"Waterpocket Fold Drive" Capitol Reef National Park Off The Beaten Path Tip by KimberlyAnn
Capitol Reef National Park Off The Beaten Path: 24 reviews and 47 photos
This is a 125 mile drive, so plan a day for this activity. You will begin this drive with the Notom-Bullfrog Road. This road intersects Utah Hwy 24 about 9.3 miles east of the visitor center. This dirt road runs along the eastern side of the Waterpocket Fold. This fold is a bending and folding of rock layers caused by pressure deep within the earth. The scenery here is wonderful, and there are also a number of hiking trails that may be accessed from this road. We saw near vertical cliffs, white domes made of Navajo Sandstone, and beautiful overlooks of mountains and multi colored sandstone cliffs. From the Notom-Bullfrog Road take the Burr Trail Road. This was originally a cattle trail route that will take you to the town of Boulder on Utah Hwy 12. Much of this leg of the loop lies outside the park. The Burr Trail Road takes you through the northern part of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Wow! Was this spectacular! The scenery is breath taking with huge towering red cliff walls on either side of us. These were composed of gigantic, flat faced surfaces with sharp edges. Some of the cliffs had beautiful, multi-colored ribbon like stripes cascading down their faces. In Boulder stop and visit the Anasazi State Park where you will enjoy an interesting museum. The Anasazi were some of the ancestral Puebloan people who lived in the area in early times. Behind the museum you will see excavations of rooms and pit structures. The Anasazi abandoned the area around 1175 A.D. From Boulder take Highway 12 through the Dixie National Forest to the west side of Capitol Reef. Here we passed by unbelievably huge stands of aspen trees ranging far back and over the rolling hills. This would be a stunning view in the fall when the trees are dressed in their golden finery. The Burr Trail road and hwy 12 are paved. Inside the park the route is a graded dirt road, which can be affected by weather conditions. For this reason you should inquire about road and weather conditions before taking this drive.
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