Summary: The trail to the top of the mesa behind Chimney Rock is a rigorous, short, but memorable climb along a route with no appreciable shade from boulders or the junipers and pinyon pines that dot the landscape. You can look down on the sandstone spire within half an hour of starting out from the trailhead in a small painted desert.
Guides divide over which way to turn at the first trail junction. Many counsel that you go straight ahead, but we followed the arrow to the right and got the hard climbing over with. At the second trail junction you have the option of proceeding a mile down Chimney Rock Canyon to Spring Canyon, a cross-country route.
Look for (but do not take) cracked glass gypsum crystals in the painted desert. Bring a hat and water because you will be under direct sun the entire walk. A pole is helpful on rocky slopes and switchbacks.
Trailhead: The Capitol Reef Visitor Center is located between Torrey and Hanksville, Utah, on Utah 24.
From the Visitor Center, proceed west on Utah 24) towards Torrey. Look for the Chimney Rock trailhead parking lot about half a mile past the exit for Panorama Point. (Lat:38.31509 Lon:-111.30329)
Trail Guides for Chimney Rock Loop, Capitol Reef:
Utahs National Parks
by Adkison (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Capitol Reef National Park, (435) 425-3791
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joel Sax, who has posted 51 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Viewer on 4/24/2006
Have been there in late June '05. Hike some yards into the wash that comes in from the left just before reaching the junction with Spring Canyon Trail after finishing the loop. I found fresh cougar tracks over there.
Reviewed by KAREN on 3/22/2005
LOVED THE HIKE. HOWEVER, WENT AFTER RAINY PERIOD AND SLID THROUGH THE MUD THE ENTIRE WAY!
Reviewed by larry on 12/20/2003
Been there done that. Good hike great views. After you hike the loop you can keep going on the trail into spring canyon. Hike about 9 more miles and you end up at the Fremont River and the road that run's through Capitol Reef N.P. Check Spring Canyon on the web for more info. Good luck.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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