The trail starts at the Fruita blacksmith shop, crosses Johnson Mesa, and climbs steeply to the overlook, about 1,000 feet above the Fremont River. The round-trip distance is 4.5 miles.
The Cohab Canyon trailhead is across the road from the Fruita Campground , 1.3 miles from the visitor center. The trail follows steep switchbacks during the first quarter mile, then more gentle grades to the top, 400 feet higher and one mile from the campground.
You can take a short trail to viewpoints or continue three-quarters of a mile down the other side of the ridge to Highway 24 . Another option is to turn right at the top on Frying Pan Trail to Cassidy Arch (3.5 miles one-way) and Grand Wash (4 miles one-way).
From the trailhead near the amphitheater at the Fruita Campground, 1.3 miles from the visitor center, the trail passes orchards along the Fremont River (elev. 5,350 feet), then begins the climb up sloping rock strata to a viewpoint on Miner's Mountain. Sweeping views take in Fruita, Boulder Mountain, and the reef. The round-trip distance of 2.5 miles takes about 90 minutes; the elevation gain is 770 feet.
Grand Wash Road is a left turn off the scenic drive, 3.6 miles from the visitor center. This side trip follows the twisting Grand Wash for one mile. At road's end, you can continue on foot 2.25 miles (one-way) through the canyon to its end at the Fremont River.
Cassidy Arch Trail begins near the end of Grand Wash Road. Energetic hikers will enjoy good views of Grand Wash, the great domes of Navajo sandstone, and the arch itself.
The 3.5-mile round-trip trail ascends the north wall of Grand Wash (Wingate and Kayenta Formations), then winds across slickrock of the Kayenta Formation to a vantage point close to the arch, also of Kayenta. Allow about three hours because the elevation gain is nearly 1,000 feet. The notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy may have traveled through Capitol Reef  and seen this arch. Frying Pan Trail branches off Cassidy Arch Trail at the one-mile mark, then wends its way across three miles of slickrock to Cohab Canyon.
Wagon drivers once used this route as a shortcut between Grover and Capitol Gorge. Look for the trailhead 0.7 mile south of Slickrock Divide, between Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge. The old trail crosses a wash to the west, then ascends steadily through piñon and juniper woodland on Miners Mountain.
After 1.5 miles, the trail leaves the wagon road and goes north one-half mile to a high knoll for the best views of the Capitol Reef area. The four-mile (round-trip) hike climbs 1,000 feet.
Follow the well-maintained dirt road to the parking area in Capitol Gorge to begin these hikes. The first mile downstream is the most scenic: Fremont petroglyphs (in poor condition) appear on the left after 0.1 mile; narrows of Capitol Gorge close in at 0.3 mile; a "pioneer register" on the left at 0.5 mile consists of names and dates of early travelers and ranchers scratched in the canyon wall; and natural water tanks on the left at 0.75 mile are typical of those in Waterpocket Fold. Hikers can continue another three miles downstream to Notom Road.
The Golden Throne Trail also begins at the end of the scenic drive. Instead of heading down Capitol Gorge from the parking area, turn left up this trail for dramatic views of the reef and surrounding area. Golden Throne is a massive monolith of yellow-hued Navajo sandstone capped by a thin layer of red Carmel Formation. The four-mile round-trip trail climbs 1,100 feet in a steady grade to a viewpoint near the base of Golden Throne; allow four hours.