Cathedral Valley is the name of the wild, northern section of Capitol Reef National Park. It is a vast plateau that blends the edge of Fishlake National Forest into Utah’s Southern Desert. The area can be accessed in all seasons by unpaved, dirt roads. You can enter the valley from the main road in Capitol Reef or from Thousand Lakes Mountain. Although it can be a little adventurous getting into Cathedral Valley, we at the Lodge agree it is a remarkable journey.
Cathedral Valley has aspects that appeal to all personalities. For those that like to experience solitude, you have the chance to go days without seeing another person or vehicle. Photographers and artists can attempt to capture the stark beauty of the desert. Hikers, equestrians, rock climbers, and all those that love nature can explore the rising monoliths towers that gave the valley its name.
We at The Lodge at Red River Ranch suggest that you see some of Cathedral Valley on your trip to Capitol Reef. You’ll get an experience that most park tourists miss. Try the Cathedral Valley Loop Tour. It connects the Upper and Lower Valleys together, taking you through 60 miles of the most striking desert scenery to be found. A high-clearance two-wheel drive vehicle should be adequate for the trip. Don’t miss hiking to the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon rock formations. These are the icons of Cathedral Valley.
Cathedral Valley is one of our favorite secluded places to visit. You can work the Loop Tour into our Best Grand Circle Tour, or on a trip to Goblin Valley, Arches, Canyonlands, or even Bryce Canyon National Parks. If you need more information or want help planning your trip into Cathedral Valley, ask us at the front desk.