Grand Wash

Grand Wash is a famous gorge that cuts its way through the upper portion of the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park. The wash connects the Scenic Road as it heads south past Cassidy Arch, to Highway 24 just east of Spring Canyon. The wash is level throughout almost the entire route, though it is full of streambed sediment. Only at the narrow does the trail close in and get tight.

Trail Head: 38.278358, -111.192595

Trail Type: Hiking

Length: 6.25 miles round trip

Difficulty: Easy

Visitors can hike back the way they came once they reach Cassidy Arch and the Scenic Road. But there are alternatives, such as having a shuttle waiting at the trailhead on the Scenic Road, or hiking up the Cassidy Arch Trail, onto the Frying Pan Trail, and down into Cohab Canyon. This route would drop hikers back on Highway 24, but 2.84 miles west of the northeastern Grand Wash trailhead.

The northeast trailhead is actually the lower end of the canyon, and empties into the Fremont River. The northeast trailhead is just over 300 feet in elevation lower than the southwest trailhead, meaning that there is very little of a noticeable slope throughout the hike.

The narrows section of this canyon is short, only about half a mile long. But it is spectacular, and reminds many visitors of a miniature version of the famous Zion Narrows.

Cassidy Arch is a large, well-formed arch along the rim of the Waterpocket Fold, just above the junction of Grand Wash and the Scenic Road. The trail takes hikers up above the arch, or onto the Frying Pan Trail, a hike that treks cross-country over the Fold, and down into Cohab Canyon.

The trailhead is not directly on the junction of Grand Wash and the Scenic Drive. There is a parking area about 300 yards up the wash, just before the trail gets lost between the gargantuan rock walls that loom up above it.

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