Hands down my favorite hike on our recent spring break adventure to Capitol Reef National Park was Cassidy Arch Trail. This hike is rated as strenuous, and my girls did a fair amount of complaining about the steep climb, but the incredible views, the rock formations, the colors and the amazing arch at the end are absolutely worth the climb.
3.5 miles round trip.
This hike is rated as strenuous because of the 1000ft elevation gain over a 1-mile span. Before and after the elevation gain the hike is fairly level.
From from Capitol Reef Visitor Center drive 3.5 miles southward along the Scenic Drive. Turn left on to Grand Wash Road and drive to the trailhead. It will dead end into the parking area. Click Here for exact location and directions.
You will begin this trail by hiking .25 mile through a wash. Keep your eyes posted for a sign to your left letting you know where to start heading up. At this point, you will have 1.5 miles to go. The elevation gain starts right after the sign and gets intense very quickly. The strenuous part only last for about a mile, so it goes pretty quickly. The great part about the climb is that once you have reached the top, you feel very accomplished because the views are stunning for the rest of the hike. You will also quickly see the arch across the way which gives you a good idea of where you are going and how much distance you have left. Once you get to the slick rock towards the arch, you will follow the cairns to help you know where to go. As you cross the slick rock to the arch, there are plenty of areas to explore and take photos. Take time to rest and enjoy the views. So freaking beautiful!!!! Scroll through for tips and additional information.
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GOOD TO KNOW
There are bathrooms at the trailhead but no water fill stations.
TIPS AND ADDITIONAL INFO
This trail has very little shade in the middle of the day so not a great hike in the heat of the summer. If you are hiking this in the summer try to go first thing in the morning or later in the day and take plenty of water.
With a 5 yr old 8 yr old and baby on back we completed this hike in 2.5 hrs with about 30 minutes for rest and play at the arch.
We did this hike later in the afternoon in March, and the weather was perfect.
Bring plenty of water, good hiking shoes, sunscreen, and lots of snacks. We ate a picnic dinner by the arch, and it was perfection.
There are sheer drop-offs along the trail so make sure to keep your kiddos close.
The trail is a bit rocky with a small amount of rock scrambling, but overall the tail is well maintained.