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!
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:
- Capitol Reef National Park in one day
- Two days in Capitol Reef National Park
- Three days in Capitol Reef National Park
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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!
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
- Day Hike Checklist
- What to Bring on a Hike
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Hiking Gear for Kids & Tips for Hiking with Kids
Capitol Reef AUDIO TOUR
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the park and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you.”
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.
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.
Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef
- Places to Stay at Capitol Reef National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park Camping
- Hotels near Capitol Reef National Park
- RV Parks Near Capitol Reef National Park
- Capitol Reef Resort – this is where we stay! Make it a unique experience and stay in a teepee or covered wagon!
- Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel – basic rooms and cabins with a deli and store right on the property which is so convenient!
- Vacation Rentals Near Capitol Reef – we like finding a place with a kitchen so we can prepare our own food.