Navajo Knobs and Rim Overlook Trails - Capitol Reef National Park

Hiker enjoys the spectacular vistas on the Navajo Knobs Trail.


From the parking area, the trail goes up a series of trail stairs and comes to a junction about a fourth of a mile into the trek. Go right. Heading up the ridge from the junction, notice all the black lava rocks. At the ridge, the trail drops to a drainage and follows it for a short distance before crossing to the other side. The trail snakes up to the Hickman Bridge overlook at 1.8 miles. The bridge seems hidden at first, but soon appears in the camouflage of boulders. As you make your way to the Rim Overlook, the trail goes in and out of box canyons over slickrock. The overlook sits on top of a drop-off cliff above the visitor center at 2.3 miles into the hike. From the overlook, the trail sweeps around a huge curve in the cliffs for Navajo Knobs. The trail climbs over fields of slickrock, with cairns leading the way. Hiking over the rock is like walking on a beautiful abstract painting. The final 100 feet of the trail is a strenuous rock scramble to the top. Because of steep drop-offs and no guard rails, the trail is not recommended for small children.

Getting there: The trail is about two miles east of the Visitor Center, off Highway 24, in Capitol Reef National Park. Trail is posted.


-- Photo, text and graphic by Steve Baker

Region: Southern Utah

Destination: Navajo Knobs

Distance: 9.2 miles

Time: 6 to 7 hours

Elevation Gain: 1,670 feet

Dog Allowed: No

Restrooms: Yes

Biking: No

GPS Location: 38.277247, -111.253334

Difficulty: 5


First published 2008-01-03