Frying Pan (Capital Reef National Park): Trail Report

Frying Pan (Capital Reef National Park): Trail Report

The challenging 16km of Frying Pan Trail through Cohab Canyon over to Cassidy Arch Bridge is a rewarding experience you won't soon forget.

Suggested Stops

The Wild Rabbit Cafe in Torrey for a fresh and delicious menu and the best darn coffee.

Important Insights

Parking was a little tricky to figure out at first and I’m sure we parked in the wrong spot. Although it being so late in the season, no one seemed to mind.

There are a few trailhead and route options to tackle this hike:
1. Cohab Canyon Trailhead located on Scenic Drive. Turn South on Campground Rd from Route 24. Campground Rd turns into Scenic Drive. The trailhead is clearly marked on the east side. If you reached the Fruita Campground you’ve gone too far.
2. Hickman Bridge Trailhead located on the South side of Route 24.
3. Grand Wash Trailhead located on Grand Wash Rd. Turn South on Campground Rd from Route 24. Campground Rd turns into Scenic Drive. Cassidy Arch Trailhead (also referred to as Grand Wash TH) is 5.6 kms past the Cohab Canyon Trailhead.

Land Acknowledgement

These are the lands of the Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) and Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) people.⁠ It is important as avid hikers and stewards of the land, to acknowledge and understand the full story our surroundings along with the people that care for her, both past and present. As sourced from native-land.ca, if there are corrections please send to victoria@girlgonegood.com

Land Management

Frying Pan Trail is managed by Capitol Reef National Park.

GPS Coordinates

38.282802992660194, -111.24621494406553

Street Address

Cohab Canyon Trailhead Torrey, UT 84775

Directions

343 kms (215 miles) drive from Salt Lake City (3 hr 20mins) or 19 kms (12miles) drive from Torrey (15 mins). From the town of Torrey, follow the Route 24 east to Camp Ground Rd and the Cohab Canyon Trailhead.

Parking

Small parking lot at trailhead.

Cell Reception

Yes

Washrooms

None. Follow Leave No Trace toileting guidelines

Accessibility

No

Trail Details

Entrance Fee

Hours of Operation

Open year round, best used May-November.

Trail Map

Available from the National Park Service.

Trailhead

Located at the parking lot.

Number of Trails

4

Total Distance (km)

16

Elevation Gain (m)

800

Cell Reception

Yes

Features

Ecological Significance

Activities

Hiking

Dogs

Permitted on-leash.

Trail Description

Trail Options include: 1. Cohab Canyon Trailhead out and back: This is the route we decided to take due to time available, what we wanted to see, season (not high traffic to hitchhike back for a point to point) and hiking back in the dark. 2. Cohab Canyon Trailhead to Cassidy Arch Trailhead: Perks include only having to hike one way and having the time to enjoy all the highlights. Suggested route. You’re able to hike through all the highlights such as the look outs, through the canyon, highpoints, cassidy arch, and various rock formations. During high season you can likely hitchhike back to your car as some other hike guides suggest. 3. Hickman Bridge Trailhead to Cassidy Arch Trailhead: Although this isn’t the route we took, it is another options. It cuts short of the North and South lookouts. 4. Hickman Bridge Trailhead to Cohab Canyon Trailhead: Easy shorter hike through the canyon, including hiking up to the North and South lookouts. Overall the trail is well marked with cairns guiding the way and trail markers at every major intersection. Anyways we started at the Cohab Canyon Trailhead, hiking our way up switchbacks to the canyon’s start point. From there, you follow the wash through the canyon passing the turn off for both the North and South lookouts. After passing the lookouts, the next trail signs mark the major intersection and the start of Frying Pan Trail. This trail goes through multiple elevation points with the highest being 800 meters (2,618 feet). Cassidy Arch is a side trail that begins at the end (southern most tip) of Frying Pan Trail. We found the cairns slightly harder to follow in this section. Cassidy Arch itself hides from view until that last little corner when you turn around to see how large this natural rock formation actually is. There were a few obvious highlights along this trail that included the views from the high points, the layered rocks, a spy rock, distant peaks, and rock formations that look like giants.

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