A few weeks ago, I finally made it to Capitol Reef for the first time! It’s the least well-known park in Utah, but it’s just as amazing as any of the others. My friend Melissa (pictured in most of my photos) and I only got to spend a day there, but I can’t wait to go back and explore some more! One of the most popular hikes in the park is Hickman Bridge, so it was the perfect spot to check out for a first timer.
Distance: 2 miles roundtrip
Time: 1 hour
The trailhead has its own parking lot, and I would advise getting there early if you hope to find a spot easily! We arrived around 9:00 am and the lot was already almost full to the brim. Throughout the day we kept running into hikers who said they had tried to go there and couldn’t get in.
It’s only about a mile up, and on your way you’ll wind up on a red rock trail through brush, eventually emerging into a small canyon with various caves and rock formations along the side. It’s worth taking your time to poke your head into a few and enjoy the journey if you’re not in a hurry.
Toward the top, you’ll come to a spot where the trail forks and you can either continue straight or turn right. Either way is fine – the path is a loop that goes under the bridge, so no matter what, you’ll find your way there.
And just like that, you’ll be at Hickman Bridge – a huge natural arch spanning across the canyon! You can hike around to find different viewpoints to take your photos. We took some from several angles, but the best I found was actually under the bridge so you get some softer light in your photo and that orange glow from the red rocks, especially if you’re there when the sun is high in the sky. That desert sun can be unforgiving!
Even though Hickman Bridge is a short hike and one of the most popular, I definitely think it’s worth checking out if you head to Capitol Reef! You really can never go wrong with a good arch. They always blow my mind.
Have you ever been to Capitol Reef or seen Hickman Bridge?