activity spotlight at our capitol reef inn and cafe canyoneering

Activity Spotlight at Our Capitol Reef Inn and Cafe: Canyoneering

by | Sep 30, 2023

Hiking is a popular way to experience the sights during your stay in our Capitol Reef Inn and Cafe. But it’s far from your only option. Taking a scenic drive or going off-roading are also great alternatives. However, if you’re looking for a challenging, exciting, and rewarding adventure, it’s time to try canyoneering.

Canyoneering is a sport that combines hiking, swimming, scrambling,and rappelling to allow you to explore narrow canyons and slot canyons. Even if you are on a canyoneering tour, you’ll have to use problem-solving and skill to navigate your way along the route. Once you start a canyoneering route, the only way out is to keep moving forward, adding to the challenge.

This sport isn’t for everyone. But if you’re up for a unique challenge during your stay at Chuckwagon Lodge, this might be a great choice. Keep reading to learn what canyoneering is, how to get a permit, and how to book a canyoneering tour during your stay.

What is Canyoneering?

As we already mentioned, canyoneering combines a number of outdoor activities to create a unique new challenge.

Hikers wear a harness and helmet, and, using a rope system, descend into a canyon. Once there, they may hike for a while until they need to again descend into lower elevations. It takes more skill than hiking, requiring endurance and strength to get from point A to point B, not to mention plenty of equipment and knowledge.

The outdoor activity was once practiced only in Zion and Arches. But recent growth in the popularity of canyoneering, as well as an increase in visitation to Capitol Reef, spread the sport to the park as well. 

Getting a Permit for Canyoneering

Canyoneering involves navigating through narrow, remote canyons. Because of this, overcrowding on canyoneering routes can cause a serious hazard.

These dangers, in addition to the environmental impact of canyoneering, have led park officials to require a permit to go canyoneering in Capitol Reef. If you’re looking to go canyoneering during your stay at Chuckwagon Inn, you’ll need to obtain a permit in order to do so. Permits are free and can be obtained in person at the Visitor Center on the day of your visit, or by emailing [email protected] ahead of your trip. If you plan to email ahead of time to get a permit, include the following details:

  • Date of visit (single day only):
  • Canyoneering route (single route only):
  • Number of people:
  • Vehicle location:
  • Number of motorized vehicles:
  • Vehicle description(s)

No matter how you apply for a permit, you’ll need to apply for separate permits for each individual canyoneering route that you plan to take. If you want to stay overnight while canyoneering, you’ll also need to apply for a free backcountry permit.

Is it Difficult to Get a Permit?

If you want to go canyoneering in Zion National Park, you’ll need to attempt to get one of the highly coveted permits. These become available for reservations up to 3 months in advance and are snatched up very quickly. Because of the popularity, the park has implemented a lottery system for permits for The Subway and Mystery Canyon.

Luckily, the permits to go canyoneering in Capitol Reef National Park are far easier to come by. For rock climbers and canyoneers alike, there is no daily limit on the number of permits that can be obtained. You can even pick up your permit on the day you plan to go climbing in the park.

Planning a Canyoneering Adventure During Your Capitol Reef Inn and Cafe Stay

Whether you have experience with canyoneering or want to try it for the first time, this activity can be a great addition to your stay at our Capitol Reef Inn and Cafe. If you already have the gear and experience, you can get a permit and enjoy one of Capitol Reef’s many canyoneering routes. If you don’t have experience, don’t worry—you can still give canyoneering a try.

There are a variety of local tour companies that can help you give canyoneering a try while you’re enjoying your time at our Capitol Reef resort. If you’re thinking about trying canyoneering during your stay at Chuckwagon Lodge, booking a tour is a great way to do so. Not only will they supply the gear, but you’ll also get the help of an experienced guide to show you the ropes.

While you can stay overnight on the trail, many canyoneering tours are day trips. This means that you can enjoy a canyoneering adventure, then return to our Capitol motel to rest up before another day of exploring Southern Utah.

Ready to start planning your own canyoneering adventure? The first thing you should do is book your stay at Chuckwagon Lodge!

The Chuckwagon Blog

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