Red Emerald Tourism

The Red Emerald is a coveted and rare gemstone found only in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah. It’s also the title the state tourism office has adopted for an initiative that aims to enhance the quality of tourism experiences while promoting sustainable and responsible travel. Visitors to Capitol Reef National Park can help by following these guidelines and practices:

Immerse in Authentic Experiences

Explore Local Culture and History:

The town of Hanksville Utah

Engage with Local Communities: Take time to visit nearby towns like Torrey, where you can interact with local residents, learn about their way of life, and support small businesses.

Participate in Park Ranger Programs: Join ranger-led walks and talks to deepen your understanding of the park’s geology, history, and ecology.

Preserve Natural Beauty

Leave No Trace:

Practice Responsible Hiking and Camping: Stick to designated trails and campsites to minimize your impact on the environment. Avoid picking plants or disturbing wildlife.

Pack In, Pack Out: Ensure you take all your trash with you. Dispose of waste properly to keep the park pristine.

Promote Year-Round Visitation

Visit During Off-Peak Seasons:

Plan a Trip in Shoulder Seasons: Consider visiting Capitol Reef in the spring or fall when the weather is still favorable, but the park is less crowded. This helps distribute visitor impact more evenly throughout the year.

Enhance Local Economic Benefits

Support Local Businesses:

Buy Local Products: Purchase souvenirs, meals, and services from local businesses. This supports the regional economy and encourages sustainable tourism practices.

Stay in Local Accommodations: Choose lodging options in nearby communities rather than chain hotels.

Foster Meaningful Connections

Educational and Interactive Activities:

Participate in Educational Tours: Join guided tours that offer in-depth knowledge about Capitol Reef’s unique features, such as its petroglyphs and historic orchards.

Volunteer Opportunities: Consider participating in volunteer programs that help with park maintenance and conservation efforts.

Practice Sustainable Travel

Eco-Friendly Transportation:

Carpool or Use Shuttle Services: Reduce your carbon footprint by carpooling with other visitors or using shuttle services provided by local tour operators.

Eco-Friendly Gear: Use reusable water bottles, bags, and other gear to minimize waste.

Promote Diversity and Inclusivity

Accessible and Inclusive Travel:

Access for All: Utilize the park’s accessible trails and facilities to ensure everyone can enjoy Capitol Reef, regardless of physical abilities.

Educational Outreach: Engage in programs that educate diverse groups about the importance of preserving natural landscapes.

By adhering to these guidelines, visitors to Capitol Reef National Park can contribute to the sustainability goals of Utah’s Red Emerald Initiative. This not only ensures the preservation of the park’s natural beauty and cultural heritage but also enhances the overall visitor experience, making it more enriching and enjoyable for everyone.

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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