Cassidy Arch, Grand Wash Trailhead, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Cassidy Arch - 3.4 miles

Grand Wash Trailhead

Cassidy Arch

Cassidy Arch

Round-Trip Length: 3.4 miles
Start-End Elevation: 5,378' - 6,024' (6,045' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +646' net elevation gain (+839' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Cassidy Arch - 3.4 Miles Round-Trip

Cassidy Arch is located 1.7 miles from Grand Wash Trailhead in Capitol Reef National Park. The trail climbs steeply over exposed cliffs to the Frying Pan Trail junction, then splits south across wavy slickrock to a viewing area over the arch.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The trail has terrific views over the entrance to Grand Wash, and across vast open desert to the west. And while the arch is stunning, slick rock rims and benches leading to the overlook are equally compelling. The arch is named for Butch Cassidy, a notorious outlaw and train robber who reportedly had a hideout in Grand Wash:

The trail heads down Grand Wash to the split for Cassidy Arch on the north (left) side of the wash (.2 miles). The Cassidy Arch Trail rises sharply on winding slickrock ledges until easing on open rims and rounding a bend with great views of the arch (1.05 miles : 5,895'). 

It reaches the Frying Pan Trail split (1.3 miles : 5,965') and turns left (south) on a cairn-marked route across wavy slickrock to a viewing area just above and behind Cassidy Arch (1.7 miles : 6,024').

The arch opening is best lit in the afternoon from this point, and it takes some maneuvering to see it in full. Otherwise the best views can be had with morning light from the 1.05 mile mark.

Slickrock benches leading to the viewing slope steeply and can be treacherous when wet or snow covered. Tread carefully, and be mindful of getting 'cliffed out' when exploring the area.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N38 15.829 W111 12.939 — 0.0 miles : Grand Wash Trailhead
  • N38 15.932 W111 12.798 — .2 miles : Turn left out of Grand Wash onto the Cassidy Arch Trail
  • N38 15.955 W111 13.218 — .8 miles : Steep travel moderates across slickrock
  • N38 15.860 W111 13.485 — 1.3 miles : Cassidy Arch - Frying Pan Trail split
  • N38 15.652 W111 13.561 — 1.7 miles : Marked trail ends over Cassidy Arch

Worth Noting

  • Travel on steep slickrock between the main trail and Cassidy Arch can be treacherous when wet. 

Rules and Regulations

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

Directions to Trailhead

The Cassidy Arch Trail begins at Grand Wash Trailhead, 4.6 miles from the Visitor Center in Capitol Reef National Park.

From the Visitor Center, take Scenic Drive 3.4 miles to Grand Wash Road. Turn left and follow it 1.2 miles to the cul-de-sac parking area.

Grand Wash Road is a dirt road 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

The Visitor Center is open every day 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, with extended hours in the spring and fall.

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


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