It’s Memorial Day Weekend! Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and it’s a long weekend – so people usually try to do something pretty fun. If you’re heading to Capitol Reef this weekend, here’s what we at the Lodge suggest you do. It’s kinda of like a mini itinerary that we made just for this Memorial Day Weekend.
- Head to Capitol Reef – most people drive down from Salt Lake City, which takes about four hours. It’s a pretty great road trip.
- Check in to Accommodations
- Grab Dinner in Torrey – we have a couple of dining suggestions that you can check out here.
- Head into the Park – it’s your first day in Capitol Reef! First things first, stop by the Visitor Center. There are a bunch of cool things to see and learn there. Talk to the Park Rangers, watch the educational video, and grab a trail map.
- Hike the Cohab Trail – this is one of the best, secret hikes in the park. It’s fairly short and easy, and has plenty of good shade. Plus the trail will lead you to one of favorite spots in the park – the Gifford House. (It’s best if you can park a car on each side of the trail. That way you can shuttle back to the trailhead.)
- Stop by the Gifford House – this is the best spot to buy homemade goodies. Load up on ice cream and pie, and maybe some canned salsa to take home.
- Have Lunch – have a picnic at the green space next to the Gifford House. Or, if you want to grab a bite from a restaurant, head back to Torrey.
- Stop by Goosenecks Overlook – this is a great way to wrap up the day. As you head out of the park, stop by the Gooseneck turn off. Drive a few minutes, until you get to the parking lot. Hike down to the overlook, and admire that view.
- Head back to your Accommodation – check in, have an afternoon nap and relax until dinner.
- Grab Dinner in Torrey
- Grab lunch supplies in Torrey
- Head into the Park
- Drive down the Scenic Route – this is the only toll road in the park. Stop by the self-pay station and pay the ten-dollar toll.
- Turn down the Grand Wash side road
- Hike to Cassidy Arch – this is one of our all time favorite hikes in Capitol Reef. It’s moderately difficult with steep inclines at the beginning of the trail. Eventually the terrain levels off to a flat mesa. Once you make it across the mesa, you will be rewarded with an up-close view of Cassidy Arch and well as impressive views of the Waterpocket Fold.
- Picnic in the Park – use the supplies you got in Torrey to have a picnic lunch under the massive Cottonwood trees near the Gifford House.
- Go for a Scenic Drive – take a scenic drive up the mountain to the town of Boulder. Stop by some of the overlooks and campgrounds to stretch your legs.
- Eat an Early Diner in Boulder
- Head back to your Accommodations
- Head back into Capitol Reef – if you have the chance, go back to Capitol Reef in the morning. There is one more thing you should see before you go.
- Hike the Petroglyph Trail – a very short, easy walk will lead you to some amazing rock art. Admire the dozens of Native American petroglyph markings on the red rock walls.
- Stop by the Gifford House – if you want any more treats, now is the time to grab them!
- Time to head home
That’s it. The Lodge at Red River Ranch’s Memorial Day Weekend Itinerary. We hope you have fun exploring Capitol Reef. Be safe, and bring lots of water!