The Capitol Reef Country of Wayne County, Utah, is one of the American Southwest’s least-explored natural regions. Just one look at the map and you’ll see that this is a vast and remarkable area filled with parks, monuments, and countless hidden gems. Here you’ll find few lines and little traffic, leaving more time to enjoy the great outdoors in this alluring area in southern Utah—the perfect destination for year-round adventure!
GET YOUR BEARINGS IN SOUTHERN UTAH’S EPICENTER OF ADVENTURE
Capitol Reef Country is the hub for a massive amount of outdoor fun and excitement for the whole family. Wayne County itself encompasses Capitol Reef National Park, known for its iconic 100-mile formation called the Waterpocked Fold and verdant orchards, as well as the western rim of Canyonlands National Park, several towering mountain ranges, and numerous world-class canyoneering destinations, including Robbers Roost. Nearby you will find access to Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase National Monument, Goblin Valley State Park, and even parts of Lake Powell. As a result, Capitol Reef Country is the perfect base camp for the ultimate freedom to explore!
EXPERIENCE THE THREE DIVERSE LANDSCAPES OF CAPITOL REEF COUNTRY
Within the immense borders of Capitol Reef Country, the terrain is divided into three distinct regions: the Western Highlands, a Central area, and the Eastern High Desert. In the Western Highlands, the Boulder and Thousand Lakes Mountains elevate the skyline at over 11,000 feet. Their meadows and forests offer a playground for year-round activities. Lower down in the central region, the colorful sandstone cliffs and verdant riverbanks of Capitol Reef National Park mark the landscape. Further to the east, time has stood still. Here in the desert, dinosaurs and famous outlaws used to call the complex terrain home. Today, the area offers access to the western edge of Canyonlands National Park and the Henry Mountains. It is still so wild that a large herd of buffalo continues to roam free!
HIKE, BIKE, AND MORE: ENDLESS HUMAN-POWERED ADVENTURES
Hiking is a popular all-levels activity in red rock country, and Wayne County offers endless trails to explore. Enjoy alpine meadows and aspen groves on Boulder Mountain or embark on any number of hikes through Capitol Reef National Park. Chances are, you’ll want to immerse yourself in the sandstone features of southern Utah. Guided canyoneering is a great option, and the San Rafael Swell and Robber’s Roost areas are world-class. In addition, mountain biking trails for beginners and experts abound, offering a different way to take in the landscape.Prefer to experience nature with a fishing rod in hand? Boulder Mountain’s many lakes teem with brook and rainbow trout. Similarly, casting on the Fremont River is a popular choice. There are tremendous possibilities for human-powered adventures in Capitol Reef Country!
ZOOM ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE WITH MOTOR-BASED FUN
One of the best parts of the southwest is zooming around the desert on four wheels, and visitors can rent off-highway vehicles to partake in the fun. In Capitol Reef Country, backcountry roads lead in all directions through diverse terrain and elevations. Throttle your way through high desert terrain, red rock landscapes, and mountains. The freedom to roam is truly mind-boggling!Hoping to get a little exercise? Take a spin on an electric bike, or e-bike. The town of Torrey, a hub for adventure in Wayne County, offers rentals and an abundance of route suggestions. For beginners, a pedal through town is perfect, while ambitious cyclists might tour Capitol Reef’s panoramic paved roadways. One of our favorites is the aptly-named Scenic Drive because of how it winds through lush valleys beneath red rocks.
ENJOY SOUTHWESTERN HOSPITALITY, MEALS, AND SERVICES
Capitol Reef Country serves up small-town charm and hospitality in healthy portions. The communities of Bicknell, Torrey, Hanksville, and others will keep you well-fueled for your outdoor pursuits. As for food: have you ever heard of a rattlesnake cake? It’s a local favorite, but nonetheless an acquired taste. You can find this and other Southwestern specialties like chili-infused dishes at any number of Wayne County’s restaurants.As for lodging in the area, options range from camping in a plethora of designated campgrounds to staying in locally-owned bed and breakfasts and hotels. In conclusion, no matter where you choose to base your visit to Capitol Reef Country, you will find welcoming options at every turn.