Before you start your Capitol Reef adventure, stop at the Visitors’ Center just east of Torrey, Utah on Highway 24. There a short film is shown on the points of interest and history of the park. Hiking trails are plentiful in Capitol Reef National Park, and information on those is also available at the Visitors’ Center.
Entering Capitol Reef National Park from the west on Highway 24, you will view many sculptured wonders, including Castle Rock. The Castle sits high atop its foundation of red rock of varying shades and looks down on the green of fruit trees, a reminder of the hardy pioneers who settled the little town of Fruita. The trees, both in bloom and bearing ripened fruit, are a special attraction of the park.
When in season, cherries, apricots, peaches, pears and apples can be picked by the pound or larger quantities. Deer live and are protected in Capital Reef and the fruit is a special attraction to them also.
Don’t miss the schoolhouse. With the push of a button you can listen to the voice of the teacher who taught those long ago pupils, telling about the days of education in this tiny one room house of learning. View the desks, inkwells and chalkboard.
Take a walk along the boardwalk and view another chalkboard. This one made of red sandstone and used by the ancient Indians.
Capitol Gorge is a hike to enjoy. This will take you between sheer red cliffs that early settlers and later residents of Wayne County used as a means of travel between Fruita and Caineville. Butch Cassidy rode his horse this way, when the need arose to get to his famous hide out, Robber’s Roost.
Capitol Reef is a red sandstone masterpiece created by erosion over millions of years. The beauty of its formations and multicolored cliffs such as Chimney Rock, Capitol Dome and Hickman Bridge give the visitor just a small peek at some of Capitol Reef’s natural beauty and colorful handiwork. If your plans are only of the park, take another hour and make a round trip into Caineville. The fiery red of the Reef changes to pigeon blue of clay mesas. Highway 24 twists and flows with the Fremont River by its side, through the park and there is no charge to travel this scenic part of Utah.