Cassidy Arch – Tips for One of the Best Hikes in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park October 2020-01926

Cassidy Arch is one of the best hikes to go on if you have one day in Capitol Reef National Park. While a moderate hike with some elevation gain, at the end your reward will be stunning views over the canyon rim and an impressive natural stone arch that served as a hideout for the notorious outlaw and train robber Butch Cassidy. For extra details, read on to know more about distance, duration, and how Cassidy Arch Trail really is.

Be sure to read a Complete Guide to Capitol Reef National Park and The Ultimate Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary

Where is Cassidy Arch

Cassidy Arch Trail is one of the hikes found in Capitol Reef National Park. The hike is 3.5 miles (round trip), has 670 feet of elevation gain, and is considered moderate to strenuous.

View of Cassidy Arch in Capitol Reef National Park

How is the Cassidy Arch Trail

The Cassidy Arch trail starts at the end of the Grand Wash Road. This road can be accessed from the Scenic Drive and doesn’t require a special car.

The beginning is basically the same as the Grand Wash Trail, and then you’ll go in another direction once you see the sign indicating the way up to Cassidy Arch.

Once you reach the sign for the hike, it’ll be a pretty steep 600-foot ascent. So take your time to rest and stay hydrated.

At the end of the hike, in the last parts, you’ll walk over a slick rock that gives access to Cassidy Arch.

And at the top, once you reach the arch, you’ll have wide views of the gorgeous Capitol Reef National Park. Here, unlike the arches in Arches National Park, you can also stand on the arch ledge (but always be careful and don’t do it if it’s raining).

* Before starting the hike, be sure to stop by the Visitor Center to check the current conditions of the trail

Why visit Cassidy Arch

Even though the hike to Cassidy Arch has 670 feet elevation gain, the effort is mild compared to the dramatic landscape along the way. Throughout the hike, you’ll be astonished by the views over the Grand Wash.

Cassidy Arch Hike in Capitol Reef National Park

I visited Cassidy Arch on a late morning in November and, even though it was a hot day, it was definitely my favorite hike in Capitol Reef.

Along with Hickman Bridge and the Scenic Drive, Cassidy Arch is one of my favorite activities in the park.



Beginning of the Hike: Grand Wash Trailhead

Distance: 3.5 miles (round trip)

Duration: ~3 hours

Elevation Gain: 607 feet

Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous

Best time of the day: Morning

Facilities: There are restrooms at the beginning of the trail, at the parking lot at the end of the Grand Wash Road

Other Tips for Cassidy Arch Trail:

If you are looking for a long day of hiking, you can add the Grand Wash trail to this hike, since they both start at the same place.

It’s not advisable to take this hike on a rainy day in Capitol Reef National Park.

Since this hike has little shade along the way, the best time of the day to start is early morning. Also, be sure to carry enough water.


Hickman Bridge: All About One of the Top Trails in Capitol Reef National Park

Arches National Park: The Complete Guide to Arches National Park and The Best Hikes in the Park

Canyonlands National Park: The Complete Guide to Canyonlands National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park: The Complete Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion National Park: Best Hikes in Zion National Park

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I am Elen, and I help 9-5ers plan their next getaway. I curate travel experiences, from places to sip a coffee to stays in boutique hotels, so you can save time when planning your next vacation. Here you will find travel guides, tips, and the best itineraries for your next trip.

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