Hiking Checklist: What to Bring on a Hike in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park may be one of the most underrated parks in the United States, but it’s well-known in the hiking community for its exhilarating hiking trails and astonishing scenic beauty. If you’re planning your next outdoor adventure in Capitol Reef Country, the first step is to create a hiking essentials checklist.

Hikers in Capitol Reef National Park

Luckily, our local experts have done the work for you by putting together a checklist of what to bring on a hike in Capitol Reef National Park. All you have to do is grab a sturdy backpack, pack up the essentials, and head out for an unforgettable day of exploring endless cliffs, valleys, wildlife, and stunning rock formations. Don’t forget a camera!

Hiking Essentials Checklist

Not sure what to bring hiking? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s what to bring on a hike in Capitol Reef National Park:

  1. Sunscreen

Depending on the time of year you visit, the sun can be intense and there aren’t many shaded areas on the majority of the hiking trails in the park. What many people don’t realize is that even if the sun isn’t shining, you can still get burnt! Pack high-quality sunscreen and remember to reapply every few hours to stay protected.

  1. Plenty of Water

As a general rule of thumb, you should plan to bring one gallon of water per person for a full day of hiking. Out here in the desert, it’s easy to become dehydrated and it often has much quicker than you think. While there are drinking fountains available at the Fruita Campground and Visitor Center, it’s always a good idea to bring your own water.

  1. Reliable Hiking Boots

When planning a hiking trip to Capitol Reef Country, reliable hiking boots with good traction are a must. While most of the trails are well-maintained, it’s not uncommon to come across unstable soil and jagged rocks. This is especially true on days when it has recently rained. To avoid tripping, be sure to invest in hiking boots you can count on.

  1. Hiking Snacks

The best way to keep your energy levels high during a hike is to pack nourishing hiking snacks for the journey. Opt for high-protein foods that don’t require refrigeration, like nuts, trail mix, beef jerky, protein bars, peanut butter, and tuna packets with crackers.

  1. Navigation Tools

You can’t always rely on your cell phone to get around, especially in areas of the park where the service is spotty. We recommend downloading and printing Capitol Reef trail maps before you venture out or picking one up at the visitor center upon arrival. In addition to a map, you’ll want to bring a compass with you as well.

More Hiking Essentials

  • Layered clothing (you never know when the weather could change, especially as the altitude increases)
  • First-aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Insect repellant
  • Baby wipes
  • Binoculars for wildlife sightings
  • Wallet with ID and credit cards

Final Thoughts

As long as you pack the hiking essentials mentioned on this list, you should have everything you’ll need for a magical day of exploring the beauty of Capitol Reef National Park. Not sure which Capitol Reef hiking trail to embark on? Check out our blog for expert recommendations on the best trails in Capitol Reef Country. Happy hiking!

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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