Our hike to Hickman’s Bridge in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah was in October 2020. We were actually planning on just driving through Capitol Reef on our way from Moab to Bryce Canyon but saw a photo of Hickman’s Bridge and decided it would be worth stopping for and hiking to.
Capitol Reef is located in south central Utah. From Moab, we headed North on 191 to I-70 and headed west until we reached 24 W which we turned south on. 24 W took us directly through Capitol Reef National Park and passed by the Hikman Bridge Trailhead. It took us a little over 2 hours to drive from Moab.
About Capitol Reef
Capitol Reef is a smaller park in Utah but it is very beautiful, green and lush. You can follow this national park link for more information on Capitol Reef. There is a historic town here called Fruita. There also is a historic orchard where you can pick fruit when allowed. You can read about the orchard here and you can read about the town of Fruita here. We did not have the time on this particular trip to see the town or pick fruit. It would have been fun and interesting though.
Hikman’s Bridge Trailhead
We came across the trailhead to Hickman’s Bridge shortly after entering Capitol Reef National Park and found it to be moderately crowded. The parking lot was full so we parked along the road as we saw others had done.
The trail to Hickman’s Bridge is well marked and well maintained. It was a good trail and easy to walk on. There was elevation gain with steps and incline quite a bit of the way up. The path is dirt and occasionally rock but not slick. At one point there was sand to trek through but not for long. The Hickman Bridge trial has a moderate rating. It is a 1.8 mile out and back trail with a loli-loop following under the bridge. It took us one hour and 15 minutes. We stopped and chatted with a some people and took photos so I would think an hour is enough time to budget for this trail.
The Bridge itself was quite spectacular. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out we could walk under it. I also thought the trail itself was scenic and enjoyed both the climb up and back.
Capitol Reef on the Way Out
We stopped at the Visitor Center and debated on taking the scenic drive from there as the rangers told us the trees were beautiful at this time. Instead we decided to take a few photos on our way out and continue on our way. We had plans to hike Peek-a-Boo and Spooky slot canyons before we ended in Bryce Canyon for the night. This turned out to be a good decision as we would have been cutting it too close to night fall while visiting the slot canyons had we stayed longer at Capitol Reef.
Capitol Reef National Park and Hickman’s Bridge are both gems that do not get the attention or visitors the more popular Utah parks and areas do. Much less crowded. Even though the park is smaller, there is still plenty to do here and I would not hesitate coming back again. We at least were able to see the park and get a taste of it!