Home » 2007 Cross Country Road Trip

Fremont River Waterfall - Capitol Reef National Park, UT

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 4:00am by Lolo
71 miles and 1.5 hours from our last stop


Tom getting waterfall "big air"Tom getting waterfall "big air"Not wanting to face another long driving day without some fun, we left I-70 after the town of Green River and took the more scenic Highway 24 through Capitol Reef National Park. It was a bit longer and slower than staying on the highway, but well worth it. I also had just the right destination in mind—the Fremont River Waterfall, which we had discovered on our visit here in 2005.

Now that we were veterans, we found the very easy-to-miss parking lot for the falls and climbed through the bushes down to its base. We were surprised to find that we were all alone, except for a heap of clothing lying on the beach. I kind of wondered where the owner was and whether they were coming back. On our past visits, there had been quite a crowd splashing around in the pool beneath the falls or clambering up the slippery rocks beside it to jump into its thunderous spray. Now here we were on a hot summer afternoon with the place to ourselves.

I ventured into the pool first and walked in waist-deep water towards the falls. As I got closer to it, I could feel it sort of pulling me—much more powerful than I had remembered it being the last time I swam here. Meanwhile the boys had entered the water and were heading towards the falls. I warned them to be careful as it seemed to be a bit stronger this year. With the enthusiasm and invincibility of youth they grabbed a branch and said they would use that to pull each other out if necessary. I really didn’t think there was any danger. After all, we had swum right under the falls many times in the past with no problem.

Mom and Dad by waterfall - TJGMom and Dad by waterfall - TJGTommy held on to one end of the branch on the shore while Andrew headed towards the falls holding onto the other end. The next thing I knew, Tommy was standing their dumbfounded as his branch no longer had anyone on the other end. I quickly looked towards the falls and saw an obviously distressed Andrew with a look of sheer terror on his face struggling to get out from under the falls which kept pulling him down. Tommy kept reaching the branch towards him, but Andrew was too busy trying to swim out of the current to try and grab it. Meanwhile, Herb, not realizing how serious the situation was, continued videoing what he thought was just a bit of family fun. So we actually do have this moment of family idiocy captured on film. Before we had a chance to do anything, Andrew managed to get out from under the falls on his own. He tried to laugh it off at first as no big deal—I think he felt a bit foolish, as did we for letting him in there in the first place. However, later that evening when reviewing the film, he admitted to just how frightening it really was. Hopefully a lesson was learned by all of us.


Boys after swim under waterfallBoys after swim under waterfall6.9 miles east of the Capitol Reef Visitor Center on Route 24 is a beautiful 20-foot waterfall where you’re bound to find people frolicking and cooling off from the hot desert sun.

There is a small parking lot on the north side of the highway. From there a sandy path leads down to a pool at the base of the waterfall. Relax on the shore and watch as the river cascades over the red sandstone. If you do decide to take a swim, do so with caution as the undertow can be very strong and quite dangerous.

Krissi on January 14, 2011

I visited this waterfall a few times growing up, because my best friend had a summer home in Teasdale. We would spend all afternoon in the river and catching little fish. It was a blast and I LOVED it!!

Herb on January 15, 2011

Hi Krissi
You're right about this being a great spot. We first found it by accident during our 2005 trip to Capitol Reef and had to visit it again for some more fun. It's always great to find water in the desert to help cool off.

carmen on February 3, 2011

malgré plusieurs voyages aux usa, ainsi qu'à Capitol Reff, nous ne connaissions pas cette cascade. Nous devons retourner en septembre 2011 pour nos vacances aux usa, et bien évidemment, nous irons faire connaissance à la fremont river en toute sécurité !!

Fremont River Waterfall - Capitol Reef National Park location map in "high definition"

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