Capitol Reef Auto Tour Itinerary

2 Day 1 Night

This tour takes you on some of the most scenic roads in Utah throughout Capitol Reef National Park and on to All American Scenic Highway 12, where you will see beautiful colors of sandstone rocks and canyons. There are several overlook viewpoints for some great photos.

Day 1

Travel to Capitol Reef and check in to your accommodations.

More: Driving Directions:

Drive the scenic loop south from the Visitor Center.

The Scenic Drive is a 10 mi/16 km paved road with dirt spur roads into Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge that, weather permitting, are accessible to ordinary passenger vehicles. In every direction the views are fascinating. From the road you can see sheer sandstone cliffs, uniform layers of shale and rocks that have been lifted and folded and carved into shapes that stir the imagination. The Scenic Drive is not a loop, so you must return on the same road. Entrance fees of $5 per vehicle are charged for the Scenic Drive.

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Return up the Scenic Drive to the Visitor Center and then drive back to your accommodations.

Eat Dinner. Click here to see Restaurants in the area.

Day 2

View the rock art along Hwy 24

Take a walk along the "Petroglyph Pullout" on Utah Hwy 24, 1.5 mi/2.4 km miles east of the Visitor Center. Petroglyphs and pictographs, the so-called "rock art" of prehistoric peoples, have long held a special fascination for young and old alike. From the parking area, a short path leads to the base of the Wingate Sandstone cliff. Visible from this viewpoint are some of the most interesting petroglyph panels at Capitol Reef.

Drive All American Scenic Highway 12 toward Boulder

Drive up Boulder Mountain, where scenic viewpoints look down into the Waterpocket Fold section of Capitol Reef National Park. Continue the drive to the town of Boulder.

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Drive the Burr Trail

The Burr Trail road, originally a cattle trail blazed by stockman John Atlantic Burr, extends from the town of Boulder on Utah Hwy 12 to the Notom-Bullfrog Road. Much of the 36.5 mile road lies outside the boundary of Capitol Reef and traverses the Circle Cliffs, as well as spectacular canyon areas such as Long Canyon and The Gulch. The 5.3 mile stretch of road inside Capitol Reef includes a breathtaking set of switchbacks rising some 800 feet in only one-half mile. These switchbacks are not considered suitable for RVs or vehicles towing trailers.

From Boulder to the west boundary of Capitol Reef, the Burr Trail road is surfaced. Inside the park it remains a graded dirt road and is subject to change due to weather conditions. Visitors should inquire about road and weather conditions before traveling. We recommend that you drive to the end of the pavement and turn around and backtrack back to Boulder.

You can stay the night in Boulder or continue on to Escalante. There's a great restaurant right at the cross roads of the Burr Trail and Highway 12 that you might want to check out.

Drive home or continue on Highway 12.

Accommodations near Boulder

More: Highlights of Hwy 12:

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