carvings on canyon walls date back to 600 A.D. Photograph them for future study, but remember to observe park rules to protect them from further damage.
  • Scenic Drive: Once you’ve seen the sights and tasted the fruit at Fruita, really get to know the park with a trip along its Scenic Drive. Along the way, you’ll see enormous sandstone domes, including the “Capitol” that gives the park its name. You’ll want to stop and photograph exposed rock spires that display the development of the landscape over millennia. Take the time to explore ancient stream beds where you just might spy the footprints of primitive reptiles, and definitely take a hike along the park’s most famous formation, the 100-mile long Waterpocket Fold.

There’s even more to see and do at Capitol Reef National Park! Hiking trails criss-cross the landscape (Cohab Canyon, Cassidy Arch and Frying Pan Trails are especially scenic) and wildlife sightings will keep the kids busy. There are also historic homesteads to discover and interesting Ranger presentations in the amphitheater to round out your visit.

No matter how you choose to focus your time at Capitol Reef National Park, your family won’t be disappointed. It’s a wondrous place, rich with history, natural beauty and secrets waiting to be discovered. Don’t miss the chance to take an RV road trip soon to this Utah treasure.

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