El Capitan hike is one of the most strenuous and rewarding trails in Hildale, Utah. Although it’s only roughly 1.5 miles to the top (3 mile round trip), the elevation gained is around 2,000 feet!
As an alternative to Zion’s National Park, El Capitan Hike mimics the stunning red cliffs, but with the tranquility without the crowded tourism.
The hike ends with a stunning view of Hildale and the surrounding areas and features a large American flag billowing in the wind. Be prepared for long uphill stretches of loose sand.
It is highly recommended to find a local guide to take you on this hike. Use the local Facebook Marketplace page to find a guide. The trail is often unmarked and it is easy to get lost.
Follow Maxwell Parkway until you reach Maxwell Park. Right as you enter the park, turn left onto the dirt road labeled “Jan’s Cyn” on google maps. Use this map to reach Maxwell Park from Hildale.
- There are not any food/water options available immediately near the hike. Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks!
- The trail has numerous sand hills to trek through and a few areas require mountain climbing with the aid of a rope/chain attached to the mountain
- An off-road vehicle is advised. The trailhead is only accessible through a dirt road that often times has uneven washes
- This hike is strenuous and is not suitable for young children
- There is not a restroom at the base of the hike, but there is a restroom at Maxwell Park
- There is no fee for this trail
Safety is the #1 priority with this hike. It is not monitored by a ranger or organization and each hiker is solely responsible for themself. There are many steep cliffs and slippery rocks. PLEASE stay away from edges and cliffs!
- Begin this hike early in the morning! 6 or 7 A.M. is a good time to start. The temperatures will be cooler and it will allow you more time to enjoy the hike
- Ensure you’ve eaten breakfast and that you have plenty of water and snacks before you begin
- Prioritize safety and take it slow as you ascend the mountain
- Enjoy the spectacular view once you’ve reached the top!
- Once you are finished, relax at Maxwell Canyon and try the refreshing mountain spring water in the taps.