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Cassidy Arch

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This weekend we spent in Capitol Reef National Park. It is the least visited of Utah’s five National Parks, but no less impressive. It’s just a little more off the beaten path.

Cassidy Arch an amazing arch where you can walk on top! It is named after the outlaw Butch Cassidy who is thought to have hidden in the canyon below. The first part of the trail you walk through the Grand Wash Trail. You can continue all the way though the Grand Wash as a different or combined hike.

Cassidy Arch is a moderate hike, but after a quarter mile walking flat in the wash, you start nearly all the elevation gain for the hike in the first mile, so it’s a bit like you’re on a stair master.

Capitol Reef gets quite hot and there is very little shade on this hike, so start early and bring plenty of water. This was the first hike my five year old carried all his own water and snacks and he did it like a champ! The views of the canyon are impressive. You have plenty of walkway to stay away from ledge, but if you are afraid of heights this may not be the hike for you.

About halfway there you can look across the canyon and see the arch.

You may find lizards or see hawks. We actually saw two red-tailed hawks fighting in the air, but I didn’t manage to get a photo.

Cassidy Arch is one of the few arches that you can walk on. It’s very wide, probably 20 feet, so you don’t have to get very close to edge. Rock climbers often repel down through the arch and even farther down through the canyon.

We look kind of small with the incredible arch, so here’s a closer look. It’s a very impressive photo opportunity!

Stats: Distance – 3.0 miles there and back
Approximate hiking time – 1-2.5 hours
Elevation gain – 666 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – trail of dirt and rocks, sometimes cairns lead the way
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – Year-Round
Permits needed – $20 per car for a 7-day pass (or a National Parks Pass)
Pets allowed – No


We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!

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