Capitol Reef National Park Camping Overview

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Sandstone pyramids, Capitol Reef National Park
Sandstone pyramids, Capitol Reef National Park (Nathan Borchelt)

Capitol Reef National Park Highlights

  • The only developed campground in Capitol Reef National Park is the Fruita Campground. It has 71 sites and is located south of the visitor center in the Fruita Historic District. The campground is surrounded by historic orchards and sits next to the Fremont River.
  • At approximately 7,000 feet in elevation, Cathedral Valley Campground is located about 36 miles from the visitor center on the Cathedral Valley Loop Road. This primitive campground has only six sites and no water, and sites are on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The Cedar Mesa Campground is another in park primitive camping option. Located 35 miles south of UT 24 on the Notom-Bullfrog Road, the campground is open year-round, but visitors should check on road conditions first before heading out for an overnight stay. Located at 5,500 feet in elevation.
  • Calf Creek Recreation Site and Campground is 15 miles east of the town of Escalante along UT 12. There are 13 individual camping sites and are first-come, first-served. The Bureau of Land Management manages this recreation area and the main draw is the 2.75-mile, one-way hike to see the nearly 200-foot Lower Calf Creek Falls.
  • Fishlake National Forest offers six different campgrounds that are in close proximity to Capitol Reef National Park: Big Rock, Bowery Creek, Doctor Creek, Frying Pan, Mackinaw, as well as Twin Creek Singletree Campground, which is an equally good option despite the fact that it’s technically located in the Dixie National Forest.

Fruita Campground

The Fruita Campground is often described as an oasis within the desert. Surrounded by historic orchards, this developed campground has 70 RV/tent sites, each with a picnic table and grill, but no hook-ups. A dump site and heated restrooms are also available. Open year-round, the Fruita Campground is the only developed campground in Capitol Reef National Park and as a result usually fills by mid-afternoon during the visitor season. Reservations are accepted for the one group campsite. Check with the Visitor Center for more information.

Cedar Mesa Campground

The Cedar Mesa Campground is located approximately 35 miles south of the Visitor Center on the Notom-Bullfrog Road. This primitive campground has five sites, each with a picnic table and fire grate. There is also a pit toilet, but no water is available. The campground is open year-round, but visitors should check with the Capitol Reef Visitor Center for road conditions prior to planning an overnight stay.

Cathedral Valley Campground

The Cathedral Campground is located approximately halfway on the scenic 55-mile Cathedral Valley loop road which traverses Capitol Reef's Cathedral District. This primitive campground has six sites, each with a picnic table and fire grate. There is a pit toilet, but no water available. The campground is open year-round; however, visitors should check road conditions with the Capitol Reef Visitor Center prior to planning an overnight stay.

Group Campground Reservations

To find out how to reserve a group camping spot, call the park.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 6 Jan 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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