Chimney Rock Loop Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews

Chimney Rock Loop Trail is a 3.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Torrey, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
3.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
793 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

no dogs

Chimney Rock Loop Trail is a demanding 3.5 mile loop trail in Capitol Reef National Park located near Torrey, Utah that offers wide panoramic views along the Waterpocket Fold. Starting as a strenuous climb up switchbacks for the first quarter mile; then it becomes a moderate loop hike afterwards offering views of Chimney Rock and sweeping panoramas from the top of the mesa along the edge of the Waterpocket Fold. Chimney Rock is a natural spire, eroded out of the side of the mesa and stands 300 ft above the road. The trail ascends higher than the top of the chimney. After 300-ft climb, the loop trail more gradually ascends and circles the top of Mummy Cliff to the south of Chimney Rock. Since this is a loop, go whichever direction you wish, but most people end up going counterclockwise to finish the climb at the beginning of the loop trail to the cliffs. Chimney Rock was once part of same sediment bed solidified into Mummy Cliff and the rest of the mesa. But as the mesa eroded, Chimney Rock - made of harder stone - is positioned such that it can shrug off the mesa's winds and stone-splitting frosts; it formed a natural landmark more resistant to erosion than the surrounding sandstone. Chimney Rock Canyon is located at east side of mesa, and cuts way down to Spring Canyon, and then onto Hwy 24 and the Fremont River. Seemingly made of stacked sandstone bricks, Mummy Cliffs almost appear to be buttresses holding up edges of mesa. The cliffs mark the highest point of mesa, rising up out of Chimney Rock Canyon with rest of the slanted Waterpocket Fold. The hike can be extremely hot in the summer, so be sure to take plenty of water; also hiking poles are useful. The trail passes through the bright red-orange sandstone which is striking against other rock. This is the signature hike at Capitol Reef and can be crowded at times, but is still not to miss!

hiking
23 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.

1 month ago

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

2 months ago

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

hiking
6 months ago

There are some great views from parts of the trail where you can say badlands formations, mesas, and canyons. However, the real gem is the Spring Canyon Trail that issues east from the chimney rock loop. Even if you just hike a mile into it, you'll be rewarded greatly. I plan to return to hike the whole thing.

hiking
11 months ago

11 months ago

Great hike. Well mark trails.

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

It was a great hike for our scout group to go and hike. It wore them out but us leaders wanted to do more.

hiking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fantastic hike. I didn't think it strenuous even at 8000 ft, but certainly there are sections that get you breathing hard. Views of the fold as a backdrop to Fruita are just outstanding in the late afternoon sun. We hiked it clockwise and it seemed less strenuous that way given the steep descent to get back to the loop junction. Despite the name, you really only see chimney rock itself at the beginning and end of the hike. Would love to be on top of the hill/mountain at sunset. Total hike time was 1:20 with no stops, 1:40 with picture stops, so plan on 30 min hike down from peak if go at sunset.

Monday, March 27, 2017

This is a nice walk, but nothing special. Views weren't great, but it's a nice short hike in a pinch. Not a must see while in capitol reef

hiking
Thursday, February 02, 2017

Capitol Reef is easily Utah's most underrated National Park, which is a shame because it's gorgeous! We hiked the Chimney Rock Loop Trail in December on our way to Bryce and the views out over the park were amazing. It's a bit steep in places going up but trust me when I say it's worth it when you get to the top.

See more of my hiking/travel adventures on Instagram @schaefer.cara :)

hiking
Monday, July 11, 2016

Was good, the elevation starts about 1/4 mile in then goes for another miles or so but. Enjoyable time with wife and kids.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

great views of towers. really windy day.

hiking
Thursday, November 26, 2015

This is a truly spectacular hike. However, it is quite easy to get lost - the loop is not well-marked. The day we were out, we were off-trail for about an hour, and we met up with two other groups who had also gotten lost. BE SURE TO CARRY ENOUGH WATER! We were down to our last drops by the end.

hiking
Saturday, February 07, 2015

Fantastic trail. My 2nd favorite in the park. Take the difficult route first and take on the trail counter-clockwise. You'll get great views once on top. Enjoy!

hiking
Saturday, April 26, 2014

Outstanding views in every direction. Rocks, canyons, and snow covered peaks in the distance. Lots of photo vistas and rock formations to climb upon. Fairly easy to do on an overcast Spring day. No shade.

hiking
Friday, November 08, 2013

Great hike. We hiked it mid morning on a very hot day, so really appreciated our water. The switchbacks were tough in the heat but not too far (even though we think the parking lot to the start of the 3 mile loop is closer to a half mile than a quarter mile), and we took the loop counterclockwise. Took about 2.5 to 3 hours as we soaked in the grand views of the Fold and surrounding area. We had to hurry at the end due to afternoon thunderstorms creeping in. We hiked up to the top of the big sand pile at the mid-point in the loop and through huge bright orange-red boulders at the entrance of Chimney Rock Canyon. This is the flagship hike of Capitol Reef and not to be missed!

hiking
Monday, September 02, 2013

Great easy to follow trail with awesome views. The trail climbs steeply to the first sign. If you take the trail to the right this sign you will have another a steep climb to the top near Chimney Rock view then a gradual decent with great views to the south of Capital Reef. Then at the Spring Canyon junction the trail climbs gradually back to the first sign. If you want to avoid the steep climb at the first sign then keep going straight at the first sign and hike the trail clockwise turning right at the Spring Canyon junction.

hiking
Friday, October 26, 2012

This hike gives good views of a variety of Capitol Reef's scenery. Watch for pieces of petrified wood.

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