Cougar Ridge

7 Things to Leave Off Your National Park Packing List

Jan 8, 2023 | Capitol Reef National Park, Cougar Ridge Lodge, National Parks | 0 comments

Ready to start packing for your next stay at the beautiful Utah villas at Cougar Ridge? Before you start filling your suitcase, there are a few things to make sure that you’re leaving off of your national park packing list.

Keep reading as we explore a few things you can’t take with you to Capitol Reef National Park.

1. Fireworks

Planning a Fourth of July stay at your favorite Utah villas? Think twice before packing your fireworks for the big day!

Fireworks are prohibited in all areas in all national parks. This includes campgrounds, lodges, backcountry areas, and any other area of the park. Capitol Reef National Park is no exception. Fireworks not only pose a safety concern to guests, but can also cause forest fires and other damage. 

If you’re caught with fireworks in a national park, they’ll likely be impounded. You could also receive a summons to court or face a fine. If you set off fireworks in a national park, you could be held responsible for any damage that is caused.

But just because fireworks can’t be on your national park packing list doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy an amazing visit to Capitol Reef National Park for the Fourth of July! If you have your heart set on a fireworks display, you’re in luck; every year, the town of Torrey, Utah hosts its annual Torrey Apple Days around the Fourth of July. This festival includes food and vendor booths, a parade, a dance, a 5K race, contests, a vintage car show, and, of course, a fireworks display. If you’re visiting around the Fourth, plan some time to visit this fun festival.

Early July is also a great time to visit Capitol Reef and our own Utah villas for other reasons, too. Apricots are in season in the Gifford Orchard in the park. This is the height of the tourist season, which means that most businesses stay open later, and there are often more tours and adventures available this time of year.

2. Drones

Want to get a bird’s eye view of the stunning Capitol Reef? Unfortunately, you can’t do so with a drone. Drones can be a nuisance, both to other park visitors and to the wildlife that call parks home. As a result, drones are illegal to fly in all national parks, including Capitol Reef National Park. Leave your drone at home—but don’t forget your regular camera to capture some photos of this stunning national park!

3. ATVs/UTVs

If you own an ATV or UTV, you might be tempted to bring it with you for your visit to Capitol Reef. But while the park might have plenty of wide-open backcountry spaces, off-roading is off-limits here. Vehicles must remain on designated routes when driving in Capitol Reef National Park.

But this doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your off-road vehicle on your Southern Utah getaway! There are a variety of off-road trails located near Capitol Reef National Park. Cathedral Valley, for instance, is a 58-mile loop that will take you through stunning red rock landscapes. Burr Trail is another popular off-road destination. This rugged off-road route extends for almost 70 miles straight through beautiful Grand Staircase-Escalante and along part of the Waterpocket Fold.

If you don’t have your own off-road vehicle, you can also book an off-road tour to enjoy during your visit.

4. Firearms

If you legally possess a firearm, as dictated by applicable federal, state, and local laws, you can bring your firearm into Capitol Reef National Park. However, this doesn’t mean that you can bring it with you everywhere that you go.

According to federal law, firearms are not permitted in federal facilities. In national parks, this usually includes any park offices, nature centers, or visitor centers. This law applies even to individuals with a concealed carry license or who are otherwise legally allowed to carry firearms in other locations.

5. Metal Detectors

Capitol Reef National Park and the surrounding area have a rich history. From early Native American tribes to the early pioneers who settled here, there’s no doubt many artifacts sitting just below the dirt. But don’t plan to bring your metal detector to find them.

Metal detecting is prohibited in all of Utah’s national parks. While it is allowed in some Utah state parks, you can’t remove anything from the parks, so you won’t be able to take home anything that you find.

6. A Speaker

While a visit to Capitol Reef National Park and our Utah villas is a great way to spend quality time with family, don’t bring along a speaker to get the party started. Playing music or making any kind of excessive noise can disturb other visitors, as well as any wildlife. As a result, speakers and boomboxes are prohibited in the park.

7. Cigarettes

The final item that you’ll want to leave off of your national park packing list is cigarettes. While smoking is permitted in an enclosed vehicle. But you can’t do so with your windows down, outside, or in any park buildings.

Planning Your National Park Packing List

Ready to start creating your own national park packing list for your visit to Cougar Ridge? From fireworks to drones, make sure that these items are left off the list!

Wondering what you can pack? Check out our national park packing list to learn a few items you’ll definitely want to have with you!

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