Are you visiting Capitol Reef and you aren’t sure what hike to take? Look no further, because I have the perfect hike 🥾 for anyone heading into this park. After visiting this park twice, and going on most of the trails, I can say that hiking Cassidy Arch is essential.
This is one of the only places that encourages you to walk on top of the arch itself. It’s a unique experience to look down 👀 through the arch and see the rocky landscape down below. If that isn’t enough to convince you, the trail also provides sweeping views over the landscape with some of the best views in the park.
Add this trail to your itinerary 📝 and get ready to be awed by this underrated National Park. While this trail is listed as moderate, it is doable for any visitors in moderately good condition. So read below for a the best Cassidy Arch trail guide.
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Table of Contents
Important Info About Cassidy Arch
Where is Cassidy Arch?
Cassidy Arch (named after Butch Cassidy) is located in the middle of Capitol Reef National Park outside of Torrey, Utah. Capitol Reef is the most underrated of the Utah National Parks. In order to get to this 400 foot Arch, you will need to drive past the Visitor Center and down to the scenic drive.
You can park in the parking area for the Grand Wash Trail 🅿️ all the way down the road. From the parking lot, you will walk about .2 miles into the wash before seeing the sign for the Cassidy Arch Trail. The trail leads to the left and up the cliffs for 1.5 miles before you will get to the famous arch and the viewing area.
How long is the hike?
The hike is 3.4 miles if you take it from the Grand Wash parking area. This trek is an out and back trek, so you will go the way you came. The trail leads .2 miles from the trailhead, then it continues 1.5 miles and 850 up ⬆️ the cliffside.
Once you get back down from the hike you can head back to your car or you can go further into the Grand Wash. The rangers recommend walking a mile into the Grand Wash trail and then turning around. If you add that to the hike, then it is around 4.5 miles in total.
What is the hike like?
Hiking Cassidy Arch is doable for most people, but you may have to take breaks as you walk up the steep incline. The walk begins on the flat wash area, which is sandy and flat. As soon as you get .2 miles into the hike you’ll see the sign that points up towards Cassidy Arch. On the trail up there are many rock steps and rocks that you have to walk on. You will want shoes with good traction, but the rock faces 🪨 can be smooth and slippery.
Once you get about 1.3 miles into the trail, the arch will come into view and you can take in the other scenic views at Cassidy Arch. You can get wonderful pictures of the arch from that distance before continuing on the walk. After that viewpoint, the trail is relatively flat over rock faces. Finally, you will get to the viewing area of the arch.
There are usually a good amount of other people waiting to take pictures on the arch or in front of it. This is one of the only arches that you can walk on top of, which is cool! Although it looks scary, the arch is very wide and easy to walk on. If you’ve made it all the way to the top, then you have to walk on the arch itself. The viewing area is also a great place to sit down, have a snack 🍎, and take a break before going back down.
Important Things to Know:
💵 You’ll have to pay a fee to enter the scenic road in Capitol Reef. The park costs $20, which you will need to pay in cash at the fee station. If you have an interagency pass, then you will not need to pay the fee.
🥾 You can start at the other end of Grand Wash, but the trail is about 8 miles round trip that direction.
👭This hike gets very crowded, so get there early to secure a spot in the parking lot.
💦 Pack plenty of water and snacks, so that you are prepared for the hike.
🌿 Remember to Leave No Trace and do not mark any of the rocks. You can be penalized with up to 2 years in jail or $20,000.
Hiking Cassidy Arch is a must do on any trip to Capitol Reef National Park. If you only have time for one trail, then I highly recommend you choose this. I hope you enjoy your hike and your time in the park!
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