Ok, so I know the point of visiting national parks is to see the most beautiful natural places in our country. Maybe hike around, see some nature. And obviously, as you can see from my previous posts, the natural sights in Capitol Reef are absolutely amazing. However, without a doubt, my favorite part of this park wasn’t a natural sight at all- it was the Gifford House.
The closest thing to a restaurant you will find in the park, the Gifford House sells homemade pies, cinnamon rolls, and ice cream, as well as other snacks such as soda, coffee, and chips. It was built in the heart of the Fruita Valley in 1908, and is a perfect example of a typical Mormon settlement from rural Utah. This was an active farming community until 1969, when the homestead and surrounding land was sold to the National Park Service. The Gifford family orchards still exist though, and can be seen throughout the Fruita section of the park. And if you visit in the right season, you can even pick fruit from the orchard.
And there are lots of picnic tables in front of the Gifford House, as well as in the picnic area across the street where tons of deer will join you during your meal. The Gifford House quickly became our favorite place to rest and escape the heat during our stay in Capitol Reef.
There are lots of different jams and jellies you can sample (and also purchase), and fun handmade souvenirs, like aprons and pot holders and other homey stuff.
Awesome afternoon snack? I think so. Bottled rootbeer, homemade ice cream, and a personal sized cherry pie.
These wonderful pies made a perfect dessert back at the campsite!
Just because I could. Cause it was all mine! But for the record, I did actually use a fork for the rest of it.
The Gifford House was also a great place to stop in the morning to start our day off right! Fresh coffee and tea, reasonably priced, and zero effort for us to prepare. Perfection.
Yes, we did stop at the Gifford House twice on this day. The cool sodas and ice cream were just too tempting after hiking out in the hot sun. We couldn’t resist.
And then we stopped again on our way out of the park. We had already eaten breakfast, but the cinnamon rolls and pies were calling us, and we had to answer their siren’s call.
How could we pass up a cabinet full of personal pies and baked goods?? We grabbed some for the road.
Just a small post-breakfast snack.
The homesteader heritage is part of what makes Capitol Reef such a unique park, and it is impossible to get the full experience without stopping to see the orchards and the Gifford House. Plus supporting the park and local artisans is always pretty darn cool too. And the baked goods are delicious. And so is the ice cream. And the sodas…
The Gifford House is open seasonally, during the spring and summer, from 8-5 daily.