Capitol Reef National Park

The Golden Throne
In other domes, this Navajo Sandstone, made up of fine grained, solidified dunes from a former landscape, is creamy white. But this gold colored dome has been stained by the thin layer of darker rock above. Deposited by sluggish rivers, the Carmel Formation caprock includes reddish-brown siltstone, which has painted the Throne gold as it has eroded.

This fairly strenuous 1/2-day hike, suitable for active families, begins at the trailhead in Capitol Gorge and steadily climbs to a viewpoint of the Golden Throne. The hike begins at the Capitol Gorge trailhead, at the end of the Capitol Gorge spur road, climbing on top of a Kayenta Sandstone bench for the entirety of the hike, winding in and out of four drainages, finally ending at a viewpoint of the stained, Navajo Sandstone dome called The Golden Throne.

Trailhead: At the end of the Capitol Gorge spur road off of the Scenic Drive.

Distance: 2 miles one way, 4 miles total round-trip.

Note: If you are hiking in the summer, take water with you and wear a hat. And, never enter Capitol Gorge if the weather is threatening. Flash floods can, and do, occur and can leave you stranded in the canyon.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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