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Zion vs. Capitol Reef

Zion vs. Capitol Reef

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Removed on: 20 November 2018, 02:59
 
25 replies to this topic
Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
21,137 posts
451 reviews
1. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

Pretty hard to answer this without your overall trip context. There's a lot more to that region than just Capitol Reef and Zion so knowing your full plan would help.

For sure you could drive SR9 through Springdale in either direction and capture a bit of image from that drive. You could stop at visitor's center if you could find a place to park.

Give us your overall plan and the forum contributors can give you a better pathway to making your final decision.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
Level Contributor
20,943 posts
41 reviews
2. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

@Tumbleweed, Stacy has a thread on the Road Trip forum.

@Stacy, perhaps you could provide the link to that thread.

3. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

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Removed on: 20 November 2018, 02:59
 
4. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

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Removed on: 11 November 2018, 17:33
Edited: 11 November 2018, 17:33
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
Level Contributor
20,943 posts
41 reviews
5. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

I concur with your concern about the crowds at Zion. Doing a drive thru on highway 9 would be OK if you hadn't thrown in the idea of stopping at the visitor center. Unless you get to the visitor center by 8 AM, you most likely won't find a parking spot there. That means you would have to pay for parking in the town of Springdale and walk or take the shuttle bus to the visitor center. Parking is expensive; $1 for the first hour, $3.50 for the second hour and $22 for all day. To drive through Zion on highway 9 from Springdale out the east entrance means you will pay the $35 entry fee. But if you have an America the Beautiful annual pass, that may not be an issue.

There are just two entrances to Zion. One is from the town of Springdale and the other is on highway 9. Highway 9 is the main street in Springdale, goes directly in to the park and out the east entrance.

I really like Capitol Reef. It's less crowded that Zion or Bryce. If you can score a campsite at the Fruita Campground inside the park, it would be a delightful stay. Fruita campground takes reservations. There's also a nice Forest Service Campground, Single Tree, on highway 12 not too far from Torrey. I think it's FCFS.

Edited: 25 April 2018, 14:43
Tacoma, Washington
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
11,693 posts
1 review
6. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

For Zion the les busy part is Kolob Canyon off of 15.

Id skip Zion...

With Capitol Reef---much of this park is off road and requires high clearance vehicle. You can explore UT 12 Escalante and parts of Capitol Reef

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
Level Contributor
20,943 posts
41 reviews
7. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

Kolob Canyon will be closed after June 1 for construction.

There are walks and hikes at Capitol Reef that can enjoyed with out going in to backcountry. Hickman Bridg and Grand Wash can be accessed from highway 24. Capitol Gorge is at the end of the scenic drive.

From highway 12, the paved portion of the Burr Trail is a great scenic drive. If you do the drive over highway 12 right, you’ll spend most of the day at overlooks/points and stopping to do the hike at Calf Creek Falls.

8. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

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Removed on: 11 November 2018, 17:33
Edited: 11 November 2018, 17:33
 
9. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

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Removed on: 11 November 2018, 17:33
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Salt Lake City, Lake Powell
Level Contributor
20,943 posts
41 reviews
10. Re: Zion vs. Capitol Reef

There is a just one visitor center at Zion. If the Jr.Ranger program is important,then it may be worth the parking hassle at Zion. Only you can decide that.

I don't camp much in this area. So I'm not going to be much help in recommending campgrounds. Hopefully others more in the know will be along with information.

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