Give Us More!
Capitol Reef is the best! It’s the hidden gem of Utah’s park system. And we love it! We’ve written lots of guides on what to do in the park, the best hikes for quick, day-long excursions, itineraries, and top ten lists for Capitol Reef. So if you’re planning on visiting this year, check those out! But we thought we’d take a moment to mention some of the other amazing locations that are located near the park, in case you’ve got an extra day or two and want to explore some more. So here is a non-comprehensive list of what to do around here – besides Capitol Reef.
Hang Out at Fish Lake
Fish Lake is a large alpine lake located about 40 minutes from Capitol Reef. In fact, most people drive past it on the way to the park. (Here it is marked on Google Maps.) It is a completely different setting than the sandstone geology of Capitol Reef. Here, in the pines and aspens of Fishlake National Forest, you can fly-fish along the shore, go boating, hike some of the trails, or just hang out by the lake for the afternoon. Fish Lake is a beautiful place to relax anytime of the year. And it is especially welcoming in the summer when the leaves provide shade and a cooler environment and during autumn, when the aspens turn a golden hue. Here is a link to the official Fishlake Forest site, so you can get more details for your trip.
Road Trip on Highway 12
Utah’s Highway 12 Scenic Byway is probably the greatest scenic road in America! The route lead you from the forests of Boulder Mountain, through the deserts and mesas of the Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument, all the way to the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. There are exhilarating moments when the road has drop-offs on either side. There are great hikes along the way, like Upper and Lower Calf Creek. And there are fantastic overlooks of Capitol Reef and the South Desert. You can drive the whole route, or just do a section of it, or you can drive the Burr Trail which incorporates the beginning part of Highway 12. But however you do it, you’ll have a great time driving through some of the greatest scenery on Earth.
High-Octane Wilderness Exploration
Off-road vehicles aren’t allowed in Capitol Reef, since it’s a protected space. (And it’s important to prevent wear and tear on the flora and fauna found here.) But there are thousands of miles of off-road trails on nearby Boulder Mountain, Thousand-lake Mountain, and in the desert areas surrounding the national park. (Like Cainville and Factory Butte.) Luckily for you, if you don’t own your own off-road vehicles, there are various ATV and Jeep rental companies in our neighborhood that provide tours. These companies will take you to those trails in the deserts or mountains where you can enjoy the scenery at top speed. Call our friends at Dixie Top Outfitters, and they’ll help get you sorted.
And So Much More…
The Capitol Reef area is an unlimited source of adventure. We haven’t even mentioned horseback trails, hunting, or kayaking. We’ve got a page that will point in the right direction if you want more ideas of what you can do around here – in addition to having a blast in Capitol Reef.