National parks are designed to protect some of the most incredible places on Earth. Whether you want to hike a trail, camp under the stars, or simply relax by a lake, there is something for everyone. Capitol Reef is no exception.
This incredible Utah national park is home to a variety of unique and incredible landscapes. From Capitol Reef’s petroglyphs, ancient cave paintings made by Native Americans, to canyoneering in its narrow slot canyons to hiking the Waterpocket Fold or taking a scenic drive, there truly is something that every guest will enjoy.
Staying in Capitol Reef National Park hotels is a great way to stay close to the action, and enjoy quick and easy access to the park during your visit.
Ready to start planning your next visit to Cougar Ridge? First, you’ll need to pack. From waterproof boots and sunscreen to bug spray and a first aid kit, packing for an outdoor adventure can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate national park packing list. Let’s dive in!
Hiking boots are a must-have for any national park adventure. Even if you don’t plan to take on one of Capitol Reef’s more challenging trails, you’ll still want to pack a good pair of boots, as they are the most comfortable footwear to wear during long walks or hikes on uneven trails. They will also protect your feet from slippery surfaces like snow and ice, provide ankle support, give you a good grip on uneven surfaces, and keep them dry in wet weather.
Need to buy new boots? Look for waterproof and breathable pairs. These features can make all the difference in comfort while hiking.
A First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is essential to any national park packing list. It should contain a comprehensive guide to dealing with the most common injuries in the wilderness and crucial medications and supplies like painkillers and antiseptic wipes.
You should also include a snake bite kit (as well as other insect sting removal tools), allergy medicine (especially if you’re allergic to bees or other bugs), insect repellant, sunscreen, and eye drops, which can help relieve dry, itchy eyes on a dusty hike.
A water bottle is the most important thing you will want to bring on your trip. If you are hiking, it’s a good idea to bring a water bottle with a clip to attach to your backpack or opt for a backpack with a water bottle pocket. The last thing you want to do is drop your water bottle on a steep hike!
If you’ll be taking on a longer trail, you may need to bring more than one bottle of water for your trek. In mild weather on an easy hike, the average adult will drink around 2 cups of water per hour. But if it’s hot or a trail is strenuous, you may need considerably more. Always pack more water than you expect to need, just in case you’re on the trail longer than you planned.
If you choose to bring a camera, ensure it is lightweight and easy to carry. While you may want to pack your DSLR or another heavy camera, many other options are both smaller and easier to use on the trail.
Digital point-and-shoot cameras have come a long way in recent years and can be as powerful as their more expensive counterparts.
If you prefer not to take up space with lenses and accessories, consider taking photos on your smartphone instead.
Remember that even the best smartphones won’t last long when constantly in use to snap picks or check a digital map, so make sure you bring extra batteries and an external charger for them.
Sunscreen is another must-have on any national park packing list. Regardless of whether you burn easily or are visiting on a cloudy day, the UV rays in Southern Utah can be harsh, and you’ll definitely want to protect any exposed skin.
Apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, even if you don’t think you need it. Don’t forget to choose a waterproof and sweatproof sunscreen—you’ll need it on hot or rainy days!
Putting the Ultimate National Park Packing List to Work
When you’re also packing things like a swimsuit for the hot tub or some cowboy-inspired looks to wear to your private rodeo, it can be easy to forget about the items you’ll need while exploring Capitol Reef. But things like a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and a good pair of hiking boots can help you stay safe and comfortable, whether you’re hitting the trails or simply checking out some of the overlooks on the Scenic Drive.
This national park packing list is only the beginning, but it’s a great place to start while packing for your trip! Depending on the time of year that you visit and what you plan to do during your stay, things like a rain jacket, trekking poles, or trail snacks might also be good to have along.