Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles.
The Fruita Campground area is located one mile south of the visitor center and is often described as an oasis within the desert. The Group Campsite is near Loop C of the Fruita Campground. It is a semi-shaded, grassy campsite and is located in the Fruita Historic District of the park.
Walk to historic inscriptions on the Capitol Gorge Trail and stroll the Goosenecks Trail. Visitors looking for longer trails can explore Cohab Canyon, Chimney Rock, and Cassidy Arch.
Enjoy the geology and view the Fremont petroglyph panels along Hwy 24. In addition, the Scenic Drive will introduce you to the fascinating cultural and geological history of Capitol Reef National Park. The drive includes a portion of the original road through the Waterpocket Fold. The road passes through parts of the Fruita Historic District and follows the western faces of the Waterpocket Fold, and spur roads allow exploration into beautiful Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge.
Check at the visitor center for a current schedule of interpretive programs, which may include geology talks, Fremont culture talks, evening programs, star gazing, moonwalks, and geology hikes. Stop in at Ripple Rock Nature Center to experience interactive exhibits, games, activities, and free educational programs.
Wander through the historic Fruita orchards and pick fresh fruit when in season. The orchards contain approximately 3,100 trees including cherry, apricot, peach, pear, apple, plum, mulberry, almond, and walnut.
Discover Mormon pioneer history at the historic Gifford House store and museum.
Sheltered picnic areas are provided at the group campsite and there is a large grassy area for tents and activities. Campers will enjoy the fire pit for relaxing evenings around the campfire and the above-ground grill for cooking. Amenities also include restrooms with flush toilets, a utility sink, drinking fountain and potable water faucets centrally located. There is no electricity available.
At Fruita Group site, large deciduous trees provide a shaded setting among beautiful and striking red rock cliffs. The group site sits adjacent to the Fremont River at approximately 5,500 feet elevation and is surrounded by unique historic orchards.
Nearby, the Waterpocket Fold defines Capitol Reef National Park. The varied topography, geology, elevations, and precipitation patterns along the fold have resulted in a diversity of microhabitats and niches for plant species to inhabit. Seventeen geologic formations are exposed within the Waterpocket Fold, each with unique combinations of minerals, soil types, aspect and slope.
The group site is a short walk from the main campground, amphitheater, picnic areas, hiking trails, the historic Gifford house and orchards.
ADA Access: N
The past couple times I've stayed here we've arrived late in the night and gone straight to bed. Getting up at first light is one of my favorite things to do in this park. You're greeted by the beautiful red reefs on all sides that were hidden by the night. One of my favorite camp sites in the lower 48.
First come first serve. Get there in the morning to get a camp site. Awesome campground. There is a creek. Apple orchid to pick apples with the deer. Fun activity for children. Hiking trails right there for running also. Just a beautiful remote area. Our visit was peak season - Sept/oct. very busy.
Capitol Reef is a hidden gem, much less foot traffic than Bryce Canyon, let alone Zion. Here you can find petroglyphs, stunning geography, and everything from easy to strenuous hikes. Personally, I highly recommend Hickman's Arch. Check it out, there's a lot of great history to be offered!