Capitol Reef National Park is a place of spectacular beauty; it has so many areas of special, natural wonder. Unfortunately, very few people get to visit these special places. In an effort to make these hidden treasures known to the public, we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have created this blog series to highlight the best-unknown places of Capitol Reef. Watch for new “Special Places” posts.
This post focuses on the Burr Trail. The Burr Trail is a spectacular scenic backroad that connects Capitol Reef’s Waterpocket Fold with the alpine town of Boulder, Utah. (It also connects, circuitously, to Lake Powell.) The trail runs between the Henry Mountain Range and the canyons of the Fold, climbing steeply in some places to provide amazing vistas. The Burr Trail was originally the cattle path of John Burr. The early settlers and prospectors of the area used it until it became a proper road. Today Capitol Reef National Park and the Bureau of Land Management maintain the road for our enjoyment.
The road is unpaved in most sections. Most cars are capable of driving the trail, but some people rent Jeeps for the trip. To get to the trail, you must drive through the main section of Capitol Reef National Park and turn south at the small town of Notom. Continue south for about 20 miles. The turn off is clearly marked. The trail itself is 68-miles long.
Alternately, you can begin the trip in Boulder, near the famous Hell’s Backbone Café.
Driving the Burr Trail is, in and of itself, an awesome adventure, but if you have the time, we would strongly encourage you to get out and hike some of the canyons that you will drive past. Take the time to explore this amazing, special place.