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Jailhouse Rock/Temple Rock Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 3.8 (5)

A gentle descent through the desert leads to stunning views of Jailhouse Rock and Temple Rock.


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Map Key

2.5

Miles

4.0

KM

Point to Point

5,803' 1,769 m

High

5,583' 1,702 m

Low

104' 32 m

Up

225' 68 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (1°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Especially if you're stopping at the Jailhouse Rock overlook, the mostly mild trail and incredible views make this a great route for the whole family!

Description

A short hike to the overlook for Jailhouse Rock winds gently down an old road. Beyond the overlook, the road descends steeply through wildly eroded rock and then disappears on the valley floor. Eventually, visitors will pick up a lightly used hiker-made trail that passes just north of Jailhouse Rock and continues on to the top of an eroding volcanic dike and beyond to a viewpoint close to Temple Rock.

Comprised of Entrada Sandstone bases covered by more resistant Curtis Formation caprock, both Jailhouse Rock and Temple Rock are superb examples of how such a simple difference in a rock's susceptibility to weathering can drive the formation of such dramatically stunning monoliths in the middle of the Utah desert. While the faint path continues into the desert, the real stars of the hike are Temple Rock and Jailhouse Rocks.

You can continue further, but it won't much enhance your journey. Once you've gone as far as you'd like, simply turn around and return the way that you came.

This content was contributed by author Rick Stinchfield. For a comprehensive hiking guide to Capitol Reef National Park and to see more by Rick, click here.

Flora & Fauna

Keep your eyes peeled for yellow mule's ear along the hiker-made path to Temple Rock.

Contacts

Shared By:

Hunter R

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 5 votes

#12310

Overall
  3.8 from 5 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
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3 Star
60%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#486

in Utah

#12,310

Overall
27 Views Last Month
1,022 Since Feb 19, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

17%
33%
50%
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Photos

Headed back from the Lower South Desert Overlook. Photo credit: NPS/Travis Lovell.
Sep 6, 2016 near Loa, UT
South Desert and Jailhouse Rock. Photo credit: NPS/Travis Lovell.
Sep 6, 2016 near Loa, UT
Lower South Desert Overlook, Capital Reef
Feb 19, 2016 near Loa, UT
Temple Rock
Nov 3, 2018 near Loa, UT
Temple Rock and South Desert
Nov 3, 2018 near Loa, UT
Lower South Desert and Jailhouse Rock
Nov 3, 2018 near Loa, UT

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Check-Ins

May 18, 2020
Sean Smith
2h 25m
Apr 12, 2018
Tilman Giese
4.6mi — 1h 40m