Capitol Reef National Park Reopens Hickman Bridge Trail

Sunday, December 01 2013 17:24   Other NPs
Capitol Reef National Park in Utah reopened the Hickman Bridge Trail on Nov. 27, 2013, but rangers are asking hikers to use caution when hiking through the area.

A significant rockfall occurred at the Hickman Bridge Trailhead off Utah Highway 24 on March 23, 2012. Several hundred tons of material fell, blocking the only trail access to Hickman Bridge. The trailhead was officially closed upon discovery of the rockfall.

hickman_bridge_trail_reopensDue to the size of the rockfall, additional precautions were taken before the trailhead reopened. The trailhead has been delineated and the trail has been realigned around the debris pile.

This work was accomplished with assistance from the Rocky Mountain National Park trail crew. A portion of a retaining wall just beyond the rockfall was washed out during this seasons flooding in September 2013. Visitors should use caution when hiking through this area. Masonry work will be performed in the spring as warmer temperatures allow.

The Hickman Bridge Trail, two miles round-trip (3.2 km) is one of the most popular trails in Capitol Reef National Park. This trail provides great views of the reef, Capitol Dome, the spectacular Hickman Bridge and also provides access to the Rim Overlook and Navajo Knobs Trail.

Caution is advised while hiking and visiting all locations in canyon country, rangers said. Inherent dangers exist including rockfall hazard, flash floods, loose footing, and lightning. Visitors should stay alert, be aware of hazardous conditions and check with the visitor center staff for additional updates or weather conditions, or visit the park's Website at .

Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles.

Capitol Reef's rich cultural history dates back to Archaic hunters and gatherers and more recently Mormon pioneers who settled the area in the 1800s.

Winter hours are now in place. The Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center operating hours will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Enjoy the 18-minute park movie "Watermark", exhibits and bookstore.

The historic Gifford House, located one mile (1.6 km) south of the Visitor Center on Scenic Drive, is closed for the winter and will reopen in March 2014.

Winter is a wonderful time to enjoy the park. Visitation is low and solitude abounds. For more information, contact park rangers at (435) 425-3791 or follow the park on or


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