Trail Descriptions for our hikes in
Capitol Reef National Park

Sulphur Creek

Sulphur Creek Route is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Torrey, Utah that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate.The route begins as a pleasant 1.5-mile hike down easy-going, dry washes to Sulphur Creek, a perennial stream. On the approach to the fabled Goosenecks, a narrow section of slot canyon along the route, hikers are often dissuaded. However, do not fear! While the canyon constricts quickly into several sets of photogenic narrows and small falls, the hiking remains easy to moderate throughout. Conditions can change dramatically in this section with each flood, but some obstacles are always present. A final low waterfall can present a difficult challenge, especially if it empties into a large pool. After traversing the Goosenecks, the canyon widens for the last half mile to the visitor center. Sulphur Creek is a perennial stream, but its volume depends significantly on irrigation operations near Torrey. The flow is often low enough that boots can be worn for much of the hike unless recent flooding has developed pools in the narrows. The temptation is high in the summer to hike in sandals or water shoes, but the three significant obstacles along the route are more safely negotiated with sturdier footwear. . 90% of this hike will be in water, some swimming is required so prepare to get wet. Plan to scramble around waterfalls, Waterproof bags are encouraged!

Cassidy Arch

Cassidy Arch Trail is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Torrey, Utah that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. This hike is all sun so please prepare to bring lots of water and sunscreen. The first mile will be a good uphill climb until it levels out. The hike is worth it! The trail begins gaining elevation rapidly via well-made switchbacks leading up the canyon wall. The trail is easy to navigate and climb via the well marked and maintained route along the canyon rim. The views along the trail are worth every minute and drop of sweat throughout the trip. As you continue along the trail after the series of switchbacks, the trail will continue to skirt the canyon rim until you reach a section of the trail at a dry wash where you must take a sharp left continuing on and up the trail. (Beware of this section because the path appears to continue straight through the soft sand wash, and misleading footprints are common. A few rocks blocking the wash try to prevent you from continuing straight in the wrong direction) After taking the left at this wash, you begin a slight climb, and eventually head around a bend to your first breathtaking view of the canyon, surrounding cliffs and in the distance to the right Cassidy Arch. Continue to follow the trail until you reach a sign at a fork for different trails. Follow the directions and arrow for Cassidy Arch trail to the left and down a few steps from the sign for another 0.5 miles. As you continue on the last stretch of the trail you'll begin to notice an increase in cairns and desert wood marking the route. You'll start to lose the distinct dirt trail and begin to ascend slightly across and up slick rock formations. Follow the cairns along the slick rock which eventually guides you to the grand view of the Cassidy Arch. From this incredible view, you can also work your way out safely onto the larger more structured arch capturing amazing pictures and views

Hickman Bridge

The Hickman Natural Bridge trail is a very relaxing and scenic trail in Capitol Reef National Park. Hickman Bridge Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Torrey, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.The trail follows the river for the first couple hundred yards and then begins the majority of the ascent in switchbacks. At the top of the cliff, proceed along the trail until you come to a fork. This is the loop that goes to Hickman Natural Bridge and back, and my favorite way to hike this loop is by going to the right first.

The trail is hard to follow shortly after the fork, but as the bridge is visible just after the fork, it should be easy to find the trail again after some traversing over some sandstone. Hickman Natural Bridge is over the trail at the far edge of the loop. Continuing along the loop, the trail comes to the edge of the shear cliffs of the valley, providing some incredible views. The trail then joins up at the fork for a quick descent back on the first part of the trail. A trail brochure - available at the trail head - points out 17 things to observe along the hike. Notable among these are an Indian granary, a small natural bridge called Nels Johnson Bridge, and, of course, Hickman Bridge.

Chimney Rock Loop

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!