Fremont Gorge Overlook

Fremont Gorge Overlook

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 38.27595°N / 111.28011°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 1-2
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview

In the wealth of things to do in the canyon wealth of Capitol Reef National Park, you may never consider the Fremont Gorge Overlook and its simple 2.2 mile trail.  I have never seen the Fremont Gorge highlighted in any review of the area's wonders.

But do it.  And do it on a sunny late afternoon /early evening like I did.  You will not regret it.

I decided after getting to Torrey at 4 PM to find something to stretch my legs after a long flight and drive.  I can guarantee both legs and eyeballs will get a good stretching.  The 1000 feet of elevation gain will take care of the legs, and the eyes will take care of themselves.

Getting There

The trailhead begins on the scenic drive that starts at the Capitol Reef Visitor Center on Route 24.  Take the scenic drive a short distance south about a mile and several speed bumps.  On your right you will spot the solitary Blacksmith shed, and its small parking area.  Park here.

Trailhead - Fremont Gorge Overlook Trailhead - Fremont Gorge Overlook

Route Description

The signed trailhead begins on the gated dirt service road that leads up from the parking area, you will stay on the road for a bit before reaching another impossible to miss sign that takes you right off the road and up a steep trail.

Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail - Initial Climb Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail - Initial Climb

 You will be surprised that this trail will bring you up about 1000 feet above your starting point, and the elevation gain is concentrated on the first and last third of the trail.   Your first trail climb will deposit you on a large grassy shelf littered with black boulders.  These boulders were the result of an ancient volcanic eruption far from Capitol Reef.

Grassy Shelf - Fremont Gorge Trail Grassy Shelf - Fremont Gorge Trail

 

The nearly flat trail through the meadow like shelf ends as you approach a rising horizon.  More and more of the gorge starts to become visible on the left as you ascend past a large blocky monolith.  Any pause to look around will be rewarded with stunning views.

Fremont Gorge Trail - Spectacular Views Everywhere Fremont Gorge Trail - Spectacular Views Everywhere

 

Soon you are doing more strenuous and rocky climbing, up the trail, and cairns make an appearance.  Fremont Gorge's walls become more and more visible.

First Views of Fremont Gorge Walls First Views of Fremont Gorge Walls

 

When you ascend the last part of the trail, you will see the heart of Fremont Gorge, and its size and scope is unexpected and primeval .

Heart of Fremont Gorge Heart of Fremont Gorge

 

 Take social trails to the left to get even better views and great places to soak in the viewshed.  Any direction you choose to look on the way back has BIG views.  A great introduction to the park on a trail that does not get a lot of press.

Fremont Gorge Overlook - Big Views East Fremont Gorge Overlook - Big Views East
Fremont Gorge Overlook - Big View North Fremont Gorge Overlook - Big View North

 

Fremont Gorge Overlook - Big View West Fremont Gorge Overlook - Big View West
Fern's Nipple from Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail Fern's Nipple from Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail

 

From a topo map it looks like you could press on and continue to explore the rim of the gorge up canyon.  I did not do so, so I cannot comment on that.

Essential Gear

The normal essentials.  

External Links

 



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.