While the trail actually begins atop Loop B in the Fruita Campground, the most common access point for day-runners is from the Fremont River Trail Parking Area near the amphitheater. From here, the trail follows the south bank of the Fremont River along a flat stretch with orchards and a pasture on the left and dense riparian vegetation to the right. After passing through an opening in a fence, the path ascends somewhat steeply along a Moenkopi cliff to a point with a good view west into the Fremont Gorge. Turning south, the trail soon climbs gently to a good ridge-top viewpoint.
The ridge-top offers a fine panorama of the park from the north around to the east and south. Almost due north, the small, rounded, three segment block of the Navajo Knobs tops the Fruita Cliffs that rise above Johnson Mesa. Looking farther right (east), the domes and fins of the Navajo Sandstone that rise above the Fremont River stand out, especially in evening light, with the campground and orchards below. The V-shaped entrance to Cohab Canyon is just left of a beautiful exposure of, from the bottom, the Moenkopi, Chinle and Wingate Formations. Ferns Nipple and more Wingate cliffs march off to the south, while the gentle slope of Miners Mountain is the backdrop to the west. From this lofty perch, it is easy to see that the area’s rock layers are slanted downward not directly east, but more to the northeast. The view is right into the heart of the Waterpocket Fold.
This content was contributed by author Rick Stinchfield. For a comprehensive running guide to Capitol Reef National Park and to see more by Rick, click here