Hike the Golden Throne

    Rate this Adventure 3.7 miles 771 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

    Added by Christian Murillo

    This fantastic day-hike begins from Capitol Gorge and traverses up the canyon walls to an excellent view point of the Golden Throne, revealing some exposed cliffs and steep canyon views along the way.

    Capitol Reef National Park is filled with excellent hikes, and the hike to the Golden Throne should not be left out of the conversation.  This hike is 2WD accessible, has moderate distance, and decent elevation gain, making it a great hike and exercise for everyone.  The trail begins from the Capitol Gorge Trailhead and Parking Area.  There is not a ton of parking here, so if you go on the weekend, it would be best to get there early.  The trailhead is on the NW side of the lot, where the trail begins to climb up the canyon walls, overlooking the road into the canyon. 

    The trail continues to snake around the gorge, hugging the canyon walls and revealing some thrilling views hundreds of feet down into the gorge floor.  You will meander around the canyon for almost 1.5 miles, before coming to the western side of the canyon and continuing straight northwest for the last half-mile.  The last bit of the trail curves to the southwest, revealing magnificent views of Golden Throne, an impressive golden-colored rock feature that stands as one of the tallest points in the entire Waterpocket Fold area.  The shape and prominence of the Golden Throne reminded me a bit of Half Dome in Yosemite, although not quite the same magnitude as the legendary granite peak.  The trail ends on a sub-peak near the western base of the Golden Throne, with views of Golden Throne to the east and views of the beginning of Capitol Gorge to the West.  This panoramic view makes for a great spot to stop for a snack or for lunch.

    The return to the trailhead follows the same trail as the trek out.  Views in the opposite direction are equally as rewarding, and might seem very different if the light changes.  The return hike may also be more enjoyable, as it is primarily downhill, requiring much less cardio fitness than the hike out.  Navigating this trail is very straight forward, as cliffs on either side of the trail would make it difficult to stray far off-trail.  Keep an eye out for rock cairns indicating the direction where the path is not so clear.  

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