Page Type Page Type: Canyon
Location Lat/Lon: 38.20950°N / 111.1686°W
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview

Capitol Gorge is a popular hike in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park. The hike starts near the park’s Scenic Drive and heads east going through a narrow canyon with no technical difficulties. After around 0.8 miles, the canyon opens up and can be followed another 1.4 miles to reach the parks eastern boundary where the canyon fades away. Halfway through the hike a side trail known as Tank Trail goes 120 vertical feet up the northern wall of the canyon to reach a few natural holes that usually fill with rain water.

A number of petroglyphs can be seen on the north wall of the canyon a few minutes from the trailhead.

Getting There

From the Visitor Center on Route 24, drive just less than 8 miles south on Scenic Drive to the end of the pavement. Turn left and follow the well graded dirt road 2.2 miles through a tight scenic canyon to its end at the designated parking area.

The Hike

From the parking area, head east through the narrows.

Capitol Gorge Narrows
Capitol Gorge Narrows
Capitol Gorge Narrows
Capitol Gorge Narrows
Capitol Gorge Narrows
Capitol Gorge Narrows
Capitol Gorge Narrows
Capitol Gorge Narrows
Capitol Gorge Narrows
Capitol Gorge Narrows

After around 0.8 miles, the canyon widens and you will see a sign for Tank Trail on the north side of the canyon. Follow the trail up the slickrock slopes. You can soon look down into the narrows where you came from.

Narrows from Tanks Trail
Narrows from Tanks Trail

When I was in the area, the water holes known as Tanks were totally dry.

Empty tank
Empty tank
Empty tank
Empty tank
Near the Tanks
Near the Tanks

Return to the canyon and continue east.

Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge
Capitol Gorge

As you keep going, the walls of the canyon become shorter.

Eastern part of the canyon
Eastern part of the canyon
Canyon fading away
Canyon fading away

I saw a couple of small walls that looked like dams filled with dirt.

Old small dam
Old small dam

The canyon fades away near the eastern boundary of the park.

Near end of the hike
Near end of the hike



Parents 

Parents

Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.