ElevationAscent: 734' 224 m
Descent: -732' -223 m
High: 6,000' 1,829 m
Low: 5,393' 1,644 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 69% (35°)
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“A classic desert trail leading to a spectacular natural arch.”— Matt Callahan
Begin down the Grand Wash Trail from the parking area for a few hundred yards and the sign for Cassidy Arch Trail appears on your left. The trail begins gaining elevation rapidly via well-made switchbacks leading up the canyon wall. The trail is easy to navigate and climb via the well marked and maintained route along the canyon rim. The views along the trail are worth every minute and drop of sweat throughout the trip.
As you continue along the trail after the series of switchbacks, the trail will continue skirt the canyon rim until you reach a section of the trail at a dry wash where you must take a sharp left continuing on and up the trail. (Beware of this section because the path appears to continue straight through the soft sand wash, and misleading footprints are common. A few rocks blocking the wash try to prevent you from continuing straight in the wrong direction)
After taking the left at this wash, you begin a slight climb, and eventually head around a bend to your first breathtaking view of the canyon, surrounding cliffs and in the distance to the right Cassidy Arch. Continue to follow the trail until you reach a sign at a fork for different trails. Follow the directions and arrow for Cassidy Arch trail to the left and down a few steps from the sign for another 0.5 miles.
As you continue on the last stretch of the trail you'll begin to notice an increase in cairns and desert wood marking the route. You'll start to lose the distinct dirt trail and begin to ascend slightly across and up slick rock formations. Follow the cairns along the slick rock which eventually guides you to the grand view of the Cassidy Arch. From this incredible view you can also work your way out safely onto the larger more structured arch capturing amazing pictures and views.
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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: NPS - Capitol Reef National Park