Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

Started at the creek crossing in a Nissan Pathfinder 4 wd, but didn't need 4 wd. First half is rougher than the second half, which is pretty smooth and a fairly good clip can be maintained. Clear skies, and only saw one other vehicle (Subaru Wagon) on the back half. Roughest section is about a mile or two each direction from the Cathedral Valley Campground.

off road driving
1 day ago

Drove this in early November. I came in from the north along BLM route 920/1 from I-70 and camped on BLM land just east of Temple of The Sun. Vehicle was Jeep Grand Cherokee with 33" BFG KO2 and 2" lift.

Most of the route is pretty easy and could be complete with a stock GC with good tires. There were some stretches of the road that turned into 8" deep gravel mud trenches from melting snow coming off the mountains. The northern half of the loop coming in from Caineville wash was the easiest part. I saw a couple stock Subaru Outbacks in that area that seemed fine. The southern part of the loop from the Fremont river to the campground switchbacks was sprinkled with more challenging stuff.

There are numerous hiking trails along the way that allow you to explore mover of the South Desert and Cathedral Valley. Enough to help break up the drive and allow you to stretch your legs. If you are looking for more of a challenging drive there are a bunch of old mining/BLM routes along the way to push the limits of your vehicle.

Very neat hike, beautiful views the whole time!

So steep to start! Beautiful textures in the canyon, and the overlooks are great.

21 days ago

We hiked this after a long car ride to the park looking to stretch our legs but not a long hike , this trail was perfect for that beautiful canyon and arch is very cool

Beautiful trail and very scenic.

I really enjoyed this trail. Very few people. Lots of interesting rock formations. Trail has a decent climb and plenty of tricky steps. For strong hikers, no problem. Some exposed cliff edges, but not scary.

23 days ago

Spectacular late October day. Low sixties. Perfect for this hike. The variety is incredible, ascending and descending through different layers multiple times.
Be sure to see Cassidy Arch. It's worth the side trip.

Amazing hike with breathtaking views and incredible drop offs. The arch itself is incredible and captivating. Loved watching people repel down the arch. Hope to do so myself someday

Nice moderate hike with beautiful landscapes of all types around every bend! Simply breathtaking

25 days ago

Stunning views and good reward for the effort. I would not do this hike in hot weather though.

Great hike. Worth doing!

25 days ago

Our favorite hike during our day at Capitol Reef! The trailhead parking lot was full but most people seemed to be on the Grand Wash trail. Definitely take water, it was full sun most of way. Amazing views! We earned our pie from the Gifford House on this one!

27 days ago

Loved this hike. We went earlier in the morning and there weren’t too many people on the trail. This was one of my favorite hikes at Capitol Reef.

Pretty cool trail, quick and easy. The bridge is lovely. Worth it if you have an extra hour or two.

One of my favorite hikes I’ve done so far. It gets a bit confusing (trail marker wise) towards the viewpoint but cairns were helpful. Can be slick in any conditions due to steepness, rocks or moisture so grippy shoes are a good idea. Take water if you decide to the Grand Wash combo trail as we did.

I did both the north and south overlooks. They’re both amazing and worth the hike up the switchbacks

28 days ago

This is an amazing trail! I would recommend starting from the Scenic Drive side. There’s parking in the dirt lot across from the barn. The first part is steep but it gets more level. The canyon is amazing! It’s red and white striped sandstone covered in waterpockets. There are lots of spurs into the cracks between the rocks. The south and north fruita overlooks are well worth the trek up the switchbacks. You can also connect to the Hickman Bridge trail across the 24. I did that trail yesterday so I didn’t connect to it today.

If you like having a trail all to yourself this is one of the best ones in the park. It is unique in that you are outside of waterpocket fold looking at it rather than in it or on top which makes for some great panoramic views. It also has absolutely gorgeous views of the Henry mountains. That alone is worth the hike in my opinion. There is also a great viewpoint at the top of the loop that is great for photos. The trail climbs continuously for the first half of the loop but I think it’s definitely on the lower end of strenuous. It can be rocky in places and the trail can be difficult to follow at times so keep your eyes out for cairns.

This was a fairly easy 2-mile trail that ends at an amazing natural bridge. I would rate it 5 stars if there weren’t so many children running around and shouting.

Decently interesting hike and then the arch at the end is incredible.

The views on this hike are spectacular! The Rim Overlook is breathtaking. Once you get over another ridge and find The Castle it is absolutely stunning as well. Would definitely recommend this hike. I went in October so it was not that hot. However the hike has little to no shade, so go early or at a cooler time of the year. The only thing that makes this hike hard is the length. The incline is not bad.

wonderful hike

Fairly straightforward trail leading to the arch - which is AMAZING. Definitely worth doing. Fairly steady path throughout, with a few good overlooks into the valley too.

My favorite way to do this trail is start at grand wash, and come up through Cohab. Ending up at the campground. Plan accordingly to have a way back to your vehicle. Such a nice hike

1 month ago

The first overlook is stunning, with sheer cliffs that overlook the main road and let you gaze down the waterpocket fold. The view from the knobs gives a different view, not quite as stunning, but very worth it. I would rate this trail as moderate. Besides the heat, it is not very difficult.

A very good trail for a moderate backpacking trip. I went with one other person and we found a great spot to camp in one of the side canyons. we had the entire canyon to ourselves all Saturday, did not see anyone else. there was no water so our packs were fairly heavy, which made the initial climb from the post trailhead fairly strenuous, but easy going once in the canyon. very steep walls with huge alcoves formed by water cutting, super beautiful. No bugs, bring sunscreen. Do the route counterclockwise, the highlights are all within the canyon. Overall the trip is very manageable for more beginner backpackers such as ourselves. Highly recommend!

i gave this 5 for people with any age kids or teens. being able to mess around in the cold water whenever you want is perfect!!

9/28/18 - Having driven past this trailhead many times, I was under the impression that it was a short jaunt to see the base of Chimney Rock. It’s quite a bit more than that. The trail guide at the trailhead shows the elevation profile and also describes the trail as strenuous. For a big man who doesn’t get out as much as I used to, I’d agree with that assessment. I took the right fork at the first trail junction, and that results in the most consecutive climbing, and I prefer it that way. The rest of the trail was a gentle saunter by comparison. There are no close-up views of chimney rock, and most of them are either straight-on or even above the feature. This trail isn’t really about Chimney Rock, then. It’s about views of the eastern side of the Waterpocket Fold. There’s a great variety of color in the rocks and soil, as in much of the park. I went before noon, and there are some shady spots on the northern half of the loop just before the Spring Canyon junction. Definitely bring more water than you think you might need, especially from April-September.

1 month ago

Good trial. Steady climb up with great views once you get away from the parking lot. Very exposed during the middle of the day so bring lots of water. Take Capitol Gorge road to the parking lot at the end of the dirt road and the trailhead is near the beginning of the parking lot.

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