Hickman Bridge – Your family’s next favorite hike!

By Rebecca Hrabar

Located along Utah’s Highway 24 lies one of the most unique hikes in Capitol Reef National Park. Soaring 125 feet high tall and 133 feet wide, Hickman Bridge is an incredible natural bridge that is sure to wow the whole family.

What to expect when hiking to Hickman Bridge

Ancient Fremont ruins, petroglyph panels, unique rock formations, breathtaking views and a towering natural bridge make the Hickman Bridge Trail truly something special and worth the miles and elevation gain.

While the Hickman Bridge Trail is shorter than most in the park, it is rated moderate due to the steep climb up to the bridge. While doable for most bodies, it may pose a bit of a challenge if you struggle with stairs and heights.

For good reason, this hike is one of the most popular in the park and you can expect to see other hikers along the way.  

How to Hike to Hickman Bridge

The Hickman Bridge Trailhead can be found on the North side of Highway 24 just after the petroglyph panels.

You will see signs for Hickman Bridge, as well as pit toilets, a parking lot and a trail heading along the rock wall and Fremont River.

Here the trail begins with a climb up to the top of the rock wall where it will then come to a junction, go to the left here to continue towards the Bridge and Fremont ruins.

The trail is well marked and the last section includes a loop that takes you to the ruins. We would highly suggest doing the loop section before heading back down to the parking lot.

Hike Stats

Trail Length: 1.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 416 feet

Trail type: Out & Back

Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Pet Friendly: No

Duration: This hike typically takes 1-2 hours to complete.

Our Suggestions

Our family(with 3 young kids) have made the trek to Hickman bridge multiple times and have found these tips to help.

  • Set out for the hike in the morning or evening to avoid the middle of the day heat! The trail is full sun with little shade. It can get hot quickly.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks! Our kids love a good snack break mid hike.
  • Wear sunscreen, as mentioned before, this trail is sunny.
  • Do a little research into the rock formations around you, and take time to point them out to your family, Navajo Dome, Capitol Dome, and more are visible from the trail.
  • Stop to check out the Fremont ruins, and petroglyphs along the trail. It is so neat to see and breaks up the hike a bit.
  • Take time to relax at the bridge, and hangout in the shade it provides! It is such a neat area and worth sticking around to explore.
  • Grab the kids Jr Ranger books at the Visitors Center and let them fill them out as you go!

Wondering What to do After Your Hike?

Finished with the Hickman Bridge Hike and not sure what to do next? Check out some of these nearby favorites:

  • Petroglyph Panels, these are located nearby on Highway 24
  • Old Fruita ruins, stop by the schoolhouse, Behunin Cabin, and don’t forget to snag some pie at the Gifford Homestead!
  • If it’s harvest season, grab yourself some fresh fruit off of the trees in the historic Fruita Orchards!
  • Grand Wash, this trail is rated easy and can be done as a full trail or just go as long as you like & turn around.

Keep Capitol Reef Country Forever Mighty

What is Forever Mighty? It’s practicing responsible travel while visiting Utah and Capitol Reef Country by following the principles of Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace.

Plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, be considerate of others, support local business and honor community, history and heritage. Help us keep Utah and Capitol Reef Country’s outdoor recreation areas beautiful, healthy, and accessible.

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