Chimney Rock Loop Trail, Chimney Rock Trailhead, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Chimney Rock Loop Trail - 3.5 miles

Chimney Rock Trailhead

The Chimney Rock Loop

The Chimney Rock Loop

Round-Trip Length: 3.5 miles
Start-End Elevation: 6,055' - 6,684' (max elevation on loop)
Elevation Change: +629' net elevation gain (+917' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Chimney Rock Loop Trail - 3.5 Miles Round-Trip

The Chimney Rock Loop climbs steeply to bluffs over Chimney Rock, then arcs across Mummy Cliff before dropping into Chimney Rock Canyon. This 3.5 mile lollipop route features diverse terrain with exceptional views in a relatively short space.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

Chimney Rock is distinguished by a thick white capstone from the Shinarump Formation, and bright red mudstones and siltstones at its base from the Moenkopi Formation.

The trail runs level through open desert before rising sharply to the beginning of the loop (.5 miles : 6,328'). The following description travels counter-clockwise (note: those aiming for Spring Canyon will find quicker access heading clockwise): 

Veer right on a steep, winding climb with expanding views across the western escarpment of the Waterpocket Fold and pronounced tilt of the monocline. You'll also gain insight to the term 'Reef', used to describe an impassable section of land or sea and for which the park is named.

Travel moderates across bluffs over Chimney Rock to a high point on Mummy Cliff (1.25 miles : 6,684'), then curls NE and tilts down on a winding descent into Chimney Rock Canyon. The trail undulates across the canyon floor to the split for Spring Canyon access (2.15 miles : 6,155'). Follow signs left for Chimney Rock.

The trail turns up the north side of Chimney Rock Canyon on a gentle climb below striking cliffs back to the beginning of the loop (3.0 miles : 6,328'). Retrace your steps to the trailhead on Highway 24 (3.5 miles : 6,055').

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N38 18.948 W111 18.239 — 0.0 miles : Chimney Rock Trailhead
  • N38 19.053 W111 17.896 — 0.5 miles : Loop split
  • N38 18.823 W111 17.848 — 1.0 miles : Steep, winding climb to top of Chimney Rock
  • N38 18.728 W111 17.656 — 1.25 miles : High point of loop, begin descent
  • N38 18.775 W111 17.286 — 1.75 miles : Moderate descent into canyon
  • N38 18.841 W111 17.167 — 2.0 miles : Travel levels near canyon floor
  • N38 19.045 W111 17.092 — 2.5 miles : Chimney Rock Loop - Spring Canyon access split
  • N38 19.054 W111 17.567 — 3.0 miles : Moderate rise up canyon back to beginning of loop

Worth Noting

  • Chinle is the Navajo word for "flowing". 
  • Stay on established trails, avoid stepping in cryptobiotic crust, and do not shortcut switchbacks.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Backcountry camping is available 'at large'. Permits are required for all backcountry camping in Capitol Reef National Park. Permits are free and can be obtained at the Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center. Call 435.425.3791 for more information.

  • Group size cannot exceed 12 people
  • Do not collect firewood or build ground fires. Portable gas stoves only.

  • Do not camp within 0.5 mile (0.8 km) or in sight of roads or trails. In narrow canyons, try to camp as far away from the hiking route as possible and out of sight.

Rules and Regulations

  • Dogs are not permitted on hiking trails and routes in Capitol Reef National Park.
  • Writing on rocks is strictly prohibited. Significant fines apply.

Directions to Trailhead

The Chimney Rock Trailhead is located 3.1 miles west of the Capitol Reef Visitor Center on Highway 24 (north side of road).

Contact Information

Capitol Reef National Park
16 Scenic Drive
Torrey, UT 84775

The Visitor Center is open every day 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, with extended hours in the spring and fall.

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"The GPS coordinates need to be adjusted."
Lorne Koop  -  Canada  -  Date Posted: March 27, 2014


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