Best Hikes in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Location: South Central Utah

Capitol Reef Hiking Trails

Saddle Arch

Upper Muley Twist Canyon

Distance: 9.5 - 14.5 miles (Loop)

This amazing hike in Capitol Reef travels through a scenic canyon with eight arches and impressive rock formation and then climbs to and traverses the ridge atop Waterpocket Fold with panoramic views of the colorful ridge and surrounding area.

Soaring walls in lower Spring Canyon

Lower Spring Canyon

Distance: 8.0 - 12.0 miles (Round Trip)

This fascinating walk down rugged Lower Spring Canyon features soaring sandstone walls, magnificent domes and two sections of twisting narrows. Minor obstacles add some challenge to the walk that starts by hiking a section of the Chimney Rock trail.

Formations to the north of the trail

Navajo Knobs and Rim Overlooks

Distance: 4.5 - 9.4 miles (Round Trip)

Another great hike in Capitol Reef, the Navajo Knobs trail ascends along a bench with non-stop, birds-eye-views of some of the parks iconic landmarks along with impressive vistas of Waterpocket Fold. Distant views extend to the Henry Mountains and beyond.

View from the Fryingpan Trail

Cohab Canyon to Cassidy Arch via the Fryingpan

Distance: 6.0 - 8.6 miles (Round Trip)

Terrific panoramas atop Waterpocket Fold, a scenic canyon and a photogenic arch are the highlights of this amazing, albeit strenuous hike through a rugged landscape that incorporates portions of the Cohab Canyon, Fryingpan and Cassidy Arch trails.

Cassidy Arch

Cassidy Arch

Distance: 3.4 miles (Round Trip)

A steep climb up the north wall of Grand Wash leads to a spur trail that ascends to an overlook above photogenic Cassidy Arch, spanning a large chasm. The trail is quite scenic with fine views of the colorful sandstone formation in the heart of Capitol Reef.

Walls of Cohab Canyon

Cohab Canyon

Distance: 1.7 - 2.2 miles (Round Trip)

The short steep climbs leads to a colorful hanging canyon with sculpted, pockmarked walls that look like geological Swiss cheese. Short, narrow side canyons and two overlooks with views of the Fremont River Valley and Fruita add interest to the hike that ends at UT-Highway 24.


Capitol Gorge

Distance: 1.9 - 4.6 miles (Round Trip)

This short hike down a deep, scenic canyon features rock art, historic inscriptions, a narrows and large potholes (water tanks) along with some historic relics from when the canon was part of the main route through Capitol Reef.

Main Rock Art Panel

Fremont Petroglyphs

Distance: 0.3 miles (Round Trip)

Short, easy walk along two boardwalks lead to interesting petroglyph panels carved into Wingate sandstone cliffs along the north side of the Fremont River valley.

Golden Throne

Golden Throne

Distance: 3.8 miles (Round Trip)

Ascend benches above Capitol Gorge to an overlook atop of Waterpocket Fold with great views of Golden Throne, an impressive tower, Capitol Gorge and the nearby formation in the heart of Capitol Reef.

Strike Valley

Strike Valley Overlook

Distance: 0.9 - 5.9 miles (Round Trip)

This scenic overlook atop Waterpocket Fold boasts breathtaking views of the Fold, Strike Valley, Tarantula and Swap Mesas, the Henry Mountain Mountains and Upper Muley Twist Canyon. The domes of Capitol Reef rise in the distance to the north.

Hickman Bridge

Hickman Bridge

Distance: 1.8 miles (Round Trip)

This scenic hike to an impressive natural bridge features fine views of Navajo Dome, Capitol Dome and Pectols Pyramid. Along the way view the foundation of a pit house, spot a granary in a high alcove and discover a small natural bridge, a favorite with kids of all ages.

Pleasant Creek

Pleasant Creek

Distance: 1.5 - 7.6 miles (Round Trip)

Pleasant Creek Canyon, carved over millenniums by a lovely perennial stream, is a great place to explore. With no maintained trails, hikers follow routes leading up and down the canyon, along the way discovering rock art, narrows in side canyons and interesting formations.

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock Loop

Distance: 3.6 miles (Loop)

This scenic hike ascends the mesa above the Mummy cliffs to an overlook with fine views of the Chimney Rock formation. The path then curves around the mesa above the cliffs enjoying distant panoramic views of tilted Waterpocket Fold and Capitol Reef.

View Hikes by Area:
South Central UtahEscalanteBryceCapitol Reef