Where To Stay Near Capitol Reef National Park Are you planning a visit to Capitol Reef National Park and wondering where to stay? Look no further, as we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive guide to accommodations in and around this lesser-known gem among Utah’s Mighty Five national parks.
Capitol Reef National Park, although smaller and quieter than its counterparts, is a stunning desert park in south-central Utah. It boasts unique natural landscapes, including striking red rock formations, hidden slot canyons, and the captivating Waterpocket Fold. Before embarking on your journey, take a moment to explore the best places to stay near Capitol Reef National Park.
Best Places to Stay in Capitol Reef National Park: Quick Overview
- Best Overall Accommodation: Capitol Reef Resort
- Best Hotel for Luxury: Red Sands Hotel
- Best Lodging for Camping: Escalante Yurts
- Best Countryside Accommodation: Canyon Country Lodge
Where to Stay in Capitol Reef National Park
As an International Dark Sky Park, Capitol Reef offers excellent stargazing opportunities. Camping sites within the park, including Fruita, Cathedral Valley, and Cedar Mesa campgrounds, are favored by stargazers. However, they tend to fill up quickly. While there are no hotels or lodges within the park itself, there are several alternative lodging options near Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.
Torrey: Where to Stay Near Capitol Reef National Park
Torrey is undoubtedly the best place to stay near Capitol Reef National Park. Situated in the heart of southern Utah, Torrey lies just 15 minutes away from the park’s western border, making it a convenient base for exploring the park. This charming town offers a variety of hotels and restaurants, granting easy access to attractions like Chimney Rock and Sunset Point hikes.
Highlights of Torrey:
- Stargazing: Torrey, like Capitol Reef National Park, is renowned for its dark skies, providing the perfect backdrop for stargazing.
- Torrey Gallery: Explore a fine art establishment showcasing local paintings, sculptures, and photographs, and don’t forget to pick up a Navajo craft souvenir.
Recommended Hotels in Torrey:
- Capitol Reef Resort: This picturesque hotel offers an authentic southern Utah experience, featuring unique Conestoga wagon and teepee lodgings.
- Red Sands Hotel: Combining rustic Utah landscapes with modern luxury, Red Sands offers amenities like a fitness center and a luxurious indoor pool with mountain views.
Escalante: Where to Stay for Outdoor Adventures in Utah
Although a bit farther from Capitol Reef National Park, Escalante offers fantastic outdoor adventures. This city in Garfield County is located along Scenic Byway 12 en route to the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. It’s known for mesmerizing slot canyons and otherworldly arches.
Highlights of Escalante:
- Hiking: Escalante offers numerous exciting trails, including Dry Fork Narrows, Peek-a-boo Canyon, Spooky Gulch, and Coyote Gulch.
- Escalante Heritage Center: Learn about Utah’s rugged landscape and the history of Mormon trailblazers who pioneered the Hole-in-the-Rock Trek.
Recommended Hotels in Escalante:
- Canyon Country Lodge: Nestled along Scenic Byway 12, this cabin-style hotel offers cozy accommodations, a restaurant, an indoor pool, and breakfast.
- Escalante Yurts: Experience glamping in gorgeous yurts fully equipped with modern amenities, ideal for a romantic getaway or a group of friends on a Utah national parks road trip.
Boulder: Where to Stay for Exploring Scenic Byway 12 in Utah
Less than 30 miles from Escalante, Boulder Town is a serene and unique destination. With a population of fewer than 250, it’s an ideal base for exploring Grand Staircase and Bryce Canyon National Park. Despite its small size, Boulder Town offers outdoor adventures like the scenic Burr Trail Road and Singing Canyon.
Highlights of Boulder:
- Anasazi State Park Museum: Tour archeological ruins at an 11-12th century Ancestral Puebloan village and delve into southern Utah’s history.
- Burr Trail Grill: Enjoy locally-sourced burgers, handmade pies, and craft beer at this quirky eatery.
Recommended Hotels in Boulder:
- Annie’s Place Bed & Breakfast: This charming lodge offers sweeping views, modern amenities, and a cozy atmosphere.
- Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch: Experience a classic southern ranch with stays in yurts and log cabins adorned with indigenous decor.
Bicknell: Where to Stay for Capitol Reef National Park Adventures
Located less than 17 miles west of Capitol Reef National Park, Bicknell is a small town that offers solitude near the park. The town is known for its year-round movie theater, which hosts the annual Bicknell International Film Festival. Visitors can enjoy activities such as birdwatching at Bicknell Bottoms Wildlife Refuge.
Highlights of Bicknell:
- Birdwatching at Bicknell Bottoms Wildlife Refuge: This sanctuary spanning 670 acres of wetlands and marshes is ideal for spotting waterfowl and wildlife.
- Bicknell Theater: Catch a movie screening and savor tasty meals at Reel Bites Cafe.
Recommended Hotels in Bicknell:
- Aquarius Inn: Centrally located, this cozy inn offers amenities like a seasonal indoor pool, laundry facilities, and a fitness center.
- Sunglow Motel and Restaurant: This lodging serves delicious homemade pies and features clean and beautifully decorated rooms.
Frequently Asked Questions: Where to Stay in Capitol Reef National Park
- What Is the Best Area to Stay in Capitol Reef National Park? Torrey is the best area to stay near Capitol Reef National Park due to its range of hotels, cafes, restaurants, and proximity to park attractions.
- How Much Time Do You Need in Capitol Reef National Park? Plan to spend at least three days exploring Capitol Reef National Park to fully appreciate its red landscapes, towering arches, and hidden canyons.
- How Do You Get Around in Capitol Reef National Park? While local outfitters provide shuttle services from Torrey and nearby areas to the park, the best way to explore Capitol Reef is by self-driving along Scenic Byway 12.
Practical Tips for Booking Accommodations in Capitol Reef National Park
- Choose your accommodation based on your itinerary, as nearby attractions like Bryce Canyon may influence your choice.
- Plan for at least a three-day stay to make the most of your visit to Capitol Reef National Park’s diverse offerings.