Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

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
18 days ago

Cottonwood Wash - maybe Cottonwood Slot Canyon would be a better name. A Ranger at Capitol Reef told us about this amazing hike.
I am a little unsure of where the start of this trail is. At the Visitor Center, we were told to park right off Notom Road where there is a small sign for Cottonwood Wash and an unpaved parking lot & that it would be about a mile in before you hit the slot canyon. We started off walking from there down the Designated Route (for off road vehicles). When we were about 1/3 of a mile down the road, the pick-up truck who came in right after us came driving down the road. I decided to go back & drive my (4 wheel drive) truck. As I am not an experienced off-road driver, I went as far as I felt comfortable, which was about a mile & I parked on the side of the dirt road. It was still at least 1/3 of a mile down the road before the road ends & just the regular wash begins, and then maybe another mile after that before you actually get into the slot part of the hike. Then- it is sooo good. You will need to be a bit agile to climb your way through. It was the first hike ever that my 9 & 11 year old kids were having an easier (and more fun) of a time then I was. We went in as far as we could until you hit a wall that requires technical climbing & ropes. Even with cutting off about a mile of the dirt road, All Trails tracked us around 6 miles (and my Garmin at 6.2), but being in a Canyon, the tracking is off. We spent almost 4 1/2 hours hiking/climbing/scampering about.

hiking
18 days ago

Decent hike. Good destination. Easy hike compared to Cassidy Arch.

Great trail! Took my two boys(6 and 4) with us. 6 year old didn't have any issues but the 4 year old struggled in the begining. Midway there is some interesting things to check out. the natural bridge is breathtaking and you should sit and enjoy it before heading back.

This is a perfect trail for kids, it’s busy, very easy, and the bridge is amazing.

This trail should be listed as moderate difficulty, but has amazing views and a grand finish at the arch. There are beautiful junipers and rock formations so take your time and look around. This app says there is no shade which is not true in the late afternoon. Wear boots with ankle support and carry plenty of water, enjoy lunch or a snack at the arch before heading down.

Confusing trail, but pretty neat. You feel like you are on a different planet. The hike is up hill 60% of the time, but not too bad. Keep an eye open for all the sites along the trail (arches) there are also many different features that might trick you in to thinking you found the Hickman Bridge. This feature is enormous, you will know when you get to it.

Such a good trail. First half has a few switchbacks with some elevations gain but the bridge is amazing. We went around 8:30 AM on a Thursday and we only saw about four people. Would highly recommend.

Great. I always enjoy the ledge walking though it never feels dangerous. As one who finds enjoyment in summitting, the end was a bit anti climactic.

Awesome challenging hike. I got on the trail around 11, did Hickman’s Bridge Koop and then took the turn in the Fork 4.2 miles to Navajo Knobs. Got back to the car just after 4. It was a beautiful sunny and chilly February day. No snow. Very exposed. Wouldn’t recommend in the summer.

The most popular trail in a not very busy park. Once you get to the part of the trail that loops, make sure to go right in a counter clockwise direction to get the most stunning approach

Great conditions today. The hike is challenging but the trail is well marked and the terrain diverse. Arriving at the arch is very rewarding.

hiking
2 months ago

An unforgettable hike.

Amazing rock formations, highly recommended

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike to see a natural bridge in a beautiful National Park! It didn't take too long, but the first part to Hickman Bridge was all gain. After that part, the rest is fairly easy. Worth the heat if you go mid-day in late June!

3 months ago

Great little hike to a cool bridge arch. Got some great photos standing on the arch with the sunset in the background. From the trailhead, the first stretch is a steep incline with a rocky trail. The rest of the hike levels out and is pretty easy. Came here in the off season and we were the only ones on the trail which was pretty awesome. Took about 2 hours round trip with plenty of stops for photos.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike, had a great vantage point to watch the sunset from. We also had good views of some of the rock formations that inspired them to name the park after capitol buildings.

walking
3 months ago

fun. not for children under 12, there a couple of places the trail skirts waterfalls which can be challenging without river shoes with a good grip.

4 months ago

Worth the walk!

Beautiful trail, with excellent views along the way. The view from the top of the summit is outstanding, with 360 degrees views of the entire surrounding area.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a quick easy hike. It was the busiest trailhead we saw in the park.

hiking
5 months ago

Great short hike.

Great wiews, good hike combined with Grand Wash.
Start / End at 24 where we parked the car.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a great hike. Plan accordingly with plenty of water and a snack. We started at about 1:30 and finished about 6. The sun was starting to set. It's a lot of up both ways. But totally worth it! Make sure to go to the top of the knobs for a killer view.

Very busy but short and nice

hiking
6 months ago

I wouldn't say this trail is hard, just a steady climb uphill. The views on the way up showcase the gulch really well. The top has a great view of the Golden Throne, but the gulch is just okay as you can see the entrance and i like the feeling of being enclosed by the gulch that you get on the way up. Beautiful views most of the time though.

Short but beautiful.

hiking
6 months ago

Great, short trail

Difficult trail but very well marked. Started at 10 and it got pretty hot. Bring plenty of food and water (at least two liters). Trail is basically all up hill but views from the rim are amazing. Make sure to climb the boulders at the end and enjoy the view from the top for a while. I did the hike alone and ran into some folks along the way. I would definitely do this hike again. Capitol Reef was my favorite national park. The landscape (red rocks, shrubs) were absolutely amazing.

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