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San Rafael Swell, Utah - Scenic Drives

Byways, Backways, Historic Routes,...

A network of dirt roads run throughout the Swell. A few of the more popular scenic drives are described below.

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12 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.

  • 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.

  • 10 hours to drive or 10 days to enjoy the Byway
  • 480 miles (772 km)

The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway delivers discovery and exploration at several sites filled with science and history. The two-state Byway combines opportunities to see dinosaur bones being excavated and prepared by paleontologists for museum display. Visit the museums along the Byway that showcase reconstructed skeletons and fleshed-out recreations of dinosaurs found in the area.

  • Maintained Dirt/Gravel
  • 4 hours
  • 80 mile roundtrip

  • Rough Dirt/Gravel
  • 3 hours
  • 38 mile roundtrip

The Green River Scenic Drive is a dirt road that follows the Green River for 9 miles through the southern end of Gray Canyon. The route has good scenery of the canyon walls and the river pushing through. The road is rough and bumpy so you'll need to drive slowly.

  • 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.

  • 1 hour
  • 48 miles (77 km)

The Huntington Canyon Scenic Byway is a desert oasis. Sprinkled with reservoirs and rivers, the pristine high mountain valleys boast spectacular views. The concentration of fresh, arid breezes brings a welcome sense of remoteness. While here you can't escape a keen sense of history. As the area's ma...

This scenic and varied road is well maintained. There are some very fine petroglyphs and a set of dinosaur tracks along this road.

  • Maintained Dirt/Gravel - side routes are rough and can require 4wd
  • 2 hours
  • 78 miles oneway

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San Rafael Swell, Utah - Scenic Drives

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Castle Country Castle Country Castle Country
Central UtahMountain peaks and sandy deserts make up the area of Castle County. In magical Nine Mile Canyon are Native American petroglyphs and other wonderous sights.
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San Rafael Country San Rafael Country San Rafael Country
South Central UtahAdventure is closer than you think at San Rafael Country, home of the San Rafael Swell. Activities like Hiking, Biking, OHVing, Rafting, Horseback riding and much more await you. The view of the "Little Grand Canyon" will leave you breathless and yearning to explore. With four State Parks, three Museums, two Golf Courses and a world-renown Dinosaur Quarry, San Rafael Country is your destination.
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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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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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