Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon – Ultimate Utah Road Trip with iKamper

This post is part 4 of a 5 part series of our road trip from Minnesota to Utah! Here’s a recap!

  1. Planning for the trip + what to pack
  2. Great Sand Dunes and Mesa Verde
  3. Arches and Canyonlands
  4. Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon
  5. Zion

Don’t forget to check out my tips for traveling to a National Park before reading this post!

This leg of the trip features Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon! Yes, we hit both of these in one day and were really happy with our experience!

After spending the previous day at Arches and Canyonlands, we woke up at the KOA in Green River and headed out to Capitol Reef which was about a 1.5 hour drive.

Again, we knew going into this trip that we would have our dog, Chevy, with us and according to National Park rules, you cannot bring your dog on hiking trails with OR without a leash. Here at the pet rules for Capitol Reef Park specifically! So, we knew that our trip would consist of a lot of driving, sight seeing, short walks, and stopping at overlooks for photos!

Though it was short, we loved our time at Capitol Reef! It was a beautiful park and there is a lot of cool history there. It is a huge park, but we really just hit the North end of it. The entire south end is all unpaved roads, which could be cool to explore if you have a high clearance 4WD vehicle.

We drove into the park on HWY 24 to get to the Visitors Center. On our way in, we stopped to view the Fremont Petroglyphs which are ancient carvings from the Puebloan people. Very interesting to see these and would suggest pulling over if you’re driving by.

Again, we love our 4WD roads and find them wherever we go! It’s like hiking in your vehicle- which is perfect with your pets! This time, the road was called Grand Wash Road & the colors of the rock were so vibrant and beautiful! At the end of the Grand wash Road is the Grand Wash Trail and Cassidy Arch Trail. These both look like amazing hikes if you are without pets and want to get out and move. On the Grand Wash Road, we pulled over to pop up the camper for a quick rest, snack, and some photos before hitting the road again to get to Bryce Canyon!

On our way out of the park, we stopped at Panorama Point, which was a great view of the park where you can see for miles.

The drive from Capitol Reef to Bryce Canyon was about 2 hours (112 miles). In the middle of our drive, we drove past the cutest coffee shop that was nestled into the mountain side that I knew we had to stop and try, and I’m so glad we did. It was adorable, and I left the shop thinking that I wanted to move to Utah just to work there 😉

Bryce Canyon is basically just one long road with lookouts along the entire way, which makes it so easy to explore by car!

First Stop: Farview Point and Piracy Point.

Natural Bridge was next.

Agua Canyon (picture 150 in my photos)

Rainbow Point

Bryce Point

Inspiration Point

One point that we didn’t hit that looked cool was Fairyland Point! Looks like another cool one that we just missed.

We wanted to get to our campsite before dark because we planned on doing dispersed camping at Uinta Flat Designated Dispersed Camping Area that evening (1 hour away from Bryce Canyon/47 Miles). We narrowed it down to 3 dispersed camping sites because we thought that is was going to be so busy because it was Memorial Day Weekend and the camp sites are first-come-first-serve. Mammoth and Lava Flats are the other two that we considered, but luckily, when we got to the Uinta Flats it was actually quite empty because at the entrance on the left side, there is a stream that you have to drive through, so it kept most of the RV’s and campers out- which was to our benefit because we were able to drive through with no problem and have our pick at whatever camp site we wanted! This was our first time doing dispersed camping and it was awesome! It really feels like back country camping, the only cons to it is obviously that you don’t have a bathroom or showers, but for one or two nights, it’s great! We chose a camp site in the forest and we saw a porcupine while driving in, head coyotes at night, and woke up in the morning to deer right outside of our jeep. So if you like wildlife, this kind of camping is perfect for you! 😉 Dispersed camping is free and first-come-first-serve. The camp sites are not marked but they are pretty obvious where they are because there are fire pits and level, cleared ground for tents. We only saw two trucks drive by our camp site in the time that we were there, so it was nice and quiet all night (besides the coyotes of course…. haha!)

We loved having the versatility and ease of staying anywhere with our SkyCamp from iKamper! On this particular night, we even put up the Annex Room, which is a great addition to the roof top camper. It’s the perfect place to eat supper, change, play games or just hang out without getting attacked by bugs. I can’t wait to go camping with friends this summer and play cards in here! It’s even more spacious than we thought it would be!

Up next, we drive to Zion in the morning! The drive from the camp site to Zion was about 55 miles (1 hour 20 minutes).

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