Things to Do at Capitol Reef National Park in March

Capitol Reef in March is a wonderful time to visit because the weather is “just right” to enjoy outdoor activities at this Utah National Park filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges.

You’ll find a variety of things to do at Capitol Reef National Park in March like hiking, biking, scenic drives, and photography. There are activities to discover its rich history, evidenced by the ancient petroglyphs, to its vibrant, rugged beauty highlighted by colorful layers of sandstone.

things to do at Capitol Reef in March

If you’re looking for an adventure-filled list of things to Do in Capitol Reef National Park, you’ll find the park and campgrounds are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Visitor Center is open daily, and The Gifford House Store and Museum usually opens on March 14 (Pi Day)!

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

Living only a few hours away, we’ve had the opportunity to visit Capitol Reef National Park many times. The tips we share are based on our experiences visiting the area throughout the years, and specifically for a trip in March.

Our number one tip is to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting Capitol Reef in the spring. Grab your free printable Capitol Reef National Park packing list 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!

Things to Do at Capitol Reef National Park in March

Capitol Reef National Park, an awe-inspiring natural marvel, is situated in the heart of Utah’s red rock country, in the United States. Its unique geologic formations, filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges, render it a spectacular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

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

There are fun ways to get the family excited before, during and after the trip with National Park activities:

Kids, and adults, will enjoy collecting stamps in their National Park Passport book! Passport booklets and stamp sets are “usually” available at the park visitor centers, but we recommend you get the passport book before the trip, just in case!! We’ve seen sad kiddos when a visitor center is out of passport books. Rangers can stamp a piece of paper, but it’s not just the same experience!

Ranger-Led Programs in March at Capitol Reef

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.

If you’re visiting Capitol Reef National Park with kids, we recommend your first stop be the Visitor Center! Tell the on-duty ranger what activities you are interested in doing at the park. The rangers can give you tips for the best things to do with kids.

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
Capitol Reef Fruita area

Fruita Area in March at Capitol Reef

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

Scenic Drives in March at Capitol Reef

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, drive the Capitol Reef Cathedral Valley loop. 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!!

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.

The Capitol Reef Burr Trail Loop is located in the southern section of Capitol Reef. It is fairly remote and rugged, but has the best scenery!! Most passenger cars, pickups, and vans can usually negotiate the roads without difficulty. 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. 

Capitol Reef sunrise at Panorama Point
Sunrise at Panorama Point

Photography in March at Capitol Reef

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 photo spots in Capitol Reef National Park:

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!

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

Stargazing in March 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 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

Hiking Trails in March at Capitol Reef

There are so many fun Capitol Reef National Park spring 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.

Fruita Campground at Capitol Reef
Fruita Campground at Capitol Reef

Camping in March at Capitol Reef

There are a few options for Capitol Reef National Park camping. There’s a large developed campground in the Fruita area. This is a popular place to stay and fills quickly. Reservations are available from spring to fall.

You’ll also find Capitol Reef primitive campgrounds in the remote parts of the park in Cathedral Valley and along the Notom-Bullfrog Road.

If you can’t get a camping spot in the park, there are some RV Parks near Capitol Reef National Park that are only a short drive away.

Lodging in March Near Capitol Reef

If camping isn’t your thing, there are a variety of options so you can find the best place to stay for your travel style and budget.

Tips for Planning a Capitol Reef Vacation in March

There are fun outdoor adventures and things to do when visiting 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 Capitol Reef NPS website for the areas of the park you will visit.

Even though March is technically spring, it will still feel like winter at Capitol Reef. We recommend:

You’ll experience a dry desert environment o be sure to also pack and use lip balm and lotion as well!

spring hiking gear

Things to Do Near Capitol Reef in March

capitol reef guides and map

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