Capitol Reef National Park Camping Guide

National Parks | Location


Are you looking to explore the vibrant natural landscape of Utah? RV camping in Capitol Reef National Park lets you truly experience the beauty of the Beehive State!

Located in Utah’s southern desert, Capitol Reef National Park comprises more than 200,000 acres of rugged scenery.

Need some help planning your RV adventure to this magnificent national park? Check out this guide on RV camping in Capitol Reef National Park to make the most of your trip!

Capitol Reef National Park Facts

Capitol Reef National Park is rich in history and culture. While originally designated as a national park in 1937, Capitol Reef opened to the public in 1950.

Some other amazing Capitol Reef National Park facts include the following:

  • One of the best known natural monuments in the park is the Waterpocket Fold. The Waterpocket Fold is a warp in the Earth’s crust, stretching across nearly 100 miles of land. 

  • Ellen Powell Thompson, a renowned botanist, explored the park area with her husband in 1871. On this expedition, Ellen collected and documented over 200 plant varieties. 

  • Signs of people living in Utah go as far back as 12,000 years ago! While little archeological evidence remains, scientists believe some hunter and gatherer groups migrated through the Waterpocket Fold. 

  • It’s been discovered that around 245 million years ago, Capitol Reef was once filled with beaches and tidal flats. 

  • The park has its own movie dedicated to the park’s history, culture, and landscape! This film is available at the park’s visitor center and is titled “Watermark.”

Best Capitol Reef National Park RV Parks and Campgrounds


capitol reef

There’s nothing more rejuvenating than relaxing the day away surrounded by nature. When staying in an RV rental in Capitol Reef National Park, you can make the best of both worlds!

Enjoy nature’s splendor in style by staying at one of these RV parks near Capitol Reef National Park.

Fruita Campground

Amenities: Fruita Campground is the only developed campground inside the park, making it an ideal spot for RV camping in Capitol Reef National Park. Fruita is known as an oasis amidst the desert of Capitol Reef. This campground has 71 sites and is surrounded by historic orchards. Fruita's amenities include an RV dump and potable water fill station, picnic tables, and fire rings. Campsites at Fruita cost $20 per night.

Capacity: There are 71 total sites at Fruita Campground, with 63 being RV accessible sites. The maximum occupants that can stay at one site are eight individuals.

More information: Fruita Campground

Wonderland RV Park

Amenities: One of the fantastic RV parks near Capitol Reef National Park is Wonderland RV Park. This RV park has been serving visitors to Capitol Reef since 1934. Many of the RV sites at Wonderland are adjacent to the park’s idyllic pastureland. Additional amenities for some RV sites include water and 30 amp plug-ins. Prices for staying at Wonderland vary, starting from $36 per night for smaller campers.

Capacity: There are 71 total sites at Fruita Campground, with 63 being RV-accessible sites. The maximum number of occupants that can stay at one site is eight.

More information: Wonderland RV Park

Sandcreek RV Park & Campground

Amenities: Sandcreek is another Capitol Reef National Park RV site to check out! RV park visitors are treated to views of Red Rock Country’s majestic cliffs. Accommodations at Sandcreek include full hook-up sites, spring-fed potable water, restrooms and showers, and firepits with picnic tables. Nightly rates at Sandcreek start at $40 per night.

Capacity: There are 15 pull-through RV sites at Sandcreek. Sites can vary, with some offering 30 amp hook-ups while others offer 50 amp.

More information: Sandcreek RV Park & Campground

Thousand Lakes RV Park

Amenities: Take in the beautiful view of sagebrush-covered plateaus when staying at the Thousand Lakes RV Park. Visitors can enjoy close-by activities, such as hiking and fishing at Thousand Lakes. Amenities at the park include a full-service RV park, a shaded pavilion with picnic tables, and a satellite hook-up. Nightly fees at the park start at $40 per night.

Capacity: There are over 40 RV sites available at Thousand Lakes. Visitors can choose from full hook-up pull-through spaces or back-in spaces with water and electricity hook-ups.

More information: Thousand Lakes RV Park

Duke’s Slickrock Campground

Amenities: Among the Capitol Reef National Park RV campgrounds, Duke's Slickrock Campground is one of the most memorable. This is a great park to stay at due to its proximity to Capitol Reef and other attractions. Duke’s Slickrock features amenities like showers, restrooms, a laundromat, and picnic tables. Nightly fees for staying at this park are $35 per night.

Capacity: There are numerous types of RV sites available at Duke’s Slickrock. Up to eight guests can stay on any given site. Sites vary depending on the size of your RV and if you prefer a back-in site.

More information: Duke’s Slickrock Campground

Fremont River RV Park

Amenities: Located 18 miles from Capitol Reef National Park, Fremont River RV Park is the perfect place to call home base. This new RV park accommodates all-size RVs with back-in and pull-through sites. The RV park has coin-operated laundry facilities and centrally located hot showers. Sites start at $41 per night.

Capacity: There are over 20 RV sites in various sizes.

More information: Fremont River RV Park

Cathedral Valley Campground

Amenities: The Cathedral Valley Campground is about 37 miles from the Capitol Reef visitor center and is perfect for those traveling on a budget. It is free to camp at Cathedral Valley, and although there are no hookups, you can enjoy the vista views from your perch at 7,000 feet. The sites come with a picnic table, and there are pit toilets available nearby.

Capacity: Six primitive sites.

More information: Cathedral Valley Campground

Cedar Mesa Campground

Amenities: Cedar Mesa Campground offers first-come, first-served primitive, free campsites with picnic tables and fire rings. There is no water available at the campground, so be sure to come prepared. The Red Canyon Trail is hailed as one of the best hiking trails in the park and happens to be near Cedar Mesa Campground. 

Capacity: Five sites.

More information: Cedar Mesa Campground

Singletree Campground

Amenities: This campground, located in Dixie National Forest, offers campers beautiful natural surroundings close to Capitol Reef National Park. Sites start at $20 per night and have no hookups or drinking water. There is a dump station and pit toilets available on-site. 

Capacity: 31 sites.

More information: Singletree Campground

Best Time to Visit Capitol Reef National Park for RV Camping

capitol reef

After you’ve chosen a spot for RV camping near Capitol Reef National Park, you can choose when you visit!

Capitol Reef is open year-round, but each season offers something different! Find out the best time to visit Capitol Reef National Park so you can plan an amazing adventure.


The mild temperatures at the park’s lower elevations make winter a great time for RV camping in Capitol Reef National Park. In the park’s more mountainous areas, visitors may get a chance to see snow. Some popular things to do during the winter months include hiking, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing.


In lower elevations at Capitol Reef, the spring season moves in a little earlier than higher elevations. As temperatures begin to rise, the park is filled with blooming flora. Plus, the historic orchids at Fruita begin to flower. All in all, springtime has a lot in store when it comes to the gorgeous blooming scenery and comfortable weather.


One of the busier times at the park is during the summer season. Summertime is also the monsoon season at Capitol Reef. The heavy downpours during the summer can result in ephemeral waterfalls. These downpours can also result in flash floods, so it’s important to check the weather when visiting in the summer.


The fall season adds to the vibrant colors visitors can see at Capitol Reef. During the fall, visitors can enjoy mild temperatures and even pick fruit in the Fruita orchards. The cottonwood leaves turn a golden yellow while the park’s shrubbery becomes gorgeous shades of red.

Things to Do in Capitol Reef National Park


Now that you know when to visit and where to stay, you’ll need to plan your activities! Luckily, there’re tons of things to do in Capitol Reef National Park all year-round.

Some activities you should check out when visiting include:


  • Take a road tour throughout the park’s majestic Cathedral Valley

  • Drive along the Notom-Bullfrog Road and Burr Trail to “Loop the Fold,” and witness some amazing geology landmarks. 

  • Spend a day hiking one of the 15 hiking trails in the Fruita area. 

  • Go backpacking through the park’s canyons and gorges. 

  • Learn more about the park through daily ranger programs. These programs feature topics like park geology and Fremont Culture. 

  • Get a thrill by canyoneering on one of the park’s many routes.

  • Take in Capitol Reef’s history firsthand by walking along the boardwalks surrounding the Fremont Culture petroglyphs.  

  • Take a scenic drive along Highway 24 and take in the breathtaking sights.

  • Visit Panorama Point to get a spectacular view of the national park. 

  • Walk to Goosenecks Overlook for more beautiful views.

  • Eat some pie at the Gifford Homestead in historic Fruita. 

    Wildlife in Capitol Reef National Park

    In Capitol Reef National Park, you may encounter many different wildlife species. Here are some of the many types of wildlife you may see on your trip.


  • Coyotes

  • Racoons

  • Black Bears

  • Mule Deers

  • Mountain Lions

  • Bighorn Sheep

  • Bats

  • Peregrine Falcons

  • Gopher Snakes

  • Golden Eagles

  • See the Pioneer Register. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Mormon settlers passed through and left their mark on the canyon walls. Use the Capitol Gorge Trail to get to the Pioneer Register. 

Tips on Visiting Capitol Reef National Park

Use these helpful tips on visiting Capitol Reef National Park as you plan your vacation getaway!

  • Stay aware of the weather when visiting, especially when hiking the cliffs of Capitol Reef. Keep your eyes peeled for any posted warnings in the park as well. 

  • Even if you’re accustomed to a desert climate, it’s important to stay hydrated when visiting Capitol Reef! It’s recommended you have at least one gallon of water per person per day. 

  • If you’re taking part in picking fruit at Fruita, make sure to follow park guidelines! Hand-held fruit pickers and ladders are provided. It is also requested that guests do not climb trees when picking fruit. 

  • Please be respectful of any historical sites, like the Fremont Culture petroglyphs. Disturbing these sites can result in a fine of up to $20,000. 

  • Take part in the national Leave No Trace program. This program encourages guests to be mindful of their surroundings by disposing of waste properly and respecting the park. 

RV Rental for Capitol Reef National Park

 capitol reef road in

Equipped with tons of helpful resources and knowledge about the park, you’re more than ready to embark on your RV camping experience!

Before hitting the road, though, you’ll need to find an awesome RV rental for Capitol Reef National Park.

To enjoy an unparalleled camping experience, get an RV rental from Cruise America. Each RV comes with great amenities, such as a gas cooktop and a generator. Plus, Cruise America’s RV rentals are pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry best friend along for the ride.

No need to wait to find the perfect vehicle for your vacation! Visit Cruise America today to find a spectacular RV rental for Capitol Reef National Park!