Cougar Ridge

Capitol Reef National Park Rules and Regulations Visitors Should Know

Jun 21, 2023 | Capitol Reef National Park, National Parks, Our Blog | 0 comments

The summer season is in full swing, which means that Capitol Reef National Park is set to see some of its highest visitor numbers of the year in the coming weeks. While the national park doesn’t see the same crowd levels as Zion or Arches, the summer holidays and weekends at the peak of the season do see an increase in visitors, and the best hotels Torrey Utah has to offer often fill to near capacity.

No matter what time of year you choose to visit the park, it’s always important to make sure that you’re following the rules and regulations created by the National Park Service. These are not only designed to keep you safe during your visit but also help to lessen the impact that visitors have on the delicate ecosystems and habitats of the park.

If you’re planning a visit to Cougar Ridge this time of year and want to visit Capitol Reef, keep reading. We’re breaking down the rules you need to know to enjoy a fun, safe visit and to do your part to protect this unique national park.

Stick to the Trails

One of the most important rules that you can follow in any national or state park is to always stick to designated trails. Capitol Reef National Park, like many parks, is home to fragile ecosystems and delicate rock formations. When guests wander from the trails, these may be damaged or destroyed.

One or two people leaving the trail might not seem like a big deal. But amplify that by many visitors creating their own pathways through the park, and the damage can be extensive. 

If you’re looking for a spot to wander as opposed to following a designated trail, head to Goblin Valley State Park for a day trip. This park’s most famous feature is the valley of “goblins,” towering rock formations that look otherworldly. With no set trails, you can wander the goblins at will.

Pack Out Your Trash

There’s no shortage of great spots to enjoy a picnic in the park during your Cougar vacation. You may also want to pack some trail snacks to enjoy on some of the park’s lengthier hikes. But perhaps even more important than remembering to bring some fuel for your hike is remembering how important it is to pack out any trash that you bring into the park.

Garbage, including leftover food, can pose a serious health risk to the animals that call Capitol Reef home. It also detracts from the natural beauty of this incredible destination that you’ve traveled so far to see. Garbage cans are available in many locations throughout the park. But if you don’t see one, carry your trash with you until you can dispose of it properly.

Keep Your Distance From Wildlife

Leaving behind trash isn’t the only way that you could be putting wildlife at risk during your visit. Capitol Reef is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, and more. 

If you’re lucky enough to spot wildlife during your visit, make sure to keep a safe distance. Feeding or approaching wildlife can put you in danger, and cause unnecessary stress to the animal. Enjoy the view from a distance, and consider bringing a telephoto lens or a binoculars if you want to get a closer look.

Want to get a little closer to some animals? If you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of the best hotels Torrey Utah has to offer, you’ll be able to! Make sure to visit with our resident farm animals during your time at Cougar Ridge.

Get Your Permits

If you’re thinking about enjoying some high-adventure, such as rock climbing or canyoneering during your Cougar vacation, you’ll need to get a permit to do so. You can obtain a special use permit online ahead of your visit by sending an email to [email protected]. Include your name, date of your intended climb, the route you plan to take, how many vehicles your group will have and where they’ll be parked, and a description of your vehicle.

Several canyoneering routes in Capitol Reef are closed for the summer. If you’re looking for more options during your stay in one of the best hotels Torrey Utah has to offer, you’re in luck. One of the lesser-known Arches National Park facts is that the park is a haven for canyoneering. Plus, the park is close enough to enjoy a day trip during your Cougar vacation.

Planning Your Stay at the Best Hotels Torrey Utah Has to Offer

These are just a few of the rules and regulations you’ll need to follow during your visit to Capitol Reef National Park. Other important rules include not flying drones, only parking in designated lots, and never drawing on or scratching rock surfaces.

Ready to start planning your next visit to Cougar Ridge? Now is a great time to book your summer or fall stay at one of the best hotels Torrey Utah has to offer.

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