Things to Do at Capitol Reef National Park in March

Capitol Reef in the Spring is a magical time of year. From hikes to scenic drives, there are a variety of things to do at Capitol Reef National Park in March.

Use this Capitol Reef National Park guide to plan your March trip: activities, what to pack, where to stay, weather, and more!

things to do at Capitol Reef in March

March is a terrific time to explore and photograph the colorful cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges at Capitol Reef.

To plan your March vacation, check out these Capitol Reef National Park itineraries:

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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!

Things to Do at Capitol Reef National Park in March

Check out all the fun Capitol Reef National Park spring activities you can do in the month of March.

Capitol Reef Ranger-Led Programs in March

Capitol Reef is open all day, every day. The visitor center is open daily, but hours in the early spring may vary so check the NPS 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.

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

Fruita area of Capitol Reef National Park
Fruita area

Capitol Reef Fruita Area in March

The Fruita area is the main part of Capitol Reef. It includes the Gifford Homestead, blacksmith shop, barn and orchards.

The Gifford House opens on March 14, Pi Day! You can find unique handmade items and locally baked fruit pies and homemade ice cream!

Another one of the favorite activities at Capitol Reef is picking fruit from the orchard, but this activity isn’t available in March. Here’s the Capitol Reef orchards harvesting schedule if you want to arrange your vacation around those dates.

Grand Wash road at Capitol Reef National Park
Grand Wash Road

Capitol Reef Scenic Drives in March

The Capitol Reef scenic drive is a paved road that’s 7.9 miles long and suitable for passenger vehicles. Since it’s not a loop road, you’ll drive back the way you came.

There are two dirt spur roads off the scenic drive: Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge. Passenger cars and RVs up to 27 feet in length are fine to drive the road.

In March the Scenic Drive, Grand Wash, and Capitol Gorge roads can be closed due to snow, ice, mud, and flash floods.

We recommend the Capitol Reef GyPSy Guide App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.

If you’re up for adventure, and the weather allows it, drive the Cathedral Valley District of Capitol Reef. It’s a remote, rugged region that requires vehicles with high ground clearance. In March it may rain or snow which makes the roads 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 has the best scenery!! Most passenger cars, pickups, and vans can usually negotiate the roads without difficulty. Aain 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. 

Capitol Reef sunrise at Panorama Point
Sunrise at Panorama Point

Capitol Reef Photography in March

Photographing the amazing landscape at Capitol Reef is one of our favorite things to do. If there’s snow in March, then that’s an added bonus!

We recommend these Capitol Reef National Park photography spots:

  • 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.
milky way over the Fruita Barn at Capitol Reef
Milky way over the Fruita Barn

Capitol Reef Stargazing in March

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 March the milky way is again visible in the sky in the early morning hours before sunrise. Don’t forget you can also photograph the amazing starry skies or star trails!

Grand Wash slot canyon at Capitol Reef
Grand Wash hiking trail

Capitol Reef Hiking Trails in March

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

Some of the best day hikes in Capitol Reef National Park 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 March it is especially important that you take the proper gear, plenty of water and healthy snacks.

In March you may still need hiking traction devices to prevent slipping on the icy trails, sunglasses to protect from the sun’s glare on the snow, emergency locator device and emergency blanket just in case you are delayed by bad weather.

Tips for Planning a Capitol Reef Vacation in March

There are fun outdoor adventures and things to do at Capitol Reef National Park in the spring.

In March the weather is still cold and there may be snow or wet conditions, but that means fewer people visiting the park!

If you’re dressed for the weather conditions, it’s a great time to enjoy the outdoor hiking and photography in this desert landscape.

Weather in March at Capitol Reef

The Capitol Reef National Park weather in March usually means temperature highs 55 / lows 31 degrees Fahrenheit.

Even though March is technically spring, it will still feel like winter at Capitol Reef. We recommend an insulated jacketfleece jacketwarm hat and gloves .

You’ll want to stay informed on the specific weather conditions and forecasts on the NPS website for the areas of the park you will visit.

capitol reef guides and map

Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef

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