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  • jcath1

Capitol Gorge and Grand Wash Trails

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

I did three amazing hikes in one day a few years ago. I got to Capitol Reef National Park just before dawn so I had the entire day to hike, explore and sight see. I was sore the next day and I slept well that night but I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Capitol Gorge Trail to the Pioneer Register and the Tanks

If you are at the Visitors Center take a right out of the lot and follow the paved road all the way to the end. Keep your cameras out - there is some amazing sights out there! The road turns to dirt at the Capitol Gorge Picnic Area. Keep going, your sedan will make it down this road. Park your car in the lot and head down the gorge. You can't get lost here, it's a very easy hike.

The pictures cannot give you any idea how high the rim of the gorge is.

After a while you will start seeing writing on the gorge walls known as the Pioneer Registry. Pioneers from days gone by signed their names to the wall.

I kept going past the Pioneer Registry to the Tanks. These are large holes or tubs in the stone that may or may not be filled with water. This part of the trail was a little harder to follow as you need to follow the cairns, and there were a lot of cairns that seemed to me to be built willy nilly by whoever felt like throwing up a pile of stones. Maybe it's better now but if it's not - you know.

Once you're done exploring the Tanks head back the way you came and discover a whole new hike. The gorge is very different when hiking in the other direction!

This was a great easy hike with so much to see. It's the kind of place you'll discover more every time you go. One day I hope to do it again!

Grand Wash Trail

This was another easy hike through a gorge where the walls were so high there was only a little bit of sky visible. To get to this hike you can either pick up the trail at the trailhead on Rt 24 or do as I did. Once I finished the Cassidy Arch hike, instead of going back to my car I went left at the end of the Cassidy Arch trail and into the wash. Go into the wash as far as you'd like and turn around when you're ready to go back. Keep an eye out for wildlife!

You can get an idea of how tall these walls are by finding the people in three of the pictures! Make sure you have a back up SD card and battery for your camera, you don't want to miss some great pictures!

There is a lot to do and see in this park. I made the most of my one day, but next time I get there it will be for multiple days. There's so much more I want to see!

What I'm drinking today:

Canyon Coffee Roasters: Trailblazer Blend

What else would I be having while writing about two great hikes? You can order your own from their website here. They have great customer service.


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