Thinking about planning a trip to Capitol Reef in March?
Use the tips below and our Capitol Reef National Park guide to plan: we share things to do, what to pack, where to stay and the services available in March.
Capitol Reef is an amazing place to explore and photograph the colorful cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges at the park. You’ll enjoy a Capitol Reef vacation in March!
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Capitol Reef National Park Packing List
→ DOWNLOAD: Capitol Reef National park packing lists
- Merrell Moab hiking shoes or Oboz hiking shoes
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Columbia fleece jacket
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing
- Lip balm with UV protection
- Sun protection – sunscreen (even in the winter) and a sunhat
- UV sunglasses are good for summer and winter
- Travel hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Capitol Reef travel guides and maps
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
CAPITOL REEF IN MARCH
There are fun outdoor adventures and things to do in Capitol Reef National Park any time of year. March is a terrific time to go.
Yes, March is still cold and you may experience snow or rain. If you’re wondering what it’s like to visit at other times of the year, check out this resource of the best time to visit Capitol Reef National Park!
Here’s what you can expect when you take a trip in March.
March Weather at Capitol Reef
March Temperatures: high 55 / low 31 degrees Fahrenheit – March weather at Capitol Reef will be cold and you may encounter snow or rain.
Even though March is technically spring, it will still feel like winter. We recommend an insulated jacket, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves . Check out our winter clothing guide for outdoor travel and photography.
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.
Visitors to Capitol Reef in March
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.
AND you’ll avoid the busy time when the park is crowded!
Things to Do at Capitol Reef in March
Check out all the fun things to do at Capitol Reef National Park!
Here are some tips for visiting Capitol Reef National Park in March:
- Check road and weather conditions so you’re prepared to enjoy the outdoors.
- Be flexible with your schedule, especially in the early spring as conditions may close parts of the park.
Capitol Reef Visitor Center
Capitol Reef is open all day, every day. The visitor center is open daily, but hours in the early spring may vary so call 435-425-3791 and follow the prompts for current visitor center information.
Stop by the visitor center for current information about road conditions. camping, ranger-led programs and to pick up a copy of the Park Map.
Capitol Reef Gifford Farm 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 a harvesting schedule if you want to arrange your vacation around those dates.
Scenic Drives at Capitol Reef
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, 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 the spring you may need four-wheel drive depending on road and weather conditions.
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.
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.
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.”
Capitol Reef Photography
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 places to photograph Capitol Reef:
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!
Stargazing at Capitol Reef 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 Hikes in March
There are so many fun Capitol Reef hikes to choose from, with 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.
You may 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 Ranger Led Programs in March
Ranger-led programs are a great way to learn about Capitol Reef. The programs available in March are geology talks, evening programs and the Junior Ranger Program for kids!
Other Capitol Reef Activities
Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef
Complete guide: Places to Stay at 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!
- VRBO Vacation Rentals – we like finding a place with a kitchen so we can prepare our own food.
- RV Share Rentals – enjoy the convenience of having an RV delivered to you at Capitol Reef!