Fremont River Trail

Round Trip Distance: 2.1 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5429 - 5917 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Fruita Campground
Fee: $7 individual, $15/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic overlook, fruit orchards

The Fremont River trail is located in Capitol Reef National Park near Torrey, Utah. The trail begins near the Fruita Campground where it follows the Fremont River upstream for a short distance before climbing a nearby hillside where it ends at an overlook that provides a peaceful view of the surrounding area. While the first part of the trail is flat and easy some of the uphill sections can be a little strenuous.

This hike begins near the amphitheater in the Loop C section of the Fruita Campground. It is just as easy to begin hiking near the Gifford's Homestead though as the trail also extends in that direction. If you are staying anywhere in the campground all you have to do is head toward the river and follow the trail upstream and you will be on your way. The first part of the trail along the river is hard packed and wheelchair accessible.

Trail guides are made available by the Capitol Reef Natural History Association. The information in the well written guide is a blend of facts with the flare of a naturalists creative writing skills.

There are many orchards in the Fruita Historic District of Capitol Reef. Among the varieties are cherry, apricot, peach, pear, apple, plum, mulberry, almond and walnut. Visitors are welcome to enter any unlocked orchard and eat fruit right off the trees. When the picking signs are displayed visitors are allowed to pick fruit in quantity which they can weigh and pay for at the self-pay stations near the entrance to the orchards. Ladders and plastic bags are also available near the entrances. If you plan your visit to coincide with the harvest times of the fruit you can reap a little added bonus:

Cherries - June 11 - July 7
Apricots - June 28 - July 18
Peaches - August 4 - September 6
Pears     - August 7 - September 8
Apples   - September 4 - October 17

After a peaceful stroll past an orchard and large meadow the trail passes through a fence transitioning from the lush riparian environment to a drier section of sage and rabbit brush.

From here the trail also transitions from easy to more difficult as it begins climbing the hillside above the river.

Someone made practical use of some rocks with familiar shapes. Would you also call this 'rock art'?

The trail wraps around the cliff and follows the rim of a chocolate brown canyon of Moenkopi sandstone.

From the view point overlooking the valley there are descent views of the lush green area of the campground and orchards contrasted by the red of the sheer Wingate sandstone cliffs capped by the white domes of Navajo sandstone in the background.

The scene is presented from a similar aspect as you make the return hike to the trailhead.

It appeared that most people never hiked much beyond the flat area of the trail but there were a good number of all ages that went the distance to the overlook. How many places can you pick a tree ripe pear for a snack after going for a hike.

The campground consists of 3 loops with plenty of spots for tents or trailers. The restrooms have flush toilets and fresh water spigots outside for drinking. They are probably closed during the cold winter months but there is also a vault toilet in the area. The numerous shade trees are very nice and the grass attracts quite a few deer during the morning and evening hours. It is common to find deer browsing within a few feet of your tent when you get up in the morning. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.