Capitol Reef National Park in November: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re thinking about a Capitol Reef National Park in November, you won’t be disappointed. There is so much to see, do and photograph at this park in the fall.

You’ll find everything you need to know in this Capitol Reef National Park guide to plan your November vacation.

capitol reef in november

We share travel tips like weather, services available, what to pack, where to stay, and things to do when planning a November vacation to Capitol Reef National Park!

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Capitol Reef National Park Packing List

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A Photo Tour of Capitol Reef National Park

Take a visual tour through Capitol Reef National Park to see the stunning landscape and wildlife you’ll find in the park!

Capitol Reef National Park in November

In November many of the Capitol Reef services have changed hours or have closed for the season. Check the website for specific Capitol Reef operating hours.

Capitol Reef National Park in the fall is a popular time for people to visit, but we find November is the most ideal time! The crowds have dissipated at this Utah National Park and the temperatures aren’t too cold for outdoor activities.

If you’re wondering what it’s like to visit at other times of the year, check out this resource of the best times to visit Capitol Reef National Park! It tells you what to expect when visiting the park during any season, or any month of the year.

November Weather at Capitol Reef

Temperatures at Capitol Reef in November range from highs near 50 degrees and lows in the upper 20s. The November weather at Capitol Reef is perfect during the day for outdoor activities – it’s not too hot or too cold. Be prepared for rain or snow in November.

The mornings and evenings will be cold so it’s important to dress in layers. We recommend an insulated jacket, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves.

Check specific weather conditions and forecasts on the Capitol Reef website for the areas of the park you will visit. If there’s rain, there’s potential for impassable roads and flash floods.

Things to Do at Capitol Reef in November

Check out all the fun things to do at Capitol Reef National Park in the month of November.

Capitol Reef Visitor Center in November

Capitol Reef is open all day, every day. The visitor center is open daily in November EXCEPT for Thanksgiving Day when it will be close. It will also have shortened hours on Veterans Day. Capitol Reef Visitor Center hours vary so check the website for the most current information.

Stop by the visitor center for current information about road conditions. camping, ranger-led programs and to pick up a copy of the Capitol Reef Park Map.

Fruita Gifford Farm in November

The Fruita valley includes the Gifford Homestead, blacksmith shop, barn and orchards.

The one drawback about visiting Capitol Reef in November is that the Gifford house is closed! At other times of the year you’ll find unique handmade items and locally baked fruit pies and homemade ice cream!

One of the favorite activities at Capitol Reef is picking fruit from the orchard. This activity isn’t available in November either. Here’s a harvesting schedule if you want to arrange your vacation around those dates.

Capitol Reef landscape along Highway 24

Scenic Drives at Capitol Reef in November

In November the Capitol Reef scenic drive is a must-do activity to see and photograph the cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges!

If you’re up for adventure, drive the Cathedral Valley District of Capitol Reef. It’s a remote, rugged region that requires vehicles with high ground clearance. In November you may need four-wheel drive depending on road and weather conditions.

If it rains or snows, the roads can be muddy, washed out, and impassable to the best high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle, so check at the visitor center before heading out!!

The Waterpocket District in the southern section of Capitol Reef is fairly remote and rugged, but oh so beautiful! Most passenger cars, pickups, and vans can usually negotiate the roads without difficulty.

BUT again any rain or snow can leave roads slick, muddy, washed out, and impassable to the best high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle, so check at the visitor center before taking the drive.

Book a Cathedral Valley 4×4 tour if you want to see this part of Capitol Reef, but you don’t have the right vehicle.

Eph Hanks tower at sunset at Capitol Reef

Photography in November at Capitol Reef

Photographing the amazing landscape at Capitol Reef is one of our favorite things to do. In November, we recommend these places for Capitol Reef National Park photography to capture the best light:

  • Sunrise photography: we’ve had good success at Panorama Point and Sunset Point.
  • Sunset photography: we like are Panorama Point, Sunset Point and along the scenic drive to capture the reflected light on the canyon walls.

Grab our Capitol Reef Photography Guide that will tell you when and where to get the best sunrise, morning, sunset and nighttime pictures at the park!

Take jaw-dropping photos at Capitol Reef

Stargazing in November at Capitol Reef

There is a reason why Capitol Reef is internationally recognized as one of the best places to stargaze.

The skies are clear and with the park in a remote location it allows you to get some of the most incredible views of the night sky that you will ever see. 

In November you won’t be able to photograph the milky way, but you can capture amazing starry skies or star trails!

Capitol Gorge slot canyon hike at Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef Hikes in November

There are so many fun Capitol Reef hikes to choose from! There are trails for all levels of hiker.

Some of our favorite hiking trails are: Hickman Bridge, Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge Wash.

Remember the park’s elevation is 5500 feet. If you’re coming from a lower elevation, or from sea level, trails that are considered “easy” might be more difficult for you.

When hiking at Capitol Reef in November it is especially important that you take the proper gear and plenty of water.

In November it may rain or snow and so be aware of flash floods. Get up-to-date weather information and watch for changing weather conditions. DO NOT enter a narrow gorge or slot canyon if storms are threatening!

Ranger Led Programs in November at Capitol Reef

Ranger-led programs are a great way to learn about Capitol Reef. The programs available in November are geology talks, evening programs and the Junior Ranger Program for kids!

More Capitol Reef Activities

SHOP AMAZON: Capitol Reef Travel Guides and Maps:

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Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef

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