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9.11 miles

Elevation Gain

2018 ft

Route Type



Added by Bryan Young

Get the most out of your trip to Capitol Reef by hiking to one of the highest points in the park!

Navajo Knobs is one of Capital Reef’s most spectacular hikes. It brings you, moderately, to one of Capital Reef’s most spectacular viewpoints of the main park’s viewpoints.

(Tip: Upon arriving at the park the Ranger recommended this as her favorite hike, and it lived up to the hype! If you’re looking to experience all of the park in one hike, this is it!)

To start, park at the TH for the Hickman Bridge. The trial starts along the uphill until it reaches the split for the Hickman Bridge. Continue right and keep ascending. Don’t worry about missing the Hickman Bridge as the trail brings you to an overlook of the arch! This view is, in my opinion, better than the lower bridge view).

From this point keep ascending on the trail as you wind along the rim overlook. The trail then winds along rim, weaving you along the edge (not too close of course) of the jutting edges of the rim.

There are several cairns to follow and along the way you’ll have spectacular views. You’ll wind along the rim overlooks, circling “The Castle” rock formation. At this point you’ll be able to see the high point of the Navajo Knobs. It might not seem obvious along the route, but you’re making you way up, and down, the rim. Keep continuing along the rim until you reach the high point of the rim until you reach the Navajo Knobs!

The final bit of the hike circles the Navajo Knobs, as you scramble up to the peak of the Navajo Knobs.


There a varying reports on elevation. While the bottom/top elevation are consistent, the hike winds you up and down the rim. Therefore the elevation goes around 3,000 feet of gain until the summit. 

Time of Year:

Think about the time of year you complete this hike. It is completely exposed, so spring or autumn are the best times to visit. As a bonus, these are not as busy hiking, so you’ll get to enjoy the view and hike by yourself. Also, there is also no water along the way, so the hotter the temperature, the more water you’ll need to bring, so the autumn and spring time you’ll need less water.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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