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Fremont River Guides

Utah National Parks Adventure Tour Company!

Jeep Tours of Capitol Reef National Park

Cathedral Valley

  • Half Day (4 hours) & Full Day (6 hours)
  • Temple of the Sun, Moon & Stars, Upper Cathedral Valley, Bentonite Hills, Jailhouse Rock, Walls of Jericho, Glass Mountain
  • Lunch Included
  • Hiking options are extensive throughout this tour. Various short hikes are expected, but not required on all our Cathedral Valley tours
  • If you are a serious hiker interested in unique & off-the-beaten-path views of Cathedral Valley, extend this tour for an additional $100
  • Reservations frequently book up well in advance. Please make reservations as soon as possible.

$ 400+

DEPARTURE TIMES

Full-Day – Complete Flexibility & Dark Sky Options

Half-Day – 6am-8am or 1pm-4pm

 Waterpocket Fold District

  • Half Day (4 hours) & Full Day (6 hours)
  • Capitol Gorge, Grand Wash, Pleasant Creek, Muley Twist, Burr Trail, Sheets Gulch and much more!
  • Includes Lunch
  • Hiking options are extensive throughout this tour. Various short hikes are expected, but not required on all our Cathedral Valley tours.
  • If you are a serious hiker interested in unique & off-the-beaten-path views of Cathedral Valley, extend this tour for an additional $100
  • Reservations frequently book up well in advance. Please make reservations as soon as possible.

$ 400+

DEPARTURE TIMES

Full-Day – Complete Flexibility & Dark Sky Options

Half-Day – 6am-8am or 1pm-4pm


Other Scenic Jeep Tours

1-2 People
3-4 People
5-7 People
Capitol Reef Sunset/Sunrise (1 hour) $175 $225 $275
Velvet Ridge-Moenkopi Rim (2 hours) $250 $300 $350
Capitol Reef Premier (3 hours) $325 $375 $425
Cathedral Valley – Half Day – Upper Cathedrals or Temple of the Sun/Moon (4 hours) $400 $450 $500
Indian Culture Tour – 2hr. Hike (5 hours) $500 $600 $700
Cathedral Valley – Complete (6 hours) $500 $600 $700
Waterpocket Fold (6 hours) $500 $600 $700
Henry Mountains (8 hours) $600 $700 $800

Capitol Reef National Park

Did you know?

  1. Is larger than Bryce Canyon & Zion NP combined!
  2. Shares geologic features of 4 other Utah national parks!
  3. Over a million visitors per season – but far less than other parks!
  4. Enjoy fewer crowds and more serenity!
  5. International Dark Sky Park!
  6. No lodging or restaurants are available inside park boundaries – Torrey, UT is the hub city for Capitol Reef NP!
  7. CRNP is the logistical middle ground for the famous “Mighty Five” Utah national parks!

Cathedral Valley

Experience the majesty of Capitol Reef National Park by JEEP or 4×4 vehicle as your guide teaches you about it’s geologic and historic nuances.  The most notable icon in the park is Cathedral Valley which demands a full-day to see everything it has to offer. Exquisite views of sculptured monoliths with intriguing names such as the Walls of Jericho and the Temples of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. These formations rise quickly from their surface hundreds of feet into the sky.

The monoliths are composed of the earthy, buff-pink Entrada Sandstone somewhat similar to those seen a few hours south in Arizona’s Monument Valley. The South Desert is a long, narrow valley that runs parallel to the strike of the Waterpocket Fold monocline. The valley extends 20 miles (32.2 km) from the Upper South Desert Overlook southeast to Hwy 24. From Lower South Desert Overlook (located midway through the valley) viewers can see rock layers ranging from the gray, ledgy Morrison atop the cliffs to the east to the white Navajo Sandstone slickrock and domes high on top of the Fold.

The Waterpocket Fold

The Waterpocket Fold is an equally impressive tour, but can be experienced somewhat more easily in a half-day vs a full-day. A nearly 100-mile long warp in the Earth’s crust, the Waterpocket Fold is a classic monocline: a regional fold with one very steep side in an area of otherwise nearly horizontal layers. A monocline is a “step-up” in the rock layers. The rock layers on the west side of the Waterpocket Fold have been lifted more than 7,000 feet (2,134 m) higher than the layers on the east. Major folds are almost always associated with underlying faults.

“Waterpockets” are basins that form in many of the sandstone layers as they are eroded by water. These basins are common throughout the fold, thus giving it the name “Waterpocket Fold”.

Halls Creek Narrows

Between the high cliffs of Hall Mesa on the east and the steep slickrock slopes of the Waterpocket Fold on the west, the hike through the Halls Creek drainage (known as Grand Gulch) explores the park’s southern reaches. Along the way, hikers can explore numerous side canyons that join the Halls Creek drainage. At the remote southern tip of the park is the 3.8-mile (6.0 km) Halls Creek Narrows, deeply incised into the white Navajo sandstone. A perennial stream and shade from the arching canyon walls create an oasis in the midst of surrounding desert.

The route is largely unmarked; carrying a topographic map is recommended. The route is extremely hot in summer. Water can usually be found at the Fountain Tanks and in the narrows. Use caution in narrow canyons, particularly during the flash flood season (typically July–September). Hiking through the narrows requires wading through water that occasionally may be deep enough to require swimming.

The round-trip hike is best done as a three- to four-day trip. Free backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor center.

This route is not an official, maintained trail. Route conditions, including obstacles in canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards. Route-finding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical. Do not rely solely on unofficial route markers (rock cairns, etc.); they are not maintained by the National Park

BECOMING A NATIONAL MONUMENT

Ephraim Portman Pectol was a Mormon Bishop in Torrey, UT until 1928 when he was elected to the Utah State legislature. He and his brother-in-law, Joseph S. Hickman began a promotional campaign, submitting stories and photographs to newspapers to attract interest to the Waterpocket Fold area. In 1937, President Roosevelt set aside 37,711 acres of the Capitol Reef area as a National Monument. This comprised an area extending about two miles north of present Utah Highway 24 and about ten miles south, just past Capitol Gorge.

MISSION 66

NPS areas nationwide received new facilities to meet the demand of increasing park visitation under the program name Mission 66 during the 1960s. The Fruita campground, staff rental housing, and a new visitor center were built at Capitol Reef during this time. Visitation climbed dramatically after the paved road was built through the Fremont River canyon near Fruita and the old Capitol Gorge road closed in 1962. Nearly 150,000 people were visiting the park annually and the staff was growing by 1967. The NPS proceeded to purchase private land parcels at Fruita and Pleasant Creek. Most private property passed into public ownership on a willing-buyer/willing-seller basis.

BECOMING A NATIONAL PARK

Two bills were introduced into Congress in 1970 to determine if Capitol Reef should become a national park. The Department of Interior officials recommended that 254,000 acres be set aside as a national park. They also recommended a ten-year grazing phase-out period, to protect and conserve the land. A year later, the legislation, An Act to Establish the Capitol Reef National Park in the State of Utah, became Public Law 92-207 when it was signed by President Nixon on December 18, 1971.