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

Capitol Reef National Park October 2020-02025

Hickman Bridge Trail is one of the most popular and best short hikes in Capitol Reef National Park. This trail is good for all ages and offers amazing scenery along the way to a 133-foot natural bridge. For extra details, read on to know more about distance, duration, and how Hickman Bridge Trail really is.


You might also like to read: Guide to Capitol Reef National Park and The Best Hikes in the Park

Where is Hickman Bridge

Hickman Bridge Trail is one of the many hikes found in Capitol Reef National Park. This 2-mile trail (round trip) has 400 feet of elevation gain and is considered moderate, being enjoyed by many who visit the park.


How is the Hickman Bridge hike

The beginning of the trail is at the parking lot right at Highway 24. From there, you’ll go on a pleasant walk for a few minutes following the Fremont River. Then, you’ll hike up a series of switchbacks to a spectacular viewpoint where you can look out over Highway 24 and Cohab Canyon.

Before reaching Hickman Bridge, you’ll descend into a canyon and see a smaller bridge in a wash named Nels Johnson Natural Bridge.

At the end of the trail, you’ll be able to gaze upon Hickman Bridge –  a large, natural arch that is tucked away near the back of the canyon.

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

Why hike Hickman Bridge

The bridge is a beautiful place in Capitol Reef National Park and, along with Cassidy Arch and the Scenic Drive, is one of my favorite activities in the park.

Also, the bridge will definitely remind you of some major hikes found in Arches National Park and a little bit of Mesa Arch, in Canyonlands National Park.



Beginning of the Hike: Highway 24

Distance: 2 miles (round trip)

Duration: ~1.5 hours

Elevation Gain: 400 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Best time of the day: Morning or late afternoon

Facilities: There are restrooms at the beginning of the trail, at the parking lot.

Hiking Tips: There is little shade along the way, so be prepared for the heat, if you go in the summer, and carry plenty of water.

Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center



Stay on the trail to protect the desert plants.

Climbing atop the bridge is prohibited.

Good to know: what is the difference between bridges and arches? Bridges are created from the direct result of free-flowing water, while arches are caused by the indirect effects of water, wind, and time on sandstone fins.



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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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