Category: Capitol Reef National Park

Captiol Reef National Park only became one of my most favorite national parks because of its extraordinary hiking trails. Nearly every trail takes advantage of the park’s unique geologic feature of the Waterpocket Fold. The fold is an actual wrinkle in the earth’s crust, creating a massive sandstone extrusion that towers above the surrounding landscape, stretching for dozens of miles. Hikes like Navajo Knobs, Chimney Rock, and the Frying Pan Trails all offer tremendous views of the eroded sandstone landscape. Farther south, a hike like Upper Muley Twist Canyon shows off the best of the fold, bringing hikers through and around narrow canyons before climbing on top of the rim for endless desert views in every direction. The park is also home to many extraordinary slot canyons, such as Grand Wash, Spring Canyon, and many more.
Capitol Reef National Park Hiking Trails

Highway 12 in Southern Utah 0

Highway 12 in Southern Utah Road Trip

Highway 12 in southern Utah is a breathtaking journey past some of southern Utah’s most picturesque features, including Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Escalante Petrified...

Capitol Gorge Abstract 0

Capitol Gorge and Tanks

Distance: 1.1 miles Type: Out and back Difficulty: Easy The Capitol Gorge Trail is an easy trail to give visitors a taste of what lies in the rest of the backcountry of Capitol Reef...

Rainbow over Fremont River 0

Fremont River Trail

Distance: 1 mile Type: Out and back Difficulty: Moderate The Fremont River Trail roughly parallels the Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail, only it does so from the other side of the river. It’s also a...

Cohab Canyon and Waterpocket Fold 0

Frying Pan

Distance: 2.8 miles Type: Out and back / Shuttle Difficulty: Moderate The Frying Pan Trail can either be hiked as an in-and-out hike, or as a connector trail to another location, especially if you...

The Castle and the Waterpocket Fold 0

Navajo Knobs

Distance: 5.25 miles Type: Out and back Difficulty: Moderate Navajo Knobs was the first trail I did in Capitol Reef National Park, and it remains one of my favorites. Most of the trail is...

Chimney Rock 0

Chimney Rock Loop

Distance: 2.4 miles Type: Lollipop Difficulty: Moderate I was fooled the first few times I saw the Chimney Rock Trailhead. Just a few hundred yards to the east is Chimney Rock. Surely the trail...

Fremont River Gorge 0

Fremont Gorge Overlook

Distance: 2.4 miles Type: Out and back Difficulty: Moderate I had hoped that the Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail would make for a great sunrise hike, but it turns out this one’s much more suited...

Sunset Point, Capitol Reef National Park 0

Sunset Point and Goosenecks

Distance: 0.6 miles Type: Out and back Difficulty: Easy 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...

Hiker at Cassidy Arch 0

Cassidy Arch

Distance: 1.8 miles Type: Out and back Difficulty: Moderate Cassidy Arch Trail Description Cassdiy Arch is a spur trail off of the Grand Wash Trail. It climbs up the canyon wall, bringing you to...

Rim Trail on Waterpocket Fold 0

Upper Muley Twist Canyon

Distance: 10.5 miles Type: Loop Difficulty: Moderate In looking at the map and reading general descriptions (though probably not carefully enough), I vastly underestimated this hike. Realizing it would make a great sunset hike,...

Clouds Above Waterpocket Fold 0

Cohab Canyon and Overlooks

Distance: 1.9 miles Type: Out and back Difficulty: Moderate The Overlooks Trail can be accessed most directly from two different trailheads: one across the street from the Hickman Bridge Trailhead, and the other across...

Hickman Bridge and Waterfall 0

Hickman Bridge

Distance: 1.2 miles Type: Out and back Difficulty: Easy Hickman Bridge Trail Description From the trailhead, the beginning few-tenths of the trail are the most challenging. After walking along the Fremont River for a...

Hiker in Surprise Canyon 0

Surprise Canyon

Distance: 1 mile or more Difficulty: Easy, but some scrambling required Best time of year: Year-round Last hiked: 2015 October One of the really great things about Capitol Reef National Park, and any national...