Trail Run Project Logo

Chimney Rock Trail

Intermediate

Trail

3.1 mile 4.9 kilometer point to point
81% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 803' 245 m
Descent: -550' -168 m
High: 6,668' 2,032 m
Low: 6,051' 1,844 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

One of the best shorter loop trails with views of the Wingate cliffs and Chimney Rock.

Zander Göpfert

Features Spring · Views · Wildflowers

Runner Notes

Nothing too technical or steep, with the option to connect to other trails for a longer run.

Description

Accessed off of Hwy 24, approximately three miles west of the visitor center, the Chimney Rock Trail heads east from the parking lot toward Chimney Tower. The first stretch of trail climbs gradually through juniper bushes and pinyon pine. After the one-third of a mile warm-up, the trail begins its main ascent, switchbacking up a slope comprised of the light-colored Chinle Formation. Continue upwards to where the trail splits.

Heading left at the fork provides the quickest access to Chimney Rock Canyon, while heading right gives runners the best opportunity to take in the views to the south and southeast.

In the counter-clockwise direction (right and south), the trail passes a series of shaded, ledge benches that can be a great spot to take a break along the climb. However, the best views are yet to come at the top of the ascent.

From the top, look to the east for views of the Navajo Knobs above Fruita and a not-often-seen view of the Castle above Hwy 24 to the southeast and Panorama Point to the southwest.

The trail continues to the east, descending very quickly through a number of boulders that have fallen from the Wingate Cliffs above. After a few hundred yards, the trail intersects the Chimney Rock Canyon trail to the east. From here, continue straight and west along a very gradual upward grade. Be on the lookout along this initial stretch of trail for small chunks of petrified wood and a larger log.

Continue to the stem trail, heading back down the loose switchbacks to the parking area below.

Thanks to Rick Stinchfield for this trail description from his book "Capitol Reef National Park - The Complete Hiking and Touring Guide.” All proceeds from the book benefit the Capitol Reef Natural History Association.

Flora & Fauna

Juniper bushes and pinyon pine.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

Apr 21, 2019
Charly Jackson

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 9 votes

#6874

Overall
  4.1 from 9 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#288

in Utah

#6,874

Overall
6 Views Last Month
545 Since Apr 14, 2016
Intermediate

0%
10%
90%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Blue sky above the Waterpocket Fold on an otherwise cloudy evening
Jul 17, 2018 near Loa, UT
The last sun illuminating the Waterpocket Fold on a cloudy evening
Jul 17, 2018 near Loa, UT
The rising Waterpocket Fold from the Chimney Rock Trail
Jul 17, 2018 near Loa, UT
Navajo Nobs from Chimney Rock Trail
Mar 2, 2019 near Loa, UT
The Navajo Nobs rise spectacularly out of the Waterpocket Fold
Jul 17, 2018 near Loa, UT
Waterpocket Fold during sunset
Mar 2, 2019 near Loa, UT

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running