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Chimney Rock Trail

Intermediate
 4.3 (18)

One of the best shorter loop trails with views of the Wingate cliffs and Chimney Rock.


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Map Key

3.1

Miles

4.9

KM

Point to Point

6,668' 2,032 m

High

6,051' 1,844 m

Low

803' 245 m

Up

550' 168 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Spring · Views · Wildflowers

Description

Accessed off of Hwy 24, approximately three miles west of the visitor center, the Chimney Rock Trail heads east from the parking lot toward Chimney Tower. The first stretch of trail climbs gradually through juniper bushes and pinyon pine. After the one-third of a mile warm-up, the trail begins its main ascent, switchbacking up a slope comprised of the light-colored Chinle Formation. Continue upwards to where the trail splits.

Heading left at the fork provides the quickest access to Chimney Rock Canyon, while heading right gives hikers the best opportunity to take in the views to the south and southeast.

In the counter-clockwise direction (right and south), the trail passes a series of shaded, ledge benches that can be a great spot to take a break along the climb. However, the best views are yet to come at the top of the ascent.

From the top, look to the east for views of the Navajo Knobs above Fruita and a not-often-seen view of the Castle above Hwy 24 to the southeast and Panorama Point to the southwest.

The trail continues to the east, descending very quickly through a number of boulders that have fallen from the Wingate Cliffs above. After a few hundred yards, the trail intersects the Chimney Rock Canyon trail to the east. From here, continue straight and west along a very gradual upward grade. Be on the lookout along this initial stretch of trail for small chunks of petrified wood and a larger log.

Continue to the stem trail, heading back down the loose switchbacks to the parking area below.

Thanks to Rick Stinchfield for this trail description from his book "Capitol Reef National Park - The Complete Hiking and Touring Guide.” All proceeds from the book benefit the Capitol Reef Natural History Association.

Flora & Fauna

Juniper bushes and pinyon pine.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 18 votes

#845

Overall
  4.3 from 18 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
39%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#74

in Utah

#845

Overall
4 Views Last Month
885 Since Apr 14, 2016
Intermediate

0%
5%
80%
5%
10%
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Photos

The last sun illuminating the Waterpocket Fold on a cloudy evening
Jul 17, 2018 near Loa, UT
Blue sky above the Waterpocket Fold on an otherwise cloudy evening
Jul 17, 2018 near Loa, UT
The rising Waterpocket Fold from the Chimney Rock Trail
Jul 17, 2018 near Loa, UT
Navajo Nobs from Chimney Rock Trail
Mar 2, 2019 near Loa, UT
The Navajo Nobs rise spectacularly out of the Waterpocket Fold
Jul 17, 2018 near Loa, UT
Waterpocket Fold during sunset
Mar 2, 2019 near Loa, UT

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Check-Ins

Apr 24, 2022
Nick Kepf
Run counterclockwise for great views of the Reef!
Mar 12, 2022
Markiana Schweitzer
Feb 26, 2022
Ashleigh Shunk
Aug 4, 2021
Jodi Lynn
Jul 29, 2021
Tyler W
high exposure and gets muddy in the lower sections quickly 5.5mi
May 4, 2021
Gina G
May 2, 2021
Breck Tuttle
Apr 29, 2021
Kevin Caylor
Great panoramic views, and different scenery along the trail — 2h 39m