Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fruita Campground - Capitol Reef

I’m not sure why anyone bothers with this particular campground.

Under cover of lovely shade trees - that also block out the astounding rock formations that surround the campground in its little valley - Fruita gives you the perfect opportunity to park right next to other campers with no sense of privacy whatsoever. It is a shaded, grassy park with asphalt pads, like a RV park without the benefit of hook-ups and showers. If you are going to basically camp on top of each other, not have any views , put up with all the traffic and noise – then showers would be nice.

The campground host at Fruita told us that on most days the campground fills up around 10am. We were there around 3pm and, due to the rain, had just lost the last site to some other visitor. I am really, really glad that we did. I think I would have been crawling out of my skin within a couple of hours.

Our daughter would have been putting up her tent in the middle of the green, basically surrounded by ten campsites. I’ve had a similar experience at Cougar Rock Campground at Rainier – it’s insane how tight the sites are and how busy those campgrounds get. Every RV rental company is represented.

The ranger at the visitor center has a map to show folks where else you can camp in the area. They pull these maps out practically before you’ve asked the question. Milepost 73 west or milepost 79 east – that’s where the BLM land is just waiting for you to pull over and rough it. Gotta watch the road clearance, though. You think? This little trailer of ours has zero clearance (well, it seems that way) so those weren't options that we could seriously consider.

I know plenty of places to pitch a tent in this area but with a trailer the possibilities shift. Because we had been traveling specifically to spend time in and about Capitol Reef for a few days, I'd gone ahead and made a back-up reservation at an RV park in nearby Torrey. (See my next post). But we had wanted to camp - not get stuck between a couple of traveling buses. Options were slim, however, and after a wonderful meal at Diablo Café (go there if you are in Torrey), we trudged disheartenedly over to the RV site. 

Most of all, I was disappointed - yet again - in a National Park's campground. Cougar Rock had soured me and Fruita was just a plain shock. In the midst of all that red rock glory, the campground gets built in a cramped little corner with no views. So what if the deer walk gracefully through the orchards. I have orchards and deer that walk through my yard daily. I wanted the red rock, the majesty and the resonance grace of this land. Not happening at Fruita - that's all I knew.

Here's what was waiting for us:

No comments:

Post a Comment