Capitol Reef was a national park that didn’t quite make my bucket list for our first national parks trip, but …
For weeks we’d been hearing about the oasis climate, spectacular hiking and melt in your mouth delicious pies at Fruita Campground, the NPS campground in Capitol Reef National Park. So after spending a week exploring the surroundings at Kodachrome Basin State Park, we were eager to move on. Unfortunately, Fruita is a first come, first serve campground. And our drive insured that we wouldn’t be there super early in the morning to get a good campsite. And as it turned out, super early wouldn’t have guaranteed us a great site either…
Luckily when we arrived, around mid-day, there were 3 campsites of 64 left. But the sites were all at the corner by the entrance where no one else wanted to be.
Since we were planning to be there a week or so, a site by the gurgling Fremont River would be much appreciated. But how to get one? Luckily for us, Rayene (our friend camping with us), is an early early riser and walked around the campground looking to see who was leaving on our 2nd day there.
We quickly found out that some of the campsites where people were leaving that day had already been claimed. Huh? How is that possible at the crack of dawn? Talking to the camp hosts clarified the issue. At least at Fruita Campground, the way to a prime site is to check out who’s leaving in advance, and put your claim ticket under the one leaving. When they depart, you simply move to their site. SO, after a bit more scouting we found a nice spot not already taken and after talking to the camp hosts again, put our claim ticket under theirs on the post.
After a bit of coffee (and a warm cinnamon role from the Gifford House, an original homestead adjacent to the campground), we literally picked up and moved their tent and our Clam Quick-Set Screen Enclosure to the new site followed by our #Lance 1685 travel trailer. After moving camp, it was time to begin exploring Capitol Reef National Park! Click here to see our Top 10 Fun Experiences at Capitol Reef!
Do you have different experiences finding the best spot in a national park campground? Please leave a comment and share! Cheers — Jan