Capitol Reef is a perhaps the best national park in Utah. It combines the massive sandstone towers of Zion National Park, the arches and bridges of Arches National Park, with the narrow canyons of Canyonlands. It is a showcase of natural splendor. And in order to see everything, we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch encourage you to visit Capitol Reef’s three distinct geological sections. There is the Main Thoroughfare area, Cathedral Valley, and the Waterpocket Fold. All are amazing, and together they make the perfect national park.
The Main Thoroughfare – this is where you enter the park, and is the region most commonly seen by visitors. This middle stretch contains the visitor center, the campground, the scenic toll road. There is much to see, and plenty of good hiking trails. Try Fremont River Trail, Cassidy Arch, or Hickman Bridge. And stop by the historic Gifford House for old-fashioned treats.
Cathedral Valley – this sparse desert plateau lies to the north of the Main Thoroughfare. It is the least visited area of the park, which is unfortunate, because it is so beautiful. There are huge, free- standing stone pillars, and open desert. This vast landscape is perfect for high adventurers who want to spend some time in the backcountry. Horse riding is popular here. Be sure to check out the Temple of the Sun, and the Temple of the Moon.
Waterpocket Fold – this is the most diverse, and impressive, of the three subdivisions. The earth has folded upon itself again and again, and erosive water has carved narrow canyons. The Henry Mountains border the Waterpocket Fold on the east. The Notom road will take you all the way to the very tip of the Waterpocket Fold – which is an incredible drive. The Burr Trail road through much of region. Hike as many trails as you can. We recommend Burro Wash and Mulley Twist.