Cougar Ridge

How Not to Break the Law During Your National Park Visit

Jun 10, 2022 | Capitol Reef National Park, Cougar Ridge Lodge | 0 comments

A stay in vacation rentals near Capitol Reef National Park is a great chance to take home some lasting memories with your friends or family. But one thing that you don’t want to take home from your trip is a ticket or fine.

National parks are a great place to get away from civilization and enjoy some freedom. However, there are still laws and regulations in place to help protect visitors and the park’s natural resources and wildlife. 

Before you visit a new national park, it’s important to familiarize yourself with that park’s rules. Whether you plan to spend every day in the park or not during your stay in villas in Torrey UT, keep reading to learn how not to break the law during your Capitol Reef visit.

Follow the Posted Speed Limits

Taking a cruise along Capitol Reef National Park’s Scenic Drive is a must-do for visitors to the park. This 7.9-mile, paved road takes visitors on a tour of some of the park’s most iconic features. You’ll see a variety of formations, including the Chinle Formation, a 700-foot formation that reveals thousands of years of rock layers, worn smooth by wind and water. Explore the unique landscapes of the Waterpocket Fold as it winds its way through the middle of the park. There are endless places where you can stop to see other unique features, like ancient petroglyphs or the entrances to the old wine tunnels at the mouth of Grand Wash.

Enjoying the Scenic Drive is a great way to take a break from hiking. This is especially true in the heat of the day. It can also be a more accessible way for guests to explore the park. But this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take precautions.

Besides being against the law, speeding in the park can be dangerous. Capitol Reef’s roads are windy, and sometimes have steep drop-offs on either side. On busy days, you may face some traffic, especially in popular parts of the park. 

The park’s speed limits are designed to keep guests safe. In most cases, the speed limit in the park is 25 mph, though it may vary in some areas. In addition to watching the speed limit, keep your eyes on the road, and watch for wildlife, bicycles, walkers, and other vehicles along the roadways.

Leave Your Drone at Home

You’ll no doubt want to capture plenty of pictures and videos during your visit. But if you’re dreaming of capturing video of the landscapes from far above, think twice before doing so in the park.

Drone use has been prohibited in nearly all national parks in the U.S., including Capitol Reef. The National Park Service has announced that drones pose a safety concern, harass wildlife, lead to noise and nuisance complaints, and otherwise negatively impact the experience of other visitors. 

Some Utah state parks and other recreation areas are more relaxed in their drone laws. Do your research before launching your unmanned aircraft to make sure that your flight doesn’t end in legal trouble.

Get Your Souvenir From the Gift Shop Rather Than Nature

A colorful rock or native plant might seem like the perfect souvenir from your national park adventure. However, removing any natural items, including plants, rocks, fossils, and even antlers that are naturally shed is illegal in all national parks, as well as in state and other parks.

Not only is this illegal, but it also goes against the principles of Leave No Trace, which are designed to help protect our natural areas for future generations. Instead of picking up a souvenir on a hike, plan to stop by the Visitor Center, or take pictures of interesting rocks and plants instead.

Do Your Research Before Bringing Fido Along

Dogs are allowed in Capitol Reef National Park. However, this doesn’t mean that you can take them on a hike or enter the Visitor Center with them.

Instead, pets are only allowed in certain areas within the park. This includes within 50 feet of the centerline of roads, including both paved and dirt roads open to guests, in parking areas, in campgrounds, in unfenced orchards, and on a few select trails. This includes the Fremont River Trail and the walking trail that runs between the Fruita Campground and the Visitor Center.

If you do plan to bring Fido along on your trip, it’s important to choose vacation rentals near Capitol Reef that are pet friendly — like Cougar Ridge! We welcome pets in two of our villas, numbers 6 and 7. While you may not be able to hike in the park with them, you’re welcome to take a stroll around the ranch each day with your furry friend!

Planning Your Stay in Vacation Rentals Near Capitol Reef

Following the rules in Capitol Reef National Park will help you stay safe, avoid a fine or ticket, and do your part to protect this special place.

Ready to start planning your next national park adventure? Book your stay at the best vacation rentals near Capitol Reef today!

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