Capitol Reef National Park is a place of spectacular beauty; it has so many areas of special, natural wonder. Unfortunately, very few people get to visit these special places. In an effort to make these hidden treasures known to the public, we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have created this blog series to highlight the best-unknown places of Capitol Reef. Watch for new “Special Places” posts. This post focuses on the Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail.
While the hike may be strenuous, or at least the final uphill climb is, the view is worth the effort. When you get to the top you will be rewarded with a view unlike anything else in Capitol Reef. The geology of the Fremont Gorge is very different from the usual red and white sandstone formations. It will take your breath away. You’ll also want to bring a camera with you (something we at the Lodge recommend for every hike in Capitol Reef) and maybe a tripod.
The trailhead starts just past the visitor center. Park at the old blacksmith shop, and hike up the service road. The trail splits from the road and leads you onto a flat mesa. Continue across the mesa for about one and a half miles (this is the easy part.) The trail climbs steeply to the overlook for the half mile. You will hear the rush of water through the gorge as you approach.
Like all hikes in Capitol Reef, the Fremont River Gorge Trail can get very hot during the summer months. And there are no cliffs to offer shade. We advise hikers to bring plenty of water and hike during the cooler parts of the day.