Cougar Ridge

The Toughest Trails in Capitol Reef National Park

Mar 7, 2024 | Activities & Adventure, Capitol Reef National Park, National Parks, Our Blog, Things to do in Utah | 0 comments

A stay in Cougar hotels is a popular choice for family vacations. Our spacious villas offer plenty of room for your family to relax after a long day of exploring all that the resort and nearby Capitol Reef have to offer. For large, extended families, The Grand Lodge is the ultimate destination, with game rooms, multiple kitchens, private suites, a bunk room, and so much more to enjoy.

In Capitol Reef National Park, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly hiking trails and other activities. But what if your family is looking for something a little more challenging? While they might not be as well-known as Angels Landing in Zion National Park, Capitol Reef is home to some of the toughest trails in Utah. Keep reading to learn some of the most difficult trails to take on during your stay at Cougar Ridge.

Chimney Rock Loop

If you’re looking for some of the most incredible views in Capitol Reef, look no further than Chimney Rock. Located in the northern part of the park, this 3.5-mile trail is rated as moderate, making it one of the easier options on this list. This makes it a great choice for families with older kids looking for a bit of a challenge during their stay in our Capitol Reef resort. It typically takes hikers between three and four hours and has just over 800 feet of elevation gain.

Chimney Rock begins with views of the rock formation that it is named for. From there, it winds up through the layers of rock of the Waterpocket Fold. You’ll enjoy views of Chinle Capped Moenkopi Tower, the Waterpocket Fold, and even the Fruita area of the park.

Like many trails in Capitol Reef, Chimney Rock offers little shade. Before your stay in hotels in Torrey, Utah, it’s a good idea to brush up on some basic first-aid tips, including the early signs of dehydration. When you pack for your visit, make sure to bring a day pack so that you can carry extra water on tough trails.

The Frying Pan

Another moderate to strenuous option that’s a great challenge with even better views is The Flying Pan. Depending on where you start this trail, it ranges from 4.5 to 4.9 miles and takes between three and four hours to complete. You can join this trail from either the Hickman Bridge trail or the Cohab Canyon trailhead. The Frying Pan has stunning panoramic views of Capitol Reef. You’ll pass towering rock formations and unique hoodoos along the way.

Wondering where the trail got its name? Visit on a hot day, and you’ll quickly see why. This is another trail with little shade and is best reserved for hiking in the spring, fall, or winter. Or, consider hiking this trail early in the day to avoid the hottest times, and pack plenty of water and sun protection. Don’t forget to take breaks while hiking to cool off and take some incredible pictures!

Halls Creek

One of the most challenging trails in the park is Halls Creek Narrows. This strenuous, challenging trail is 24 miles long, with a shorter route option that’s 15.5 miles. If you’re looking for a day hike during your stay in Torrey, Utah rentals, this might not be the right choice. Most hikers spend one or even two nights backpacking this difficult trail. This means that you’ll need to get a backcountry permit to hike it. However, if you’re up for the challenge and used to hiking long distances, you may be able to do the 15.5 mile route in a day.

As the name suggests, this trail winds its way through narrow canyons carved into the Navajo sandstone. Marvel at towing cliff faces, colorful lines of sediment, and deep alcoves. When water levels are high, you’ll need to trek through the stream that has carved the narrow canyons, so pack the right gear for wet conditions.

Planning Your Next Stay in Cougar Hotels

These are just a few of the many incredible trails to enjoy during your stay in Cougar hotels. And hiking is just one of the ways to explore the stunning landscapes of Capitol Reef National Park!

Ready to take on some of these challenging trails? Now is a great time to plan a stay at Cougar hotels. The Spring in Capitol Reef sale can help you save big on your stay at our beautiful villas. From now through October 31, when you book a stay of three or more nights at Cougar Ridge, you’ll enjoy a 25 percent discount on your stay. 

Use your savings to extend your visit or maybe enjoy a fun activity like an off-road tour during your visit. Book today to take advantage of these savings.

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