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Road Work Will Lead To Delays at Capitol Reef National Park in the Coming Months


Rebuilding of the 8-mile-long scenic road in Capitol Reef National Park will lead to some delays, and temporary closures, in the coming months. Kurt Repanshek photos.

There's good news and bad news from Capitol Reef National Park. The good news is that they're going to rebuild the entire 8-mile-long Scenic Drive that heads south from the visitor center. The bad news is that it could lead to delays of up to 30 minutes from now into July.

The drive, which winds past the historic Gifford Homestead with its picturesque barn, past the Fruita Campground, and on to the entrance of Capitol Gorge needs some serious repairs. Park officials say the work getting under way this month includes the removal of the existing road surface, repair of the sub-surface roadbed, stabilization of historic retaining walls, reconstruction of concrete wash crossings, and a complete road resurfacing.

As a result, you can can expect some delays of up to 30 minutes during the road construction. However, you will continue to be able to access popular destinations such as the picnic area, historic Gifford House, historic orchards, and the Fruita Campground during the whole construction period.

There will, though, be some temporarily closures.

One section of the Scenic Drive, the last 6.5-mile portion beyond the campground to the end of the road at Capitol Gorge, will be temporarily closed to through traffic beginning around March 7 and running for three weeks while the contractors construct new concrete wash crossings and allow the concrete to cure.

Another expected closure of this portion of road will take place during a four-day period in July when the final chip seal road surface is applied. No other closures are planned, but weather or other unexpected delays may lead to changes.

For updates concerning this project and any road delays or closures, you may visit the park’s web site at or contact the park at 435-425-3791.


Just as an update on this, the road construction is still continuing and is really behind schedule. On Aug. 10th the Visitor Center will be closed so that parking lot can be paved. Rangers will be at the picnic area 1 mile further on the scenic drive to answer questions. Right now the scenic drive is closed past Grand Wash until later this afternoon (Aug 5th) and will be closed again beyond the fee station Aug 10-Aug 17 for paving. The road will be closed from HWY 24 to the fee station Aug 16-Aug 19 for paving. No idea what is going to be done about the Visitor Center or parking issues at that time (since that's the portion of the road in front of the VC).
Of course all these dates may change again depending on weather and other issues.

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