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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.

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.

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 !

hiking
6 days ago

A steady uphill hike, difficult to follow in some spots. On the way to the viewpoint you get great views of Hickman Bridge and Pectol Pyramid. The fold rises like the bow of ship and take note of the black volcanic rocks that add a touch of the surreal to the trail. The landscape and vistas won't disappoint.

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

easy walk with great views

great hike and amazing views

We loved this hike! The canyon walls are amazing and stunning to walk through! We came during Spring Break and the crowds were very manageable. The hike is very easy and level and very good for kids of all ages. The length of the hike maybe long for very young children though. We didn’t make it to the end for that reason but still loved doing 2 miles of it out and back.

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

Quiet trail that ends up in a breathtaking box canyon.

off road driving
19 days 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.

hiking
22 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
22 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.

Beautiful walk up a well graded wash. The only problem was we were there in March on a Tuesday when I counted at least 100 walkers going back-and-forth.

We had the trail almost to ourselves in mid-March. We loved being in the canyon. Wear good hiking boots or shoes, because you will be on sand/gravel. We saw a group of bighorn sheep scaling the canyon walls.

Near trail, start earlier in the day so it's not so hot. Bring water, I can't express this enough. I saw several people on the trail with no water. We even gave some away because we were concerned.

Fairly flat trail with high canyon walls. As you get towards the end your climb on top of the canyon via a trail. The trail is nearly non existent going up and on the top of the canyon. Carefully traverse the trail, many opportunities to fall or twist an ankle.

Once you get to the tanks, they are okay, little dirty. Be careful near them, falling in would probably not kill you, but due to the martial the walls are made of you may have a very difficult time getting out.

Intresting fact, if you look at the canyon walls as you go towards the tanks you will see some metal rods pretruding from the wall. Wasn't sure what these were. After talking to a ranger, I found out that the canyon was once used for a roadway and a telephone line was installed along these metal rods. But due to the frequent washouts the maintenance became to expensive. Not to mention the modern-day roads played a factor in abandoning this former practice.

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.

Hiked summer 2017, very cool. Pay attention to the warnings don't become a victim due to stupid planning.This means rain and washouts!

Worth the hike, not too hot but water is a must. Some wildlife can be seen, small lizards, Jack Rabbits etc.

Definitely take some time to relax at the Gifford House. Neat little shop with homemade products. Water is also located here.

Near this area is a large well maintained greenspace area with well fed wild deer. Be careful not to get too close.

Another neat fact, but not necessarily associated with this trail is, during the fall this park operates a huge orchard. You can walk in and eat as much as you want (not the best, but traditional farm orchard from back in the day) or you pay to pick larger quantities.

Worth it! Took 10 & 14 years boys they loved it! Fairly easy trail, steep in spots! views amazing! Sunrise sunset would be awesome!

Loved this easy, beautiful hike. We started from the parking lot at the end of Grand Wash Road then hiked out and back for an easy 4.4 mile hike.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Here are some details I think you should know about this hike. The drive from Torrey to the trail head takes about 90 minutes and is faster coming from the east side up the Burr trail switchbacks. It took a lot longer on the west side. The 4WD road from to turn off to the trail head was fun. I had a Tahoe and didn't scrape, but anything lower in clearance would have had a problem. The walk in the wash is kind of a sludge. Nothing special, the cool aspect of this hike is looking up at the rock formations. You wont' see rock formations like this on any other hike in Utah. As far as the 'scary' parts...specifically the climb out of the wash, just have good traction and make every step secure. I never felt nervous, my youngest (10) had no problem. There are plenty of cairns, just pay attention to them and you'll have no problem staying on the trail. Between cairns, footprints and a map, you'll be fine. I thoroughly enjoyed the hike, but have been on better ones in Zion, Arches, Escalante.

no fatties allowed

Finding the tanks brings a little bit of adventure to an otherwise very easy flat hike. There is also a small arch behind the largest tank of water. Fun to play around up there; walking through the gorge is really pretty as well. A good hike to end the day on, especially if you choose to do something a little more difficult first.

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.

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