Capitol Reef is a fantastic place to hike. The desert scenery is breathtaking and the air is clear. And because its less well-known than other Utah parks, even the most popular hikes in Capitol Reef are uncrowded. If you want to get out and explore nature, take a hike in Capitol Reef. This week’s recommendation: Golden Throne.
Golden Throne is a giant monolith located near Capitol Gorge. It has a distinctive golden yellow hue that is unique to the surrounding sandstone formations. This , of course, is the reason for its name. The Golden Throne Trail will lead you to an excellent view at the base of Golden Throne. The route traces the cliff walls and leads you near long drop-offs – so don’t get too close. The views of the Waterpocket Fold will open up around you.
The trail itself is fairly strenuous, with steep, upward inclines right from the get-go. From the trailhead to the overlook is two miles, so the hike is four miles total. The average hiker should plan on at least two hours to complete the hike. If you are hiking in the summer, we highly recommend that you start early in the morning. The summer heat can make this trail uncomfortable. And as always, take lots of water with you – a gallon per person is the national park’s suggestion.
To get to the Golden Throne trailhead, you will need to take the toll road toward Capitol Gorge. The toll is ten dollars per entering vehicle. Drive until the paved section of the road ends (you will go past the turn-off for Grand Wash and Cassidy Arch.) Once the pavement ends, continue into the canyon on the dirt road, approximately two miles. There you will find the trailheads for several hikes – most of which lead into the canyon. The Golden Throne trailhead begins in the parking lot and climbs upward.