In my opinion, Captiol Reef National Park is Utah’s best kept secret. This is the least visited park of the “Mighty Five” in Utah, but it’s truly a hidden gem. My sister and I made the quick trip down to southern Utah while she was in town visiting me for the weekend. The whole time we were exploring Capitol Reef, I kept thinking about how much it reminded me of Zion, except without the crowds, which was so lovely!
My sister and I left Salt Lake early and arrived to Capitol Reef mid-morning. Our first stop after the Visitor’s Center was the Hickman Bridge Trailhead. This is one of the better-known trails in Capitol Reef, so if any trail was going to be “busy,” it was this one. Hickman Bridge is an easy, yet scenic trail that ends with a beautiful, natural arch. Next, we hiked through the Grand Wash Narrows, and finished the day with 8-mile scenic drive. On our way home we stopped at a cute little sandwich shop outside of the park for an early dinner.
FYI: one thing not to miss at Capitol Reef: the fruit pies.
Years ago, when Mormon pioneers arrived to Capitol Reef, they planted a plethora of apple, pear, and peach trees in what’s known now as Fruita Valley. You can buy fruit pies at the Gifford Homstead, which is located about a mile south of the Visitor’s Center. Hurry fast though, because these pies are so good that they WILL sell out if you don’t get there early enough!!