Distance: 0.5 miles (both, one-way)
Best time of year: Year-round
Last hiked: 2015 October
Sunset Point and the Goosenecks are two trails that are so easy to do, there’s really no reason not to do them. Both trails combine to less than one mile, and feature some breathtaking views of the gorges and the Waterpocket Fold. As indicated by the name of one of the trails, it’s also a great place to watch sunset.
The Sunset Trail begins on the east side of the parking area at the top of the dirt road that leads up there. It follows a rocky, but easy to walk trail that meanders along a small ravine on its left. A bench soon marks roughly the halfway point.
The trail then winds around a small point, followed by a small canyon, and then up to Sunset Point, marked by another bench (and the incredible views of course). Enjoy the views and hike back to the parking area when you’re ready.
The Goosenecks Trail starts from the same parking area, and is signed on the south end of the lot. It makes a couple of easy switchbacks up the rocks and then follows a ridge toward a large boulders that the trail winds through. It then heads down along the rim until you reach an overlook, protected by a fence. This is one of the greatest places in the park to peer through hundreds of millions of years of geology! Enjoy the views, and head back the same way you came in.
From the Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center, turn left onto Highway 24 to head west. Follow the highway for 2.4 miles and look for the road on the left at the top of the hill to turn onto. Shortly after turning on, Panorama Point will be on the right, while veering left will bring you up to the trailhead. The road turns to dirt and continues for about 0.9 miles before ending at the trailhead.