Golden Throne, Capitol Gorge Trailhead, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Golden Throne - 3.9 miles

Capitol Gorge Trailhead

The Golden Throne (7,042')

The Golden Throne (7,042')

Round-Trip Length: 3.9 miles
Start-End Elevation: 5,415' - 6,142' (6,142' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +727' net elevation gain (+842' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Golden Throne - 3.9 Miles Round-Trip

The Golden Throne view point is located 1.95 miles from Capitol Gorge Trailhead in Capitol Reef National Park. The trail climbs 727' above Capitol Gorge along cliffs and rims to a slickrock terrace with good views of the Throne and adjacent domes. 

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The Golden Throne (7,042') is comprised of interlayered red sandstone and gypsum from the Carmel Formation, a layer in the San Rafael Group formed during the Jurassic Period.

It's among the tallest features in the Waterpocket Fold, and visible from many points in the Park. Its distinct yellow-gold hue shows best in the late afternoon.

Note that while the trail is well-marked, there's a good deal of loose rock that can obfuscate cairns. Pay close attention to the route, especially across open slickrock:

The trail begins on the north side of the Capitol Gorge parking lot (do not head down the wash), and initially heads west on a variously steep and rugged path above the canyon. It threads interesting outcrops and crosses a small wash in a side canyon (.5 miles : 5,580') before turning sharply north and away from the main gorge (1.0 miles : 5,810').

Golden Throne soon comes in to view across colorful slickrock ramps that lead NW to a sign marking the end of the trail (1.95 miles : 6,142'). This high terrace offers great views of the Throne, adjacent Navajo Sandstone domes and across Capitol Gorge. Remain on slickrock and avoid stepping on biological soil crusts and vegetation while exploring the area.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N38 12.581 W111 10.135 — 0.0 miles : Capitol Gorge Trailhead
  • N38 12.629 W111 10.404 — .5 miles : Cross small wash in side canyon
  • N38 12.584 W111 10.649 — 1.0 miles : Steady climb on slickrock rim
  • N38 12.737 W111 10.767 — 1.24 miles : Cross small wash
  • N38 12.712 W111 10.901 — 1.5 miles : Moderate travel on varied terrain
  • N38 12.861 W111 11.237 — 1.95 miles : Golden Throne Overlook (6,142')

Worth Noting

  • Petroglyphs in Capitol Gorge are located just a few steps down-wash from the trailhead, and are worth a look.

Rules and Regulations

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

Directions to Trailhead

Capitol Gorge Trailhead is located 10.1 miles from the Capitol Reef Visitor Center at the end of Scenic Drive.

From the Visitor Center, take Scenic Drive 7.8 miles to the dirt road fork for Capitol Gorge and Pleasant Creek Road. Keep left for Capitol Gorge. The final 2.3 miles follow a graded dirt road to a large parking area. This is a narrow, winding road with several blind spots.

Capitol Gorge Road is suitable for 2WD cars in good condition. The road is subject to flash floods and washouts and may not be passable after heavy rain due to standing water or mud.

Contact Information

Capitol Reef National Park
16 Scenic Drive
Torrey, UT 84775

Trip Reports

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