hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Though May is reckoned to be the best month to hike Capitol Reef, rather than set up a tent I fled to this little “camping cabin“.

hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

Good call. Morning dawned well below zero with plenty of snow on the ground.

hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

The Visitor Center is everyone’s first stop. From there it’s only a few miles to Hickman Bridge trailhead where you have the option of 4 hikes:

• Hickman Bridge
• Rim Overlook
• Navajo Knobs – 9mi return, 1649ft ascent
• Cohab Canyon

These range from “easy” (Hickman Bridge) to “challenging” (The Knobs), ideal for a mixed ability group.

The route is well marked with cairns.

hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

Views are wonderful throughout though there’s not much protection from wind and sun.

Pectols Pyramid is the first highlight of many.

Pectols Pyramid - hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

My first rattlesnake ever! (They’ve seen me, but I’ve never seen one of them.)

hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

… Apparently it’s too early in the Spring for this guy. And a Ranger told me they are only very rarely found on this trail.

Was he looking for this guy?

hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

The route climbs parallel with the highway. Here’s the valley far below:

hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

That’s them?

The Navajo Knobs?

hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah

A bit of a let down. They’re simply 2 bumps of limestone atop the Waterpocket Fold. The main reason to go the extra miles is to see around the corner. It’s impressive!

I left a Summit Stone atop one Knob, reward for anyone keen enough to get up there.

Rangers were pushing this guidebook: Capitol Reef National Park – The Complete Hiking and Touring Guide.

I used my trusty Lonely Planet Hiking in the USA.

As both a driving tour, and hiking destination, I highly recommend Capitol Reef.

See the rest of my photos from this day hike.

6 Replies to “hiking Navajo Knobs, Utah”

    1. Ah, I did Lower Muley, yet to be posted.

      That was my favourite hike in the southwest on this road trip. Saw nobody for over 24hrs, campground included.

    1. It rattled at a woman about 20 feet away from me. By the time I got there she had backed off. It stopped rattling, slowly moving off.

  1. Hi Rick — Did the Navaho Knobs last night, summiting just a half hour before sunset. Crystal clear, but for a slight haze of rosy forest fire smoke on the western horizon. Did most of the way back in the dark, lit by the Milky Way and good headlamps. Thank goodness for good cairns! Thank for your great set of pix. Certainly one of my favorite hikes in CRNP. I recently made Wayne Co my new home, because life is too short to enjoy this kind of beauty only on vacation.

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