Cougar Ridge

3 Reasons to Plan a Visit to Cougar Ridge This Fall

Sep 15, 2022 | Capitol Reef National Park, Cougar Ridge Lodge | 0 comments

Looking for a great reason to book a stay at your favorite Utah villas? While there’s no bad season to visit Cougar Ridge, visiting during the fall season certainly comes with some perks.

From cooler temperatures and fewer crowds in the national park to the opportunity to enjoy some unique fall activities, there are plenty of reasons to book a fall visit to Cougar Ridge. 

Still trying to decide where to stay in Utah during your next visit? Or wondering why you should plan a trip back to Cougar Ridge for a long fall weekend? Keep reading to learn 3 reasons to plan a visit to Cougar Ridge this fall!

1. Changing Fall Colors

Utah is the second driest state in the nation and is often considered a desert state. But while it’s true that much of Southern Utah is covered in red rock desert, this isn’t the case across the region.

Torrey, Utah and Capitol Reef National Park are located in Wayne County. Surrounded by three significant mountain ranges, the county features a wide variety of elevations. And with this elevation change comes varying growth zones. As a result, Capitol Reef and the surrounding area are great places to experience the changing colors of the leaves each fall.

There are plenty of hiking trails that are great for seeing the fall colors up close. The hike to Sulfur Creek, a 5.8-mile one-way hike, is a rugged backcountry adventure that winds along Sulfur Creek, where you’ll see plenty of trees with leaves that turn yellow, red, and orange before falling off their branches at the end of the season. At just 2 miles roundtrip, Hickman Bridge trail is a more family-friendly option for seeing the fall colors. If you’d rather see the changing colors from the comfort of your vehicle, you can always opt for a scenic drive, instead.

You don’t have to go into Capitol Reef National Park to experience the stunning fall colors that the region is known for, either. Take a walk around Cougar Ridge’s property for some extra special views this time of year!

2. Fruit Picking in Capitol Reef

One of the most unique things to do this time of year is to visit the historic orchards of Capitol Reef National Park. Likely the only operational fruit orchards located in a U.S. national park, these orchards are leftovers from a community of farmers that once lived in the town of Fruita, now a part of Capitol Reef National Park. 

The National Park Service has preserved these orchards, and open them annually for visitors to pick a variety of fruit. Depending on when you visit and which orchards are open, you may be able to pick and take home apricots, cherries, pears, peaches, or apples. The harvest season for cherries and apricots typically falls in June or July each year. But peaches, pears, and apples are usually ready to harvest starting in early August or September, and lasting into September or early October.

Self-pay stations are located at the orchards, and allow you to weigh and pay for any fruit that you pick. Ladders and hand-held fruit pickers are also available.

Don’t forget to stop by the Gifford House as well during your visit. Here, you can purchase jellies, jams, and homemade pies, made with locally picked fruits.

3. Fewer Crowds and Dropping Temperatures

As summer comes to an end and fall begins, visits to Capitol Reef National Park become more and more pleasant. First, the sweaty temperatures of the summer months begin to fade. While daily average highs are in the mid-80s and 90s (Fahrenheit) from June to August, by September they begin to drop. In October, the daily high dips to just 66 degrees. This makes for great weather for hiking and enjoying other outdoor activities.

Another thing that fall brings to the park is fewer crowds. With kids going back to school and summer holidays coming to an end, fewer people are visiting the national park or Southern Utah in general. While fall weekends, especially when the fall colors are at their peak, may still draw crowds, weekdays and weekends in the late fall are great for enjoying some crowd-free hikes or other activities.

Planning a Fall Stay at Your Favorite Utah Villas

From the changing leaves to the cooler temperatures and unique activities like fruit picking in Capitol Reef’s historic orchards, there are plenty of reasons to plan a fall visit to your favorite Utah villas. Ready to plan your stay? You already know where to stay in Utah. All that’s left now is to book your private villa at Cougar Ridge.

Right now, when you book a stay of 3 nights or more, you’ll receive a 15% discount on your entire stay! Book today to take advantage of this great seasonal special.

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