Capitol Reef National Park’s Natural Rock Arches

07/06/2016

With only a day to spare, my husband and I made sure we got to see the two famous natural rock arches in Capitol Reef —

Hickman Bridge & Cassidy Arch

I’m actually not surprised that Hickman Bridge is the most famous hike in Capitol Reef. Just an easy 2-mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 400 feet, and you end up under a 300-foot natural arch. Easy and rewarding hikes are the best!

capitol reef hickman bridge hikeFrom the parking lot the trail takes you through the side of a huge rock wall, right next to the Fremont River. (Be careful because rock fall is very common in this area. Do not stay long in one place.) It will then take you all the way up and into a flat land, which then leads up to a canyon.

All the rock formations surrounding the place are magnificent. Everywhere you look, you would always get a picture-perfect scene!

trail to hickman bridge utah mighty 5 utah capitol reef The trail from the Grand Wash all the way up to Cassidy Arch is only 3 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of 950 feet.  It involved scrambling through rocks and boulders, and walking close to the edge of a cliff, which makes it a thrilling hike. We even found a snake along the trail, which also added more thrill! haha!

snake on the trailAs we were making our way up, one hiker warned us about a thunderstorm passing. We also came across two other hikers who didn’t complete the hike because it started drizzling. Because of this, we were very hesitant to move on with the hike because of possible lightning strikes. We contemplated for a bit, but then saw the clouds moving away from where we were, so we trusted our instincts and moved on. We definitely didn’t stay too long after reaching the arch though, just to be extra safe.

hiking trail sign cassidy arch cassidy arch trail hikes in capitol reef grand wash capitol reef utahWith a worried mind, it was such a relief to finally see Cassidy Arch at a short distance. We raced to it at this point, and I would say that it was worth every single step. I also made sure I didn’t miss the opportunity to walk on top of the arch!

utah capitol reef cassidy arch mighty 5 cassidy archDriving through Capitol Reef reminded me of big castles, but made of huge red rocks. If Mars had kingdoms and people living on it, I think this is what it would look like. This place is definitely out of this world!

capitol reef utah the castle mighty 5 national parkI will definitely try to stay longer the next time I visit. This was probably one of the less-crowded parks i’ve ever been to, and it was nice to experience it that way.

xx Sassy


NEED TO KNOW

Location: Capitol Reef National Park is located in Utah’s south-central desert.

Highlights: Famous for its multi-colored sandstone cliffs & domes, as well as some natural rock arches.

Camping: Fruita Campground ($20/night) – available all year-round, first-come first served.

Fees: $10 to travel through the Scenic Drive. You can also purchase the America the Beautiful Pass for $80, which gives you, and everyone inside your vehicle, access to all National Parks and other federal recreation sites, for a whole year.


If you’ve been to Capitol Reef National Park before, what other natural rock arches did you see? Let me know so I can take note for my next visit!

If you’re just about to plan a visit, I highly recommend visiting all of Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks! Bryce Canyon National Park is another one of my favorites.

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8 Comments
    1. This looks beautiful, I can’t wait to explore the area. I’m glad you guys were safe from the storm! Love your photos 🙂

      1. Hi Karla, so good to hear from you again! 🙂 Thank you for the kind words. I’m sure you and Andres will enjoy it here in Capitol Reef! Happy travels to you both!

    1. Hey Sassy! Found you via the Outdoor Bloggers group. We left Utah a few weeks ago and your posts are making me want to turn around and go back! We missed Capitol Reef but I’m going to need to put that one on our list for next time.

      1. Hi Megan! Nice to see you here 🙂 Capitol Reef is a must-visit, i’m sure you’re going to enjoy it there! I miss Utah too, and I hope to find time to visit again soon. There’s just so much to see and do!

      1. It sure was a great experience, and I can’t wait to visit again! Thank you, Hannah!

    1. What’s funny is that I’ve been to more countries than states, but Arches in Utah is definitely on the list (as well as Arizona, I like your posts there too by the way)! Beautiful pictures and amazing site, I’m glad I stumbled my way over here 🙂

      1. This makes me happy, Caitlin! Thank you! I, on the other hand, have not yet visited a lot of countries outside the US. I hope to be able to do that soon!

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