The Scenic Drive Road in Capitol Reef National Park will be closed April 1-16. When it opens, it will be in much better condition.

Park officials plan to grade and gravel the road, and that will be much easier to do by closing it, said Superintendent Martin C. Ott. Sunshine and rain in the spring of the year provide ideal conditions for such improvements.Ott said the road extends for 13 miles into the heart of the Water-pocket Fold, along an old wagon road that was built by early Mormon pioneer settlers in the area. It has never been surfaced.

The road gets heavy use so it is difficult to keep it safe and smooth, Ott said.

A record number of visitors last year also contributed to the need for improving the road.