Capitol Reef National Park: Pleasant Creek

Pass through sunburnt red canyons and cliffs marked with ancient petroglyphs en route to a secret swim- ming hole on this isolated 6-mile out-and-back.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.8



Location: 38.18327, -111.179802

Trail begins near a big dead cottonwood; head E toward wide entrance to sandstone canyon that soon gets narrow


Location: 38.183399, -111.177399

Cross to R bank of sediment-rich Pleasant Creek; follow faint creekside game path


Location: 38.183788, -111.168297

Cross to L side of creek; follow intermittent path through sagebrush meadow, along base canyon wall


Location: 38.184212, -111.163399

Cross to R bank; creek bears L here; follow trail due E through brush and juniper


Location: 38.18441, -111.1604

Ford creek to L bank; trail gets more distinct as canyon narrows. Cross creek several times until sheer redrock walls pinch in


Location: 38.183239, -111.146896

At narrowest point, bear R into creek, hike 30 ft. along base of sheer R wall. Canyon opens dramatically; bear R, follow clear path E; cross creek twice more


Location: 38.182491, -111.144699

Cross to the L side of creek then veer E to ascend a small saddle


Location: 38.184509, -111.141296

Pass Fremont Indian petroglyphs on L side of saddle (700?1300 A.D.); take sandy path along L gorge wall to caves


Location: 38.185692, -111.139099

Fremont Indian caves: Red rock is smoke-
stained. Bear R; follow creek .6 mi. to swim-
ming hole


Location: 38.18623, -111.138802

Cool off where Pleasant Creek cascades over terraced slickrock into delightful pools; return
to car

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