Capitol Reef National Park Weather

It’s all about the weather when deciding the best time to visit Capitol Reef National Park. This article details the Capitol Reef National Park weather you can expect each season and month of the year.

Do your research to know what it’s like visiting Capitol Reef at various times of year so you can decide which season and month is best for you to plan your vacation to this stunning park!

weather at Capitol Reef national park

Capitol Reef sees a variety of weather conditions year-round, each offering its own unique way to experience the park’s natural beauty. Use this Capitol Reef National Park guide to know the expected temperatures and weather, services available, things to do, what to pack, and where to stay during the year.

We live close enough to the park to visit various times throughout year. This article about Capitol Reef National Park weather is based on our experiences over the years!

One tip for visiting Capitol Reef is to plan for the temperatures and weather for the time you’ll be at the park. Use our Capitol Reef National Park packing list to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting any time of year. Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

get the free capitol reef national park packing lists
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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!

What To Pack for Capitol Reef National Park

To get the most out of visiting this park, you must be prepared with the right clothing and gear.

Hiking Shoes – Injuries from improper footwear is a common problem that casual visitors and hikers encounter. To make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible, avoid smooth-soled shoes and only wear sturdy shoes with ample tread. We always recommend Merrell Moab hiking shoes of course!

Hydration and Food – Due to the high desert and altitude in South Central Utah, you should drink at least one gallon of water per day, and always carry water with you during all outdoor activities. Accordingly, be sure to eat plenty of healthy snacks and food. We use Camelbak hydration packs or carry Hydroflask bottles in our packs.

Lip Balm and Lotion – Utah’s high elevation and dry air can be hard on your skin. You’ll want to carry lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion to apply as needed when you’re out exploring the trails.

Clothing – Summers in the park mean soaring temperatures, unrelenting sunlight, and low humidity. To keep cool, wear light colored, loose fitting UV clothing that does not absorb sunlight. Also avoid sun burn by wearing a wide brimmed hat and by generously applying sunscreen to any parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.

For the winter months, wear winter clothing to stay dry and warm. Take note that snow and ice can accumulate and make popular trails quite slippery. That’s why trekking poles and traction devices for your shoes are essential. It’s also just as easy to become dehydrated in the cold as it is in the heat. It’s important to carry plenty of water during the winter, and not just during the summer.

During spring and fall, it’s all about layers! The mornings and evenings will be cool so have a fleece jacket handy!

National Parks Pass – Before you visit Capitol Reef be sure to pack your The America the Beautiful Annual Pass.

Other items we recommend:

Visiting Capitol Reef National Park

Most of the year you’ll enjoy fun outdoor things to Do in Capitol Reef National Park like scenic drives, hiking, biking, and photography. During the winter, the activities may be a bit more limited due to cold or snowy conditions!

When planning a Utah National Park vacation it’s important to be up-to-date with current weather and road conditions! You’ll need to be aware of the road conditions and closures.

Panorama Point at sunrise at Capitol Reef
Sunrise at Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef National Park Weather

If you’re wondering the best time to visit best time to visit Capitol Reef National Park, below you’ll find specific information about what it’s like at different seasons and months of the year to help you decide.

You’ll also find links to different articles we’ve written about each season or month specifically: weather, services, and things to do that time of year.

Spring Weather at Capitol Reef

Springtime at Capitol Reef varies quite a bit from month to month. When visiting Capitol Reef National Park in the spring, it’s important to pack for all types of weather because you never know when the weather will change.

It is not unusual to get snowfall in March or even April. We recommend you watch the weather and pack a winter coat, winter hat, and winter gloves when going to Capitol Reef in early spring. 

Spring is a wonderful time for Capitol Reef National Park photography! It’s also a busy time so expect crowds!

Grand Wash hiking trail at Capitol Reef
Hiking at Capitol Reef

Summer Weather at Capitol Reef

At Capitol Reef National Park in the summer the temperatures will be hot! Since the temperatures are brutal this time of year, plan your outdoor activities for the cooler mornings and evenings!

With the hot summer temperatures, you’ll want to protect yourself from the sun by wearing a sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. It’s important to stay hydrated and carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack.

Summer is a great time to enjoy the AC as you explore the various scenic drives at the park:

Capitol Reef landscape along Highway 24
Capitol Reef in the fall

Fall Weather at Capitol Reef

The weather at Capitol Reef National Park in the fall starts to cool down making it a great time to explore the park because it will be cool in the mornings and evenings, and the daytime temperatures aren’t too hot compared to the summer.

With the cooler temperatures at night, you will definitely want to bring a fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves for the nights and early mornings. 

Fall is a nice time to be in the park on a sunny day when the air isn’t stifling! It’s a perfect time to explore the Capitol Reef National Park fall hikes!

Cathedral Valley with snow

Winter Weather at Capitol Reef

The temperatures really drop Capitol Reef National Park in the winter so it’s the least busy season . We don’t mind the colder weather for enjoying outdoor activities, which makes the winter the best time for us to visit to escape the crowds!

BUT the cold winter weather may not be for everyone.

During the winter it is especially important to dress in layers. We recommend an insulted winter jacket, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves if you’ll be doing any outside activities. Here’s the full list of the outdoor winter clothing we use!

capitol reef guides and map

Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef National Park Itineraries

Check out these done-for-you itineraries for Capitol Reef based on the time you have to spend exploring the park!

Grab our travel bundle with printable 1, 2 and 3-day itineraries to easily plan your vacation! Simply click the graphic below to get the free itinerary pack! Click on the links below to see detailed itineraries based on the time you have to spend at the park.

Get the Capitol Reef Travel Bundle
capitol reef weather everything you need to know

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