Capitol Reef National Park

Grand Wash Trail

According to legend, Butch Cassidy (Robert L. Parker), an outlaw, train robber, and member of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang, had a hideout in Grand Wash. This is an easy walk for all ages.

Starting at the Grand Wash spur road trailhead, the hike begins at the Grand Wash trailhead, at the end of the Grand Wash Spur Road. The walking is easy in the cobble-strewn, usually dry, streambed. You will find yourself in a Wingate Sandstone walled canyon with soaring Navajo domes piercing the cobalt blue sky overhead. After a half-hour hike, you are in the Navajo Sandstone, the canyon floor narrowing to 15 feet, while the walls loom hundreds of feet overhead. Soon, you will meet the end of the canyon at the junction with Utah Hwy 24 and the Fremont River. Along the way, notice "solution cavities"—smooth craters in the rock dissolved by seeping water.

Trailhead: At the end of the Grand Wash spur road off of the Scenic Drive or at the signed trailhead approximately 4 miles east of the Visitor Center along Utah Hwy 24.

Distance: 2 1/4 miles one-way, 4.5 miles total round-trip, returning to your trailhead of choice.

Note: If you are hiking in the summer, take water with you and wear a hat. And, never enter Grand Wash if the weather is threatening. Flash floods can and do occur and can leave you stranded in the canyon. In addition, you can also shuttle a vehicle or mountain bike at either end of the trail, saving you the 2 1/4 mile return to your beginning trailhead.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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