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The Best Hikes in Capitol Reef NP National Park

57 Triplog Reviews in the Capitol Reef NP National Park
Most recent of 17 deeper Triplog Reviews
5.75 mi • 39 ft aeg
My wife dropped my daughter and me off near the Chimney Rock Trailhead. We crossed the road and followed several drainages into Sulphur Creek.

We followed the creek downstream where we met my wife at the last waterfall before the visitor's center. My wife had tried, unsuccessfully, to work her way around the waterfall. This last (or first from her point of view) waterfall was probably the hardest / scariest obstacle to negotiate on the entire hike. I was certainly nervous doing a traverse on a wet, water polished ledge over the water.

For my daughter and I, there were several other waterfalls to pass, along with stretches of wading in ankle deep water. I don't think it's possible to do this route without getting your feet wet.

My daughter and I both really liked this trail. It's scenic, has water, and a few technical problems to solve along the way. We did it last year too and liked it well enough to repeat it this year. This was one of my daughter's top three favorite hikes for this trip.
9.69 mi • 2,480 ft aeg
Rain was forecast for the day, so I ended up hiking first to the Rim Overlook and then to Navajo Knobs. (I had hoped to hike Lower Spring Canyon from the bottom, but was concerned about the possibility of a flash flood.)

This was a nice hike, very scenic, with a fair amount of elevation gain. I think it was a good choice for the weather conditions.

The way is well marked (with cairns) and is easy to follow. Due to its length, it's not quite as busy as some of the other hikes in the area. Even so, I saw quite a few other hikers while I was out.
9.95 mi • 1,194 ft aeg
On the morning of the 27th, my wife, daughter, and I hiked the Chimney Rock Trail. When we got to the intersection with the Spring Canyon Trail, I hiked into the canyon for a decent way while my wife and daughter sought out a shady spot to wait for me.

We had good views from the Chimney Rock Trail, though the light is probably better later in the day.

I really enjoyed Spring Canyon. I liked it so much that I made plans to hike it from the bottom on the following day. Due to a forecast of late morning & afternoon rain (and the accompanying flash flood danger), I ended up doing another hike instead. Hiking Lower Spring Canyon in its entirety is on my TODO list.
9.29 mi • 2,486 ft aeg
Capitol Reef National Park
picked out a few trails in the park that looked like fun
a loop around a plateau, an arch and a natural bridge
first stop was chimney rock trail
got going around 0900
good warmup heading up to the top of mummy cliff
nice view of chimney rock, even though the hike doesn't really go anywhere near it
circled the top counterclockwise, hitting a high point with nice views of fruita
dropped toward chimney rock canyon and the intersection with spring canyon trail, through an area with huge boulders that have fallen from the canyon walls
an easy ascent west to close the loop along the base of another canyon wall
beautiful blue skies contrasting above it
saw only a few people on the loop, but more as we heading back to the trailhead
a good choice
stopped at the visitor center for a few minutes, then drove down to grand wash
very different terrain in this area, and the hike to cassidy arch was my favorite of the day and maybe the trip
quarter mile down the wash, then the actual cassidy arch trail ascends steeply up a break in the canyon wall and onto a bench
it gains a couple of benches and follows three drainages before splitting off to the south toward the arch
we didn't see the arch at first, gaining a high point with nice views before wandering around a bit
good footing after the initial ascent, much of it on slickrock
the opening to the arch is huge, and you can circle around it, getting on top of the arch
it's very wide - safety first :)
took some pics, had a snack and headed back down
another short one at just over three and a half miles, but very scenic and interesting
drove down the scenic drive a bit, then had a cup of coffee at gifford house
pie selection by that point was not my favorite
headed to the hickman bridge trailhead
only two miles on sand and slickrock and another fun one
trail loops under the bridge
we checked out another viewpoint before heading back
different terrain here, too, after starting out along the fremont river
made a stop at the petroglyph site, then headed back to torrey for dinner at capitol reef inn & café
stayed at torrey trading post cabins again
nice to have the whole day in the park without driving anywhere
think this was my favorite day of hiking and there is so much more to do in the park
unfinished business
posting more photos than usual as capitol reef seems a little underrepresented on haz
3.83 mi • 703 ft aeg
Fremont River Goosenecks & Sunset Point
arrived in torrey mid-afternoon and checked into our torrey trading post cabin
highly recommend staying here
had time to do a couple things in the park
set out on the fremont river trail, passing by gifford house, the amphitheater and campground
cottonwoods were sporting brilliant yellow leaves
the hike goes along the river for about half a mile, then starts to climb up the side of a bluff
good views on the ascent of the fremont river and fruita area
a turn to the south and a more moderate grade to a high point overlooking a canyon
good trail, fun short hike, windy conditions, only a few people
all the other people were carrying around giant cameras in fruita valley
next drove to the goosenecks parking area and hit that trail along with sunset point
good views again, this time down into sulpher creek and of cliffs and domes to the east
nice intro to capitol reef
20 mi • 0 ft aeg
Crowded park today. Seems the Columbus Day weekend is the end of their season. Was going to hit all the stuff off the scenic drive and the highway as quick as I could and then head up to Cathedral Valley.

Drove to the end of the Scenic drive, after depositing my $10, and worked back. The Petroglyph Narrows and the tanks were fun, and easy little scramble at the end. Love the rock art, native and settlers both. No idea how the really high and very clear list of 6 names from Sep 11 got up there on the south wall close to the trailhead.

Hit Oyler Mine real quick and then hiked to Cassidy Arch, a bit of a huffer for the first section but lots of fun later. Cool arch!

All the sites along the highway were quick stops except the petroglyphs (Archaic and Fremont intermixed) and Hickman Bridge. Found a small bear pecked out at the petroglyph site, loved him. My new screen saver. Hickman is a good little hike. Don't miss the two small pothole arches about half way up. They are geology in the making.
4.5 mi • 2,500 ft aeg
This was our first time in Capitol Reef NP and we were very much looking forward to hiking to Navajo Knobs. The weather forecast was for 20% chance of precip at 2 pm. Unfortunately, we encountered 100% sleet and snow that morning after being on the trail for only an hour. We hiked to the Rim Overlook and, with the weather continuing to worsen, we turned back. We will definitely do this hike again next time we visit Capitol Reef.
2.18 mi • 491 ft aeg
Sunrise hike on Election Morning up to Hickman Bridge. Stopped off for the petroglyphs on our way over after camping the previous night in Capitol Reef, and warmed up the day with this mild hike. The trail immediately inclines to escape the river gorge and roadway to an isolated escape. On an autumn weekday we were the only ones in site, and enjoyed the echoes of the canyon to ourselves. It's a big bridge!
5.4 mi • 1,096 ft aeg
Chimney Rock - Capitol Reef NP
When we arrived in the Fruita area the weather was still unsettled so we decided to stick with reasonably short hikes. Chimney Rock was a nice warm-up for our first of three hikes in Capitol Reef National Park today.

This hike was pretty straight-forward, first a short flat part, followed by a steep winding climb, a short catch-your-breath spot followed by another climb to the high point, which is Mummy Cliff.

Even with an overcast sky the views from Mummy Cliff were awesome. From Mummy Cliff the trail heads down in a roughly counter-clockwise loop through a series of switch-backs. WE had a few sprinkles off-and-on in the early part of the hike but the sky appeared to be clearing when the trail crossed Spring Canyon, so we decided to extend our hike into Spring Canyon.

After maybe just over a mile the sky changed again and it looked like more rain so not wanting to get caught in the canyon we turned back. Shortly after reconnected with the Chimney Rock Trail the sky changed for the better again. These changing conditions would continue throughout the day.
2.2 mi • 0 ft aeg
This is part of our Mighty Five Trip 2016. We did 5 parks in 5 days in Utah.

Day 3; Capitol Reef National Park. First I'll say that Fruita is a nice place to spend some time. We checked out the nature center, there are several historic buildings, they also have a nice park area that is good for a lunch picnic. After lunch we went back to the visitor's center to hike on Sulphur Creek. Some clouds rolled in so it helped with the sun on this one. The hike is easy and since you wander in and out of the creek several times it keeps you cool. We did the shorter version of this starting at the visitor's center and heading out to the first waterfall. Spent some time hanging out there.

Video: ... _gKs

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