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Capitol Reef National Park, Utah - Scenic Drives

Byways, Backways, Historic Routes,...

The best scenery in the park is to be found along the park's main scenic drive and along Hwy 24 through the reef. These drives are described in the Exploring the Park section.

Listed below are some other good scenic drives in the surrounding area.

Search Capitol Reef National Park Scenic Drives

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13 scenic drive Results

  • 59 mile loop

The Cathedral Valley District of Capitol Reef National Park is open all year. Vehicles with high ground clearance, even those without four wheel drive, can usually negotiate the roads without difficulty.

  • about four hours
  • 164 miles (263 km)

Completed in 1976 and dubbed the "Bicentennial Highway," this road is the gateway to Natural Bridges National Monument, where erosion has created the world's largest display of natural bridges, formed out of 225 million-year-old Cedar Mesa sandstone.

  • 3 hours to drive the byway.
  • 68 miles (109 km)

Bull Creek Pass National Back Country Byway winds for 68 miles through Utah's Henry Mountains. The view from the route includes colorful canyons, steep cliffs, vast badlands, and rugged alpine mountains.The byway climbs nearly a mile as it loops through this colorful, vibrant mountain range set betw...

  • Paved and Dirt/Gravel
  • 4 - 5 hours
  • 70 miles

The Burr Trail is a great scenic backway. It starts in the town of Boulder, crosses through the northesternmost portion of the Grand Staircase and then climbs up and over the waterpocket fold of Capitol Reef. Past the waterpocket fold it joins Notum Road.

  • 66 miles (106 km)

Highway 24 is the only route through the heart of Capitol Reef National Park, and leads to Fishlake National Forest, the sprawling San Rafael Swell and the colorful Maze District of Canyonlands National Park.

  • Rough Dirt/Gravel
  • 6 - 8 hours
  • 56 miles oneway

Cathedral Valley Road Cathedral Valley Scenic Backway offers spectacular views of the little-traveled northern section of Capitol Reef National Park. The dirt road goes past Cathedral Valley, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Moon, and Cainville Wash.

  • Allow at least 45 minutes to tour this byway.
  • 13 miles (20 km)

The hallmark of Fishlake Scenic Byway is the lake itself. The largest natural mountain lake in Utah, Fish Lake is surrounded by lightly wooded hills and provides recreational activities and a beautiful destination in itself. And although the area is remote, comfortable accommodations await you here....

  • Rough Dirt/Gravel
  • 1 - 2 hours
  • 30 miles oneway

Hell's Backbone starts from Hwy. 12 just south of Boulder and climbs up and around Box Death Hollow Wilderness. It features a dramatic stretch of road along a narrow ridge with sheer drops on both sides and crosses wonderful narrow bridge. The route has some great views out over the range as it twists through pine, spruce and fir forests.

  • Paved
  • 4 hours
  • 122 miles oneway

Highway 12 is one of the most spectacular scenic byways in the country. It begins at Hwy 24 near Torrey and runs south and west for 122 miles to Hwy. 89 south of Panguitch.

  • Paved
  • 1 - 2 hours
  • 63 miles oneway

The scenic beauty of Hwy. 24 is not confined to the portion that passes through the park. Starting in Loa it passes through rolling farmland before passing through Torrey and then entering the park. East of the park the highway passes through stark and occasionally striking red rock scenery before opening into rangeland towards Hanksville. .

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Capitol Reef National Park, Utah - Scenic Drives

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Capitol Reef Country Capitol Reef Country Capitol Reef Country
Central UtahThis area of southern Utah has a diversity of landscape like no other area in the state - red rock formations and canyons, pristine meadows, alpine forests, as well as lush green valleys. That landscape makes Capitol Reef Country perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, ATV tours, hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, or just a quiet picnic!
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Bryce Canyon Country Bryce Canyon Country Bryce Canyon Country
Southern UtahBryce Canyon Country is home to several scenically diverse state/national parks. Visitors will want to spend at least a few days exploring this spectacular part of Utah.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.
Utah - Life Elevated Utah - Life Elevated Utah - Life Elevated
StatewideWith five national parks and more than 40 state parks, Utah offers a wealth of outdoor activities for families & adventurers alike. Order your free Travel Guide today.
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