2 - 3 Hours
One Per Car
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Capitol Reef National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour
Discover the hidden gem of Utah’s national parks! This self-guided driving tour takes you through the colorful, awe-inspiring Capitol Reef. This park is home to hundreds of millions of years of history and tons of fantastic hikes and vistas. Plus, dig into the long, surprising history of the park’s human inhabitants, from the ancient tribes to the Mormon pioneers scraping out a living in one of the most remote parts of America.
About the Tour
Your tour of Capitol Reef begins in the town of Torrey, heading east on Route 24. Here, you’ll catch your first glimpse of the unique landscape that has made the Reef famous. As you approach the park itself, you’ll get a crash course in the park’s history and the tribes who once lived here.
The first significant landmarks you’ll encounter are the Twin Rocks and Chimney Rock. In these iconic formations, you’ll first hear about how to identify the different geologic layers you’ll see throughout the Reef. After that, you’ll come to Panorama Point and Gooseneck Overlook, two phenomenal vistas offering incredible views. Don’t forget to snap some photos!
The Fluted Wall is next, offering a glimpse back 240 million years into the past. Then, turn your gaze upward to gape at the awe-inspiring Castle, a natural fortress overlooking the park.
You’ll then arrive at the Visitor Center and the official entrance to the most scenic part of the Reef. This road will take you past the Ripple Rock Nature Center (a favorite among the younger travelers) and the Fruita Historic District. This remnant of an old Mormon pioneer town makes for some fascinating exploration!
From there, you’ll continue toward Danish Hill, a spot that offers some of the best views of the whole park and is a popular place to spot wildlife to boot! You’ll pass Oyler Mine next, where workers once harvested uranium. Continuing from there, you’ll hear all about the Paiute tribe and their traditions and legends before arriving at the Capitol Gorge Trailhead, one of the most popular hikes in the whole park.
Next, you’ll head back up north and have a chance to check out some ancient petroglyphs left behind by the Reef’s earliest inhabitants. Then there’s the Hickman Bridge Trail, a beautiful hike that ends by a stunning natural bridge.
Finally, you’ll see the Behunin Cabin, one of the most remote residences in this already remote location, and then arrive at the park’s east entrance. The tour concludes here.
Starting Point: Torrey Pioneer Schoolhouse, Torrey, UT 84775
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Journey Through America’s Southwest Wonders: Embark on an Epic tour
Experience the wonders of the American Southwest on an unforgettable tour. Explore the stunning red rock formations of Sedona, wander through the otherworldly landscapes of the Grand Canyon, and immerse yourself in the rich Native American culture of the region. From the vibrant city lights of Las Vegas to the serene beauty of Zion National Park, this tour will take you on a journey through some of America’s most iconic destinations.
How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
What You'll See
Welcome to Capitol Reef
The Fluted Wall
Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center
Ripple Rock Nature Center
The Mail Tree
Cohab Canyon & Trailhead (Return to Car)
Capitol Gorge trailhead
Hickman Bridge Trail
"Grand Wash Trailhead "
"Alt:Cassidy Arch Trailhead "
"Alt:Pioneer Register "
Preview The Tour
Preview the Tour
Capitol Reef National Park is renowned for its Waterpocket Fold, a nearly 100-mile long warp in the Earth’s crust.
The Scenic Drive is the best route for experiencing Capitol Reef’s stunning landscapes, with numerous viewpoints and pull-offs.
The park’s name is derived from the white domes and cliffs resembling the U.S. Capitol building and a “reef” of rock that was challenging to navigate.
The park features unique rock formations like the Chimney Rock, the Castle, and the Goosenecks.
Visitors might encounter wildlife such as mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, and a variety of bird species.
The Fruita district was settled by Mormon pioneers and features historic orchards, homesteads, and the Gifford Homestead, where you can buy fresh fruit and pies.
The best time to visit for pleasant weather is during the spring and fall when temperatures are moderate.
Visitors should stick to designated trails, carry enough water, and be aware of the desert environment’s challenges.
The Visitor Center provides information on the park’s geology, history, and trails, along with maps and exhibits.
Some of the most picturesque viewpoints include Panorama Point, Sunset Point, and Goosenecks Overlook, all offering breathtaking vistas of the park’s landscapes.
Yes, visitors are welcome to pick fruit from the historic orchards in season, and there’s also a store where you can purchase fresh fruit and pies.
The best time to capture photographs with soft, warm lighting is during the golden hours, which are typically around sunrise and sunset.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on next trip. Never expires.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rental: Please arrange a rental car at the closest airport or train station.