Few western national parks combine the splendor of nature with man's handiwork like Capitol Reef National Park. Fruita, the remnant of a 200-acre late frontier settlement, hugs the banks of the Fremont River and Sulphur Creek. Mormon pioneers recognized its potential for agriculture and planted orchards in the 1880s. Although Fruita today represents only a small fraction of a large natural step-shrub preserve, this small valley, sheltered by soaring cliffs and domes, continues to enchant naturalist and historian alike. For visitors who can spend only a few hours, it is the portal for the Scenic Drive, a century-old road that draws visitors further into Capitol Reef.
The story of Fruita reaffirms that the history of the land is never complete without the saga of man. Study the detail in turn-of-the-century buildings and orderly rows of trees, and observe the intertwined natural and cultural heritage of Fruita.
There is no trail to follow; historic features remain near several roads and footpaths.