discovering God's creation

Grand Wash, Capitol Reef

Grand Wash is a beautiful gorge that cuts its way through the upper portion of the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park. Originally it was used by wagons that travelled from the Freemont River to Highway 24, 4.5 miles east of the Capitol Reef Visitor Center.

The wash is level throughout most of the route, though it is full of streambed sediment.

The narrows section of this canyon is short, only about half a mile long, but is spectacular.

Trail Rating

Overall rating = easy

Distance: 4.6 miles return – moderate
Elevation gain: 200 feet – easy
Terrain: Wide flat trail – easy
Exposure: None – easy

To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System

Getting There

If travelling from the west, take highway 24 from Torrey to the Capitol Reef National Park Entrance, a distance of 10.7 miles. If travelling from the east take highway 24 from Caineville to the National Park, a distance of 19 miles.

From the Park entrance travel 3.4 miles south through the Fruita Campground along Scenic Drive. Turn left on the Grand Wash Road and travel 1.3 miles to the Grand Wash Parking lot.

Directions to Grand Wash

Directions to Grand Wash


Check at the Visitor Center before planning this hike as the Grand Wash Road may be blocked in wet weather as the road passes through the wash at two places. There is also a danger of flash floods.

The Trail

The trail follows a well marked path, rising about 200 feet to the end.

The return is back down the same route.

The Grand Wash

The Grand Wash

These are some of the pictures that we took on September 16, 2009.