Sunset Point is a short, family-friendly hike in Capitol Reef National Park. This hike is located a few miles west of the Visitor’s Center on Highway 24. A short 1 mile drive over a passable dirt road is required to make the hike, which is only a third of a mile out to the viewpoint.
- Rating: Easy
- Distance: 0.6 miles roundtrip
- Elevation Gain: less than 50 feet
- Fees: None
- Tips: Lighting is best in afternoon/evening hence the name Sunset Point.
The turnoff for Sunset Point is located a few miles west of the Visitor Center. For this reason, you don’t have to pay a fee to do Sunset Point Hike. As a bonus, there is a short walk (600 feet on the sign) to the Gooseneck overlook. Just park at the lot and walk up to the overlook first. There is a breathtaking view of the river far below. You may even see hikers doing the Sulphur Creek hike far below.
The trail to Sunset Point is relatively flat though it has some rocky up and down over the first few hundred yards. Beautiful red rocks line the trail, but it isn’t difficult or sandy. We saw several lizards, so watch for wildlife as you hike.There are benches along the way, and since this hike isn’t heavily trafficked, there is a good chance you’ll have the bench to yourself. Make sure to watch the red cliffs of the water pocket fold on your left as you hike. It is a deep beautiful color near sunset, which gives the trail its name.
Sunset Point is a great hike for even the smallest kids. Toddlers will enjoy this hike, even if you end up carrying them a bit. Though not wheel-friendly, Grandma would enjoy this hike, too! For other family friendly hikes, check out our Capitol Reef Kid Hikes post.
Take the turnoff for the Goosenecks Overlook which is located 2.4 miles west of the Capitol Reef Visitor Center along Highway 24. The turnoff is on the south side of the road, and is well signed. Follow the signs to the Goosenecks Overlook, and the Sunset Point trail begins from the parking area.
Tips for Families
- Wear a hat and sunscreen. There is no shade along this trail.
- Hike in the evening. It’s named Sunset Point because the lighting is best at sunset. We went in the late afternoon and thought the lighting was pretty good.
- Stop at the benches to enjoy the views.
- Maps of Capitol Reef can be found on their website.