Capitol Reef National Park Tour

DurationDuration 6-8 hrs
DirectionTour Directions 2
tour Tour Stops 15


Capitol Reef National Park boasts some of the most impressive and important geology in all of southern Utah. More than that, the park offers a one-of-a-kind window into the state’s past. There’s plenty to see and do and with Shaka Guide, we’ll take you to historic spots, scenic overlooks and family-friendly hiking trails.

Here are just a few of the fun things you can do on the tour!

• Visit historic sites like the Fruita Schoolhouse and Fremont Petroglyphs
• Take in views of the Waterpocket Fold - a 100 mile long wrinkle in the earth’s crust
• Stop by Fruita Orchards for local produce
• Take a picturesque ride along the park’s scenic drive


Recommended Start Time: Before 8:00 a.m.
Tour Starting Point(s): Torrey and Hanksville
Time to complete: 4+ hours

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Tour Stops

Preview Audio

Capitol Reef introduction eastbound - The Red Gate
Capitol Reef Introduction - Westbound 24
Food and supplies options

Tour Route

Important Travel Info

Safety & Etiquette
Budgeting, Fees & Reservations
Time & Schedule
Suggested Packing List

Hiking Safety: Bring water and hike in groups, stay away from ledges

Driving Safety: Follow posted speed limits, stick to roads rated for your vehicle, be prepared for narrow roads and tight turns.

Flash Flood Safety: Capitol Reef Country is prone to flash flooding. If you see rain clouds in the sky, think twice before entering any canyon. If it is raining, do not enter canyons. Flash floods can still occur even if it isn’t raining where you are. 

Backcountry Safety: if you deviate from the tour onto backcountry roads, you are responsible for your own safety and may have to self-rescue. Water sources are rare and unreliable. 

Pet Safety: Leashed pets are allowed only on public roadways, in established campgrounds, and on the trail from the visitor center to the campground. They are not permitted on other trails, backcountry routes, or in off-trail areas.

While on the tour, the only things you need to budget for are food, souvenirs, and the Scenic Drive fee. Of course, you should also take into consideration any supplies you may need to purchase before starting the tour, like sunscreen and water bottles. It is the desert, after all! 

$20 per car for the Scenic Drive

$15-$20 per person for lunch

$5 per personal size pie at the Gifford Home

$10-$20 per person for gifts/souvenirs at the Gifford Home and Visitor Center

Get to the park early, by 8:30 a.m. when the Visitor Center opens, to avoid the midday crowds. Or get there even earlier to watch the sunrise over the Scenic Drive.

If all you’re doing is driving, the full tour can be done in as little as 3 hours. An average tour through the park should take you 4-6 hours if you make frequent stops and enjoy a few of the shorter hikes. Longer or additional hikes will extend the tour even further. Feel free to participate in as few or as many stops as you like or as your time permits.

  • Very Important: Car charger
  • Sneakers
  • Hiking Clothes
  • Water Bottle
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun glasses and/or hat
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Snacks
  • Cash
  • Phone Mount
  • First Aid Kit

Tour FAQs

This tour has 19 stops. Check out the itinerary here for a complete list of stops and if you’re looking for more information to help plan your trip, here’s what you need to know before you go

  • Sneakers
  • Hiking clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun glasses and/or hat
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Snacks
  • Cash
  • Car charger *VERY IMPORTANT*
  • Phone mount
  • First aid kit

This tour has 19 stops. Check out the itinerary here for a complete list of stops and if you’re looking for more information to help plan your trip, here’s what you need to know before you go! 

The park is open 24-hours. The Visitor center and Gifford house are open 8:30 am to 5:00 pm March - October. November - February, they close at 4:30 pm. 

Before visiting the park, call 435-425-3791 and use the automated answering service to check road conditions. 

Yes! Feel free to join the tour along the route. Just make sure that you follow the numbers in chronological order from where you are starting from.  If you don’t begin at one of the tour starting points you’ll miss a few stories, but you’ll still have a great experience. 

Yes! This tour is available in both an east to west and west to east direction. When you go to start the tour select the starting point and direction that works best for you! 

​​Still have questions? Send us an email at aloha@shakaguide.com  or give us a call on 1-888-250-2261.

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