Hickman Bridge - Capitol Reef National Park

Hickman Bridge, a 133-foot span, is named after Joe Hickman, a proponent to make Capitol Reef the state’s first national park.


Escape the winter blues by visiting one of the most popular landmarks in Capitol Reef National Park. The guide pamphlet at the trailhead is well worth the 50 cents, epecially if you have children along. Numbered stops along the way provide information about flora and fauna, geology and facts on prehistory in the area. The trail starts along state Highway 24, about 2 miles east of the park Visitors Center. The trailhead is well marked on the north side of the road. Cross the bridge over the Fremont River and a 400-foot moderate climb takes you to a bench area. During the steepest part of the climb you will notice boulders perfect for taking a break on. After crossing the flat, you will enter a small canyon, which leads to the 133-foot span named after Joe Hickman, a proponent of establishing Capitol Reef as Utah's first National Park in the early 1930s. The underside of the landbridge is 125 feet high. As you are hiking through the canyon, look for mud handprints on the south-facing walls. These were not left by ancient people, probably by pioneers or tourists early in the 20th century. Do not add your own; marking canyon walls is against the law. There are plenty of places under the bridge to enjoy lunch before turning back. Fee - No fee - (The scenic drive is $5 per vehicle.)

Getting there: The Hickman Bridge trailhead is on State Highway 24 about 2 miles east of the Capitol Reef National Park Visitors Center.


-- Photo by Danny La, text by Brett Prettyman and graphic by Steve Baker

Region: Southern Utah

Destination: Hickman Bridge

Distance: 2 miles

Time: 45 minutes - 1 hour

Elevation Gain: 400 feet

Dog Allowed: No

Restrooms: Pit toilets

Biking: N/A

GPS Location: 38.2913688, -111.2346135

Difficulty: 3


First published 2005-12-15