Sharing a trailhead with the Hickman Bridge Trail, the Navajo Knobs Trail is one of the highlights of the Fruita area of Capital Reef. The full trail is rated strenuous, but the 1,600 feet of climbing over 9 miles is worth it for the amazing 360-degree view from the top. The views on the way aren't too bad either, and a hike just to the Rim Overlook is great as well.
Starting along the Fremont River, the trail quickly climbs up and over a ridge, down into a canyon, and up the other side. The trail then splits off from the Hickman Bridge Trail and begins a non-stop climb. Along the way, great views of Pectol's Pyramid are on the left. The trail follows the contours of the mountain, so it wanders into several drainages and out around each shoulder. Each time the trail rounds another shoulder, the view is higher and farther. Much of the trail is over slickrock, so following the cairns is critical to stay on the trail. At the Rim Overlook the view is 180-degrees and extends for miles on a clear day. Measurements have indicated this area of the country has some of the clearest air in the nation, with visibility measured up to 160 miles.
From the Rim Overlook it is another 2.2 miles and 500 feet of climbing to reach the Navajo Knobs, where it is possible to scramble to the peak for a 360-degree view.