Exploring Capitol Reef with Your Four-Legged Friend

Embarking on a journey with your canine companion can be one of life’s greatest joys. For those who find themselves drawn to the rugged beauty of Capitol Reef National Park, the question arises: where can my four-legged friend accompany us?

If you’re planning a trip to Capitol Reef National Park, here’s a quick guide to dog-friendly trails in the park.

a woman on a hike with her dog

The Fruita Campground Connection

From highway 24 there is a trail leading from the visitor center to the campground that allows your fury friend to tag along. This is the area where visitors pass through when visiting the Gifford House, campground, and Scenic Drive.

The Orchard Outings

As the seasons turn and the orchards bloom, unlocked and unfenced areas welcome leashed dogs to wander amidst the fruit trees.

Picnic Paradises

The Chesnut and Doc Inglesby picnic areas offer a respite for weary travelers and their panting pals. These spots are perfect for a midday break, where one could share a meal, a drink of water, and a moment of rest before continuing on their journey.

Roadside Revelries

Even the roads within Capitol Reef hold wonders for those on four legs. Dogs are allowed within 50 feet of the centerline of roads open to public vehicle travel.

The Fremont River Trail

But the true gem for canine hikers is the Fremont River Trail. Stretching from the campground to the south end of Hattie’s Field, this trail offers a slice of the park that is both accessible and awe-inspiring. The trail ends at a gate, a boundary beyond which dogs are not allowed to pass.

A Few Important Reminders

When visiting Capitol Reef National Park with your dog, here are the key rules and reminders to keep in mind:

1. Pets are not permitted on other hiking trails, in public buildings, or in the backcountry.

2. Always remember to keep your dog on a leash no longer than 6 feet and be sure to clean up after them to preserve the natural beauty of Capitol Reef National Park for everyone to enjoy. 

3. It’s also crucial to remember that even on a mildly warm day, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket to dangerous levels for your furry friend. Always prioritize their safety and comfort by avoiding leaving them in the car. If you are leaving a pet in a car, crack the windows as much as possible and leave water to drink. 

There are no kennels in the park; do not leave your dog unattended in the campground or anywhere else in the park boundaries. The nearest kennel boarding facility is Color Country Animal Welfare located in the town of Torrey just a few miles outside the park.

Keep Capitol Reef Country Forever Mighty

What is Forever Mighty? It’s practicing responsible travel while visiting Utah and Capitol Reef Country by following the principles of Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace.

Plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, be considerate of others, support local business and honor community, history and heritage. Help us keep Utah and Capitol Reef Country’s outdoor recreation areas beautiful, healthy, and accessible.

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