• Steve

Fruita Campground - Capitol Reef National Park

Updated: May 15

Capitol Reef is another stunning view similar to Zion but way less crowded.

Bob made it another trip without incident. 😺 Yeah, Bob!!


The campground is nicely laid out among the many orchards in the area.


This area was homesteaded in the 1800-1950’s by no more than 10 Mormon families at any one time and they had planted lots of different fruit and nut trees to eat and barter with over the years. Now the orchards are still here and if you pick and eat the fruit while you are in the orchard, it is free, but if you want to take some with you, you pay (a whopping) $1.00/lb. After we got settled into our spot, we got the bikes down and road to the visitor center to, of course, get the Jr. Ranger books and watch a short movie on the Park. On our way back, we stopped at a peach orchard and loaded up on 4 lbs for $4. Tomorrow, the plum orchards open up!! Yum!!


Little more about the campground, it is pretty much dry camping as in there is no water, electrical, or sewer hook-ups. They do have a water spigot to fill your tanks and a dump station as well. As for electrical, you either use your batteries or you can use a generator during a 2 hour window in the morning and evening. They have a historical building called the Gifford House that used to be a meeting place for the Mormon ladies and now it houses a bakery/coffeeshop and gift shop.

The deer knew they are protected here.

Later, while I took a nap, Jen and Lila went to a Star Gazing program put on by the Park then spent some time talking with a gentleman that gave them some places to go while we are in Moab next week.


The following day (Monday) we all woke up early to try and be the first to the Gifford House for fresh baked cinnamon rolls. Even though we got there 10 minutes before they opened, we were still 4th in line. Fortunately, they had plenty made. Jen thinks they stole the Cinnabon recipe.

Warm and ready to eat. Go Canada!

We finally tried out the generator for the first time since we don’t have an electrical hook-up. In case some of you don’t know already, Jen needs her iced latte in the morning and we brought our espresso machine from home that we have had since we got married (Thanks, Sandy and Jason!) So I got out the generator so that we could make lattes to enjoy with our cinnamon rolls. (Rough life, I know 😬)


Once breakfast was done, I left them and headed to town to find an internet connection so I could work. 20 minutes later, I found the Castle Rock Coffeehouse in Torrey, UT and they had great wifi and another coffee (Very good).


When I got back, we had lunch then headed out for a scenic drive through the park to the end of the paved section then through the canyon on an unpaved section for 2.4 miles to a hike. The first trail was Capital Gorge which took us 1 mile up a dry creek bed to a short, steep hike that led us to what is called “The Tanks” which was supposed to have large pools of water in the holes, but most were dried up.


Jen always says that Lila and I have shoe/sock malfunctions, but look who also had a malfunction.
Up by the mostly empty "Tanks"
Landscape is amazing here!

Once we got back to the campsite, we went on another hike that Jen wanted to try. This one was called the Cohab Canyon Trail which is a 3.4 mile round trip hike with a 440’ elevation change in the first .3 miles.


It was getting late and the sun was setting so we only went about 1 mile before we headed back.

You can barely tell there is a canyon from down below on the road



The Rangers said we are in cougar territory and the canyon you walk through looked like perfect spots for a cougar den 😲

Cougar den??

So we took off back to the beginning of the canyon and sat down at the top to enjoy the sun setting over the skyline.



Once we got back to the trailer, Lila really wanted to make Jen and I’s salad for dinner and she did a great job!


The following morning we were all supposed to get up at 7:30 to go get some cinnamon rolls, but Jen and Lila didn’t sleep too well. So I turned off the alarm and went myself to get the rolls so they could sleep in.


Funny side note -


Have you seen “The Greatest Showman”? There is a song in their called “Never Enough” and part of the song and chorus goes like this:


All the shine of a thousand spotlights

All the stars we steal from the nightsky

Will never be enough

Never be enough

Towers of gold are still too little

These hands could hold the world but it'll


Never be enough

Never be enough

Never, never

Never, never

Never, for me

For me


Well, when we first heard it, Lila and I joked that this is Jen’s song because….well, you can guess why 😉 Nothing is enough for Jennifer... (Who do you think came up with this crazy adventure we are on!)


Back to the story -


My alarm on my phone is that song 😬 Jen doesn’t find it that funny, but every time I hear it, it makes me smile. So how I got here, is that Lila likes waking up to that song too so I put it by her bed the last two morning so she would wake up and get going for cinnamon rolls.

So we enjoyed our cinnamon rolls and coffees, then headed out to get our last details for the Jr. Ranger program. We had to go check out the petroglyphs about a mile down the road.


Can anyone tell me the difference between a petroglyph and a pictograph?


Once we got our drawings done, we headed to the ranger station for another oath to get our badges. Did you know that some of the badges are made of wood and they use wood burning tools to engraved them so they smell like a campfire? Pretty cool! Lila keeps track of which ones smell the most.


Back to the trailer to pack up and move onto Moab for Lila’s Birthday! Her only request (besides lots of presents at her bed in the morning 🤔) was that we are not traveling so we are staying at an RV park with a pool.


Oh and I need to take the truck in for some unexpected maintenance…stay tuned 😲😞

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