|Page Type:||Trip Report|
|Lat/Lon:||38.30570°N / 111.2699°W|
|Date Climbed/Hiked:||May 3, 2018|
Navajo Knobs Trail is an easily accessible trail with spectacular views in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park. The trail starts on Route 24. The first 0.3 miles of the trail is common with the heavily hiked Hickman Bridge Trail. After the split with Hickman Bridge Trail, Navajo Knobs Trail goes up wide slickrock ledges to reach Rim Overlook where you will find yourself at the edge of a cliff 1000 vertical feet above Route 24. Beyond the Overlook, the trail continues on Slickrock ledges to reach the 6979 ft Navajo Knob. The last few tens of vertical feet, require going up a steep boulder covered slope.
I had originally planned to do a one way hike down Lower Spring Canyon on this day. That hike required fording of Freemont River. It had rained fairly heavily the prior two days making me worry that the river might have had become too deep to ford so I went to Navajo Knobs Trail instead.
9.55 miles round-trip with 2450 ft vertical
I was the first person at Hickman Bridge Trailhead on Route 24. Started my hike at 7:10 a.m. I did not see anyone on my way up to Navajo Knobs. The trail headed east going to a narrow area at the base of a cliff next to Fremont River. Looking at the forceful current in the river, I told myself that I had made the right decision to not go to Lower Spring canyon.
The trail made a U-turn and began to go up the slickrock slopes going past the split with Hickman Bridge Trail. This impressive pyramid behind me was identified as PFCTOLS Pyramid.
After just below one mile, I reached the edge of a canyon where I could look down to see Hickman Bridge. I could not see the sky through the opening of the bridge from that spot so it was difficult to say that I was looking at a bridge. I had hiked to Hickman Bridge in May of 1993. It was hard to believe that 25 years had gone by. In 1993, I sure would not have been able to tell what I had done 25 years prior to that, babbling before learning to talk?
At 8:15 a.m. I reached Rim Overlook and was blown away by the fantastic views. The cliff below me dropped 1000 feet to the orchards between Route 24 and Park’s Scenic Drive.
Route 24 and Park Visitor Center.
Zoomed view of Fremont River Canyon and Boulder Mountain (which is really a plateau).
After taking a few pictures, I was back on the trail which went down 100 vertical feet before going back uphill to reach a 6520 ft high point with great views. The 6387 ft formation known as The Castle was right in front of me.
Navajo Knobs had come to view.
Another view of The Castle.
The trail continued on wide slickrock ledges going 250 vertical feet downhill and then up again.
Approaching Navajo Knob at the end of the trail.
Had to go up this slope to get to the top of Navajo Knob.
Reached the summit at 9:40 a.m. Views from the summit. Route 24 was right below me. Henry Mountains remained in clouds to the southeast.
Had my sandwich, took a few shots with my telephone and texted them to coworkers in Wisconsin and left at 10:20 retracing my way back.
Another view of Navajo Knob.
As I went back on the trail, I ran into hikers coming up. View of the 6520 ft high point and the uphill to it.
On the trail.
The wide slickrock ledge to the high point.
Route 24, Sulfur and Fremont Canyons from the 6520 ft high point.
Continuing down the trail toward Rim Overlook.
Stopped at Rim Overlook for a minute and was soon on my way again.
Lower down the trail.
Another view of PFCTOLS Pyramid.
Black rocks on white background.
Near the junction with Hickman Bridge Trail.
After the junction, the trail became fairly crowded. Route 24 and Fremont River.
Reached my car at 12:40. The parking was full and people had parked along the road. After a short rest, drove on Route 24 to the road pullover I had seen from the top of Navajo Knob. Looking up at Navajo Knob barely visible on top of the big red wall.