Capitol Reef National Park is filled with colorful canyons, ridges, buttes and monoliths. The Waterpocket Fold, a wrinkle on the earth, is the backbone of the park and measures about 100 miles.see more »
Capitol Reef National Park Alternatives
21 Anasazi State Park: The park's museum houses a life-sized replica dwelling and displays artifacts recovered from an Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) village on site. This village was likely occupied from A.D. 1050 to 1200. Exhibits of the Ancient Pueblo culture show how the people lived. http://stateparks.utah.gov
22 Boulder Mountain: At roughly 11,000 feet, Boulder Mountain's 50,000 timbered acres cover half of the Aquarius Plateau (an uplift along the Colorado Plateau), making it the highest forested plateau in North America, peaking at 11,313 feet. Boulder Mountain can be reached from Torrey, at the junction of Highway 24 and Scenic Byway 12. The east slope overlooks the rugged cliffs and canyons of Capitol Reef National Park. Other stunning scenic vistas include The Escalante River from the south slope, Box Death Hollow wilderness area to the south, and Powell Point to the southwest. Part of Dixie National Forest, Boulder Mountain has about 60 high-elevation fishable lakes and is commonly used by hunters in the fall. http://utahspatchworkparkway.com/
23 The Burr Trail: The Burr Trail takes the adventurous traveler into some of Utah's most beautiful and extraordinary country. Views of the Henry Mountains, the colorfully contorted Waterpocket Fold, red Circle Cliffs, and Long Canyon all await the traveler who wishes to drive this interesting back road. Numerous hikes and side trips are available for those with the time and inclination. The road connecting Bullfrog and Boulder passes through the painted rock country of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Capitol Reef National Park, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
24 Fishlake National Forest Scenic Byway: This scenic byway spans mountains and meadows of the Fishlake National Forest to two of the most scenic and popular fishing spots in the state. Early on, you will experience a change in terrain from sagebrush and occasional trees to high mountain aspen, shimmering in their summer greenery or blazing fall foliage. Deer and elk are a common sight among the trees, and moose were recently reintroduced to the area. At Fish Lake, a variety of waterfowl and birds are established, including golden and bald eagles. The fishing is excellent at both Fish Lake and Johnson Reservoir. Resorts, day-use areas and campgrounds are located all along this route. Look for the unusual rock monument, found along the west end of SR-25, which were built over a period of 40 years by local sheepherders. http://cms.visitutah.com/cms/pages/content/*In the process of switching out.
25 Great Western Trail (segment): This moderate trail loop is designed for ATV, bike and horseback riding and can be accessed by seven different points along Highway 24. You can also continue on to the connecting Dark Valley Trailhead. Along the trail you will view the beautiful Thousand Lake Mountain and Park Mountain, and you may view wildlife-elk, deer, and antelope. Camping available. http://utahspatchworkparkway.com/
26 Henry Mountains: The remote Henry Mountains comprise two million acres of backcountry beauty, with an elevation range from 3,700 feet at the north shore of Lake Powell to more than 11,600 feet at Mt. Ellen. This rugged landscape offers an abundance of recreational opportunities such as hiking, off-roading, camping, wildlife viewing, nature studies, photography, and hunting. In fact, the Henry Mountains are home to one of the few places in the country where bison herds roam freely-usually on the South Summit Ridge of Mt. Ellen during the summer months. http://www.capitolreef.org/henry-mountains.html
27 Horseshoe Canyon: Horseshoe Canyon is a remote section near Canyonlands National Park where visitors can see some of the best-preserved pictographs and petroglyphs in the U.S. The highlight of the ancient rock art is the "Great Gallery," a 200-foot long by 15-foot high panel featuring 20 life-size human figures. The art dates back as far as 7000-9000 B.C., created by the Desert Archaic culture. http://www.capitolreef.org/henry-mountains.html
28 Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS): Located in the San Rafael Swell near Hanksville, is the second of four simulated Mars habitats in the world, built and managed by the Mars Society. The area was chosen for field study research because of the terrain's noticeable similarities to Mars. Astronauts and research crews spend two weeks at a time living in the two-story, eight-meter cylindrical "Habitat," also known as "the Hab." Groups can interact with the crew at the Musk Observatory, which is equipped with a Celestron 14-inch CGE1400 telescope. MDRS is about a 20-minute drive from the junction of Highways 95 and 24 in Hanksville. http://www.capitolreef.org/mars.html
29 Otter Creek State Park: This quiet getaway is a great destination for ATV riders, boaters and birders. Access three ATV trails, including Paiute, directly from the park. Lure a record catch from Otter Creek Reservoir, a prime fishery. Go birding during spring and fall as many bird species pass through the park on their journey along the Pacific Migratory Bird Flyway. An excellent camping alternative for those unable to camp at the nearby national parks. http://www.capitolreef.org/henry-mountains.html
30 Thousand Lake Mountain Road: A 35-mile scenic backway that begins in Fremont and loops through the Cathedral Valley section of Capitol Reef National Park. The road climbs steep cliffs and towering rock formations, leading to stunning panoramic vistas. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended for the two hour drive along the mostly dirt and gravel but well-maintained road. http://www.capitolreef.org/henry-mountains.html
Utah Office of Tourism
Council Hall/Capitol Hill 300 N State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114