Explore the most popular birding trails in Capitol Reef National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

awesome, fairly quick hike with beautiful, fun terrain along the way and an awesome payout at the end. More moderate/strenuous than easy. Hardly anyone on the trail. Have to do a bit of easter egg hunting for the trail markers, but that’s always fun :) Highly recommend.

hiking
11 days ago

This was a nice out and back tail with some easy challenges. The prizes were the beautiful natural bridge at the end and the nice cool river to soak your feet in back at the trailhead. The moderate climb from the river was enough to get your heart pumping but it was relatively easygoing from there, minus a few scrambles around boulders at the pinnacle. We sat our pack chairs in the Fremont River near the trailhead and had a picnic, complete with a great local heffenweizen, when we returned. It was one of my favorite hikes in the area!

This hike was alright, but definitely not a hike I would consider to even be moderate. The only difficult thing about this hike is the heat and the constant sun. Hiked this on June 6th and it was 92 degrees outside with no clouds in the sky. The history markers were probably the best part. I was personally really looking forward to the water tanks but they were all dried out which was really disappointing.

it's hard to see the beauty at the beginning but it gets better every time.

hiking
25 days ago

Absolutely beautiful in late afternoon light, with a nice overlook of the rest of the park. Starts with a strenuous uphill with switchbacks that settles into a meandering loop around the mesa.

Awesome trail.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was awesome, however it was a little challenging for me as a fairly new hiker. Most of the challenge for us was a later (1:30 pm) start and due to some off-trail exploration, we were pushed for time to finish the trail before sundown. Overall the trail was well-marked with cairns although we did lose the trail for about 15 minutes on the ascent. There was some scrambling up to the top but it really wasn’t that bad. I’d recommend an earlier start so you can fully enjoy the hike unless you’re a super fast hiker! Great views at the top!

Nice fairly easy hike with some great views along the way. The bridge was beautiful and you get to hike right through it.

Really enjoyed this hike due to the scenery and history behind it. Pretty easy but fairly confusing to find the tanks, still makes for a nice adventure.

Great hike, clearly marked, with great views. Allows you to walk over the arch.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great hike. The beginning of the trail is where you gain all of the elevation. The trail loops under the bridge which is gorgeous. Probably the best "bang for your buck" hike in the park.

Nice, easy hike. Would be good for kids. Consider the water tanks as optional. This is because they aren't easy to find and the trail is kind of hard to follow. The rest of the canyon before it was great and the pioneer inscriptions were cool to see.

We got a mid morning start and it was very hot, completely sun exposed trail, up hill with early and late moderate climbs. The upper half is through juniper and pinion pine to a fantastic overlook of the gorge and river below . Great spot for a snack. Some great rock formations and a hoodoo along the way. We saw flowering cacti, yucca, red tail hawk and lots of lizards. I definitely recommend this hike but start early to avoid getting cooked in the sun.

Awesome hike! The Narrows were amazing, except for the last quarter of a mile... which was filled with water..

Great short trail. If you get to Capitol Reef and don't have a ton of daylight left, this is your hike!

This trail should be rated as moderate not easy..The trail is not easily marked, so make sure to watch out for the piled rocks marking the pathway. Definitely worth seeing as the arch is breathtaking!

1 month ago

Good views; well marked with cairned as of early May 2018. Pretty exposed - was very windy while I was up there despite very limited ground winds in the valley. A nice half-day hike for some good views. Not so sure that the views up top are necessarily "better" than those on the rim trail, but def more expansive.

Amazing hike with great views throughout. A bit of scrambling at the end to get to a spectacular 360 degree view of the park.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an awesome hike but definitely grueling. You get a lot of elevation on the way up but do get some breaks with some down hill and flat. However, the elevation you get back on the way down is like a slap in the face.
360 views are totally worth it though! Bring more water than you think you’ll need. I wished I’d had more than I packed.

Do this trail if you like geology and a vast range of views and formations!

It was a fun primitive style trail with plenty of stacked rocks as markers. We got some great pictures and got to watch some people repel down by the arch.

Can be heavy traffic, but plenty of alone places when you get near the top.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is short and sweet and right off the roadway. While it was a quick intro to Capitol reef, it seemed like the real heart of the park was to the west of this area—wish we had chosen something among the deep red rock formations. The trailhead was busy with less-seasoned hikers, so I would consider this more of a tourist stop than a real hike.

hiking
2 months ago

A very enjoyable hike starting out as a ramble along the Fremont River and orchards and then climbing up to a beautiful view of the fold and Fruita.

A great little hike through time. Though I didn't go up to the tanks, this hike takes you through an imposing gorge with towering rock walls that was the main route through the Waterpocket fold before Rte. 24 was completed. On its walls you can see petroglyphs left by ancient peoples and names carved by early pioneers and travelers. The stories those walls hold !

Easy hike until you get to tanks which were hard to find.

great hike and amazing views

With 600+ feet of rocky elevation in less than 1 mile, I don’t think this hike would be ranked as “easy.” The park itself classified the hike as “strenuous,” but it is probably more of a heavy moderate. We did it with 2 13 year olds who motores up with no problem. Saw many younger kids as well. Also - in the scheme of heavily travelled trails that I have seen this spring break week in 3 national parks - this wasn’t as busy as most. The views were nice and this hike allows you to see an arch from on top of it. Pretty cool

hiking
2 months ago

Quiet trail that ends up in a breathtaking box canyon.

off road driving
2 months ago

I've driven this route over 200 times (tour guide) and still enjoy it. It is the premier introduction to the northern part of Capitol Reef National Park. You should always start by crossing the Fremont River Ford in case the weather changes during the day and the river is in flood when you reach it. If it has been wet or looks like there is rain coming do not attempt this route, the bentonite clay becomes very slippery and the lower areas tend to flood. By far the best way to see this scenery is with a guide, you don't have to worry about getting lost or stuck, your vehicle being damaged etc. And of course the guide will point out all the features you might otherwise miss and tell the history of the area. Along the route you will see Bentonite Hills, Jailhouse Rock, Upper South Desert Overlook, Cathedral Valley Overlook, Cathedral Valley, Wall of Jericho, volcanic dykes, Gypsum Sinkhole, Layer Cake, Temples of the Sun and Moon, Glass Mountain, Caineville Wash and Mesa and much much more.

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