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Capitol Reef National Park is located in south-central Utah. It is 100 miles (160 km) long but fairly narrow. The park, established in 1971, preserves 378 mi² (979 km²) and is open all year, although May through September are the most popular months. Called "Wayne Wonderland" in the 1920s by local boosters Ephraim P. Pectol and Joseph S. Hickman, Capitol Reef National Park protects colorful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths. About 75 miles (120 km) of the long up-thrust called the Waterpocket Fold, extending like a rugged spine from Thousand Lake Mountain southward to Lake Powell, is preserved within the park boundary. Capitol Reef is the name of an especially rugged and spectacular part of the Waterpocket Fold near the Fremont River. The area was named for a line of white domes and cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, each of which looks somewhat like the United States Capitol building, that run from the Fremont River to Pleasant Creek on the Waterpocket Fold. The local word reef referred to any rocky barrier to travel.

I did this with my cousin and two friends in April of 15. It was perfect weather. Like the other reviews the trail drops you into the canyon and you can cross over and go to the arch. We followed the trail and not the river and there are some ups and downs but not bad. Towards the end you pop out on the river and finding that spot on the way out was a little tricky. We camped just before the narrows and did them the next day. There is almost always water there. When you get to the end of the narrows there is a spot where the water was a little more than waist deep. When you exit the narrows you and go up the hill to the left to catch the trail back or you can keep going a little further to catch the trail without a steep climb.When we got back to camp we ate and packed up and hiked out till about an hr before dark. It made the last day hike out a little shorter,remember you have to climb out almost 1200 feet up! We had no issue getting water at the narrows but even in april there was nothing in the river bed until you got almost to the narrows, Note this is a long hike and not suggested for summer months

As per the AllTrails description: Meh. Nothing to write home about.

I’d rather have spent my time doing a better route in the park.

trail running
20 days ago

Did this finishing just before sunset and the views from the Knob were spectacular and better than the first viewpoint, although both are indeed great.

A fairly short/compact trail, this still packs in the sights, and it was nice to look over and see the Capitol Gorge trail from earlier in the day (nowhere near as good as this!).

Finished this up and down in 2h40 with two bars and no water. A few sips for getting down would have been nice, but the weather was not hot at all.

20 days ago

Incredible views. Lots of cairns to follow. Check out the view of Hickman Bridge on the way.

hiking
20 days ago

Excellent hike with great features along the way and great end point. A bit of a climb in the beginning but not bad. Good for kids too

We did this hike from the end of the gravel road. We hiked approximately 1.5 miles in to the narrows and then returned. Absolutely fantastic rock formations. The kids loved it. Plenty of room for them to run and play. Only moderately trafficked.

We took our eight kids on this hike and had a great time. The kids loved playing hide and seek in the rock formations. Highly recommended.

hiking
23 days ago

excellent back country canyon rout! love the sandstone and remoteness of this trek!

Amazing area!!

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
24 days 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.

Quiet and peaceful on this Wednesday afternoon.

Uneven but easy walk to both points. You get the colors of sunset and the sunlight on the cliffs behind you.

This was a very nice 3 hour walk up and back. The canyon walls are very impressive. Very flat and a good walk for our sore legs

hiking
1 month 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.

I did this at the tail end of Cohab/Frying Pan trail. It was hard not to compare. The stone walls are magnificent on tis trail, but variety is limited compared to the vistas on the Frying Pan and Cassidy Arch trails.
I ended at Hwy 24 and hitched back to my car at the start of Cohab canyon.
Total loo of 7.5 miles (excluding ride back to car).

hiking
1 month 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

Nice hike to several viewpoints

hiking
1 month ago

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

Great hike. Worth doing!

The Goosenecks was perfect for sunset! Amazing views all around. Then to Panorama Point to watch the sky change colors over all the rock, it was beautiful.

hiking
1 month 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!

hiking
1 month 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.

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