Golden Throne Trail

Toward the east end of Capitol Gorge in Capitol Reef National Park, hikers have the chance to climb up into the higher reaches of the Waterpocket Fold, to enjoy the view of Golden Throne from up close. The trailhead to this short, but strenuous ascent ascends by way of switchback from the narrow confines of Capitol Gorge. This hike gains close to 800 feet of elevation within its 1.5-mile ascent, and then loses the same on the way back down.

Trail Head: 38.213582, -111.156924

Trail Type: Hiking

Length: 3 miles round trip

Difficulty: Moderate

The trailhead begins back in the depths of Capitol Gorge, closer to the end of the Scenic Drive, but this point is the de facto beginning of the Golden Throne trail.

Rising from the road below, the four switchbacks elevate the trail by 100 feet, bringing it up underneath the steep sides of the gorge before it slips into cracks between the narrow canyon walls.

Above the switchbacks, the trail continues up against the base of a steep ridge, heading toward the northwest until it reaches the Golden Throne viewpoint.

Though still hundreds of feet below the butte, the viewpoint from the end of an impressive perspective of the Golden Throne.

Towering 1,400 feet above the road at the bottom of Capitol Gorge, Golden Throne is an icon of the park, and draws many tourists and photographers every year.

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