Capitol Reef National Park

Trip Start Oct 10, 2012
Trip End Oct 26, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Friday, October 19, 2012

Capitol Reef is a different kind of national park. We've been through the park several times on past visits to Utah, but never tried to build a walk here. Much of the park is difficult to access with a bus, so finding doable trails is a challenge.

With the help of some pre-trip research and advice from the park rangers, however, we found a couple of trails that will introduce travelers to some of the unique features of Capitol Reef National Park. In fact, we discovered that one of the surprises of the park is the abandoned Mormon town of Fruita.

Late 19th century Mormon pioneers discovered that the little valley along the Fremont River is a great place to grow fruit. Though the descendents of the eight families that lived here moved on in the mid-20th century, the national park service maintains the orchards, producing everything from peaches and apples to pears and walnuts. If you arrive in season, you are welcome to pick the fruit straight from the tree. Anything you eat on site is free!

The second part of our walk takes advantage of the orchards, and the winding Fremont River trail. Near the end of this short walk, Denise discovered homemade fruit pies for sale in the historic Gifford House. One small pie is really enough for 3 people, but we sampled the produce of Fruita by splitting two of them between the three of us – peach and apple. Sitting at a picnic table beneath cottonwood trees in the late afternoon sun made a perfect way to celebrate Fruita and Capitol Reef National Park!
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