The campground in Capitol Reef National Park is first come, first served, which is pretty much the worst nightmare of a road tripper. The stress of pulling into a campground after a long day of driving, only to see the “campground full” sign displayed out front, can ruin an otherwise good day, as you desperately try to find alternate lodging. Especially if the park visitor center is already closed for the day, which is what happened to us. Thank goodness for the age of technology, and that we were able to pull out the phones to quickly research other options.
We found Singletree Campground, about 20 miles from Capitol Reef (yes, this is the closest campground to park). Besides being a 30-45 minute drive from the park entrance, it proved to be a really nice campground!
We arrived basically just in time to set up camp, and then start cooking dinner. I like to cook a hearty minestrone soup on chilly camping nights, which my best friend absolutely loves. It has become a bit of a camp-cooking tradition now. (if anyone is interested in the recipe, let me know! It is delicious.)
The next morning, we wanted to get an early start so we could get to Capitol Reef ASAP, but we couldn’t leave the campground without checking out its one hiking trail.
The hike to Single Tree Falls is approximately 2 miles round trip, and was pretty easy. Lots of pretty views along the way!
Made it to the falls! Not bad for a short campground trail. Not bad at all…
Following the hike, we hustled out of the campground and into Capitol Reef, where fortunately, some of the campsites had opened up. Singletree Campground was really nice, but we sure didn’t want to have to make that drive twice a day. And luckily we got there when we did, because shortly after, it filled up again.
So the moral of the story is, if your end goal is Capitol Reef, get to the park early, otherwise the campground could fill up. But if an early arrival is impossible, Singletree Campground is a very pleasant alternative!