Capitol Reef Country is a beautiful and adventurous place to visit. Southern Utah in general has become a bucket list destination that visitors throughout the world want to see and experience. For this reason, visitation to the area has increased exponentially in recent years, and with growth come a few growing pains that include an increasing amount of vandalism, damage, and trash.
The Utah office of Tourism launched a campaign to help inform and educate visitors, local and out of state, with ways to respectfully travel and recreate while visiting the state’s scenic and backcountry places.
Here are a few tips for traveling responsibly in Capitol Reef Country:
- Respect the environment – Capitol Reef Country is home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. It is important to respect and protect these environments by following Leave No Trace principles. This includes packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, and avoiding damaging vegetation.
- Be mindful of wildlife – This is home to a variety of wildlife species. It is important to keep a safe distance from wildlife and avoid feeding them.
- Drive safely – There are many scenic drives that offer breathtaking views. Please drive safely and follow all traffic laws.
- Respect local communities – Capitol Reef Country has many small communities that welcome visitors to the region. Please be respectful of local ordinances, neighborhoods, cultural traditions, and businesses.
- Support local businesses – Small businesses in rural regions of Utah rely on tourism for their livelihoods. When traveling in Capitol Reef Country, consider supporting these businesses by shopping locally and eating at local restaurants.
Tips for visiting Capitol Reef National Park:
- When visiting Capitol Reef National Park, check in at the visitor center for current weather and road conditions. Weather can change quickly that can create dangerous situations on backcountry roads, canyons and washes.
- Park in designated or posted areas only.
- Plan ahead – Visit www.Capitolreefcountry.com as a resource for planning your trip in advance. Visit this link for additional ideas and information for planning ahead.
- Stay on the trails. Trails are generally well marked in the main section of the park. Backcountry trails require some orienteering knowhow. Visit this link for park trail maps.
- Pack out what you bring to the hiking trails. Picking up trash on the trails is always appreciated.
- Properly dispose of waste – Here a good article to read on this topic.
- Leave areas as you found them. I’m sure you can appreciate visitors before you that respected this practice. Let’s leave these places natural and pristine for the next generation of visitors.
- Minimize campfire impacts. Studies have found that 70 percent of wildfires are human caused. Please don’t be part of that statistic. Be responsible with campfires. Learn in advance if campfires are permitted as conditions change.
- Be considerate of other hikers. The national park service offers guidelines on hiking etiquette. Visit this link to learn more.
- Do not approach or feed wildlife. Don’t become the subject of the Instagram account, @touronsofyellowstone Check it out!
We hope these suggestions are helpful and can be passed on to friends and family traveling not just to Capitol Reef Country but to all national parks and scenic places.
For more information about Capitol Reef Country visit www.capitolreefcountry.com.