UT – Capitol Reef – Navajo Knobs Trail . . . 360 degree views, yes please

After a morning spent exploring Burr Trail and Grand Wash Roads, I was ready to stretch my legs. As a first time visitor to Capitol Reef, I pulled out my trusty WOW Guidebook and consulted with the staff at the Visitors Center to find a suitable hike. This 10 mile, 2400′ gain/loss trek sounded perfect. I especially liked that it began with the ascent, and hey who doesn’t like destination hikes with 360 degree views?

You may have to fight your way through the tourist crowd to reach this junction, but no worries as the majority have their sights set on Hickman Bridge. A very small percentage hike to the overlook. On this date I only saw a couple of people between this junction and the overlook, and didn’t see anyone the rest of the way. 

Aptly named Golden Throne to the left, Pectols Pyramid to the right, and Henry Mountains far in the distance.

Or maybe this is the Golden Throne?

Much of the hike is on long flat slabs ramping gently upwards.

Nature’s sidewalk. 

Loved walking these ramps. Favorite photo!

From the overlook, it’s a long ways down to Fruita and yet only halfway up to Navajo Knobs. 

The colors of geology.

The textures of geology.

I even found a little petrified wood.

Much of the trail is marked by cairns.

Are you the knobs? 

A bit more climbing and you see the first views of the knobs. 

Knobs here, knobs there, knobs everywhere. 

Want to live in this little house with me? 

A cool secret passageway. 

The final stretch might be outside the comfort zone for some but even if you elect not to do this final climb, the views to this point are worth the effort. 

The 360 views from the top are incredible.

Looking down at Fruita. 

As if this hike wasn’t already a winner, add a few blooms and this gal is even happier.

Silvery Townsendia (Townsendia incana)

Claret Cup (Echinocereus triglochidiatus)

Fossil? 

It was about 7pm when I finished the hike. I stopped at the Visitor Center to use the restroom and grab some water before finding a place to camp. Just as I got out of my car, hands full of water jugs, I heard a familiar roar and quickly turned around to find this rockfall avalanche. I hurriedly opened my car door and grabbed my phone to capture this photo. Video would have been amazing. The dust plume seemed to take forever to settle. I shared this photo with the Park and it’s now part of their educational materials.
Date(s) Hiked: April 7, 2016

Road Trip Day(s) #48 out of 88

Tips:

  • Plan for about a 10-mile round trip, 2400′ elevation gain/loss hike.
  • Burr Trail Road is worth exploration. I recommend a late afternoon drive when light for viewing the geology is far superior to morning.
  • If you like slot canyons and petroglyphs but aren’t up for a hike, Grand Wash Road offers both from the comfort of your car.

Resources:

Links:

 

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3 thoughts on “UT – Capitol Reef – Navajo Knobs Trail . . . 360 degree views, yes please

  1. Who wants to live in that little house with you? Spiders, snakes, creepy crawly things, I’d venture! Lol

    What are the temperatures in Utah in April? Looks like perfect hiking weather.

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