The Rim Overlook Trail is not difficult and can be completed by any healthy adult or older child in average physical condition. No special gear is required other than footwear suitable for walking over rough ground. The hike involves walking approximately 2 1/4 miles each way over a well maintained trail with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet. The route will require approximately two or three hours round trip to complete.
Much of the route is exposed to the sun and there is little shade available. During hot weather an early morning or evening hike is recommended. Every member of your hiking party should carry at least one liter of water. This hike should be easily accessible year round.
Navigation for this hike is easy. The route is well marked and signed. A GPS is extreme over kill but I have included the important waypoints for the gizmo junkies. The USGS 7.5' Map titled "Fruita" covers this hike. You should have no problems completing this hike using only commonsense. The Hickman Bridge Trail can be added to this hike for those wanting to add more adventure or create a longer day.
To reach the trailhead from the Capitol Reef Visitor Center take Highway 24 east for 2.0 miles to the signed Hickman Bridge Trailhead located at mile marker 81.1. The trailhead is located on the north side of Highway 24 just before a bridge over the Fremont River. The trailhead consists of a large paved parking area, kiosk and a pit toilet. Any vehicle can access this trailhead and all roads are paved.
From the Hickman Bridge Trailhead (N38° 17' 19", W111° 13' 42"), the trail follows the north bank of the Fremont River downstream a short distance and than begins to switchback up the Kayenta sandstone. At the top of the switchbacks you will notice a short trail branching to the right (east). This trail extends 30-yards to the remnants of a Fremont Culture pit house (N38° 17' 20", W111° 13' 32"). The pit house foundation is identified by the ring of large black rocks.
Continuing hiking up the trail and you will soon come to a signed junction (N38° 17' 22", W111° 13' 35"). The trail to the left (west) leads to Hickman Bridge. Take the right (north) fork signed Rim Overlook/Navajo Knobs. From the junction the trail leads over a small rise and crosses a wash. After crossing the wash the trail heads north following a sandstone ledge system.
1/2 mile beyond the Hickman Bridge/Rim Overlook junction you will encounter the Hickman Bridge Viewpoint (N38° 17' 30", W111° 13' 56"). This viewpoint offers an interesting examination of Hickman Bridge from above. From the viewpoint just keep following the well-defined trail west for another 1 1/2 miles to the Rim Overlook (N38° 17' 28", W111° 14' 58"). From the viewpoint and enjoy the spectacle spread out below you. Return the way you came. The truly adventurous can continue on for another 2 1/4 miles to the Navajo Knobs, just keep following the trail.
Please take only pictures and leave only footprints.
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