Horse and pack stock use is considered a valid means of viewing and experiencing Capitol Reef National Park. Animals designated as "pack animals" are limited to horses, burros, and mules. Stock use in any part of the park may be prohibited when, at the discretion of the superintendent, such action is necessary to protect park resources or visitors.
Regulations and Concerns The park has no developed overnight facilities for stock users, with the execption of the Equestrian Staging Area in the Waterpocket District. Guidelines for backcountry camping with stock are described below. Stock animals may not be ridden or kept overnight in any campground, picnic area, orchard, or roadside pullout.
A free backcountry use permit, available at the visitor center, is required for each party with horses or pack animals staying overnight in the park. Backcountry camping is prohibited within one half mile of roads or trailheads. Camping is also prohibited within sight of established roads or trails, or within sight or sound of other campers. Campsites and tethering areas must be a minimum of 300 feet from non-flowing water or archeological sites and at least 100 feet from flowing water. Parties camping with stock must camp in a new location each night. Manure must be scattered before vacating the area.
Manure must be removed immediately if dropped in or near any spring or non-flowing water source.
When picketed, select locations where horses and stock animals will cause little or no vegetation damage. Grazing and loose herding are not permitted. All feed must be carried in and must be certified weed-free feed.
Stock use in the park's backcountry is limited to 12 people and no more than 12 head of riding or pack stock.
Riders will slow to a walk when passing hikers. All trash, including toilet paper, must be carried out. Human waste must be buried 6 inches deep in soil and at least 100 feet from non-flowing water and 200 feet from flowing water. Burning or burying toilet paper is prohibited. Fires are not permitted in the backcountry. Dogs may not accompany stock trips.
Report all accidents or injuries to a park ranger, or at the visitor center, as soon as possible.
All commercially guided horse or pack animal trips must be provided by an outfitter that is authorized and permitted to operate under the commercial use procedures of the park.
Horses and pack animals are prohibited on the following trails and hiking routes:
Brimhall Bridge Cassidy Arch Castle Cathedral Cathedral Valley Overlook Chimney Rock Cohab Canyon Fremont Gorge Viewpoint Fremont River Overlook Fruita Campground to the Visitor Center Frying Pan Trail Golden Throne Goosenecks Grand Wash Gypsum Sinkhole Halls Creek Narrows Headquarters Canyon Hickman Bridge Navajo Knobs Red Canyon Rim Overlook Saddle Spring Canyon (upper and lower) Strike Valley Overlook Sulphur Creek Sunset Point Surprise Canyon Tanks Recommended Rides The following are recommended rides in the park:
Access to Tantalus Flats and Boulder Mountain or return down Pleasant Creek.
Access to Miners Mountain with good views of the Waterpocket Fold.
Access from The Post south through Halls Creek drainage.
Access from the Upper or Lower South Desert Overlook, or from Utah Hwy 24.
Many other rides of varying length and duration are possible. The availability of water is a limiting factor in the use of horses and pack animals. Please talk with a ranger at the visitor center for information on rides, water, current conditions, to obtain a backcountry use permit, or if you have any questions regarding stock use in the park.
Guidelines and Regulations for the Backcountry Equestrian Staging Area The Superintendent of Capitol Reef National Park has authorized the use of a staging area for horse users departing on overnight or dayuse trips into the Waterpocket District of the park. The equestrian staging area is sited at the Post Corral (see map ), which is located on the Notom-Bullfrog Road, about one-half mile south of the Burr Trail/Notom Road junction. Use of the site has been approved for a two year experimental period, commencing on April 10, 1998, during which time park officials will examine horse use withing the district and its impacts to resources. All use is subject to the existing regulations outlined in the park horse use policy and the park Compendium. Use of the camp is limited to non-commercial groups.
Overnight camping will be permitted for horse users within the Post Corral on an advanced reservation basis only. Reservations are free of charge and must be made at least two weeks prior to planned use. In the future an administrative fee may be charged. For reservations or further information contact park Range Conservationist Keith Durfey at (435) 425-3791, ext. 143.
Regulations governing the staging site include: There is a limit of 12 riders and 12 horses, and each person must intend to ride (one rider, one horse). A maximum of 2 camp tenders may also accompany the group and remain in camp as needed. All camping units and horse trailers must be contained within the large (west) side of the corral, with horses kept in the adjacent pens or tied. Use of camp stoves is strongly encouraged; no ground fires will be permitted unless contained with a fire pan or grill. Ashes must be removed and no wood gathering is allowed. There is no water available at the corral site. Users must bring water for themselves and their horses. Horses must be fed certified weed-free feed (hay or pellets), and grazing and loose herding are not permitted either outside the corral or in the backcountry. No dogs or pets may accompany stock trips. Generators are not permitted. A backcountry use permit is currently available at no charge and is required for each party with horses staying overnight in the backcountry, other than in the Equestrian Staging Area. Backcountry regulations include: Backcountry camping is prohibited within one half mile of roads or trailheads or within sight or sound of other campers. Campsites and tethering areas must be a minimum of 300 feet from non-flowing water or archeological sites and at least 100 feet from flowing water. Backcountry parties camping with stock must camp in a new location each night. Manure must be scattered before vacating overnight camping areas and must be removed immediately if dropped in or near any spring or non-flowing water source. Horses should be picketed in areas where they will cause little or no vegetation damage. Equestrian day use will remain the same, with parking of vehicles permitted in the marked area adjacent to the Post Corral. All users should take care not to block the entrance to the corral.