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Drive the Cathedral Valley Loop

Wayne County, Utah

Details

Distance

60 miles

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Holly Mandarich

60 miles of high clearance dirt roads for your exploring in the most underrated of Utah's National Parks.

These set of roads are classified as 4x4 high clearance vehical roads. Not to mention this part of the park is remote and only about 10% of visitors access it.

To get to Cathedral Valley, we were recommended to drive a “loop” by the park ranger, that entailed about 60 miles of high clearance dirt roads. You can pick up a map of this specific area at the ranger station. The start of the journey was on Hartnet Rd, where we quickly had to ford a river. It really was a piece of cake, you just have to have a high clearance vehical. A few miles past the river we found ourselves in the Bentonite Hills, these hills were very mars like bleeding with color. There are no hiking trails accessed from the hills, but you sure will want to stop and explore awhile. 

You can also access a hike to the Lower Cathedral Valley Overlook at mile 17 on this loop (coming from the start of Hartnet Rd.) 

After you get your fill at the overlook, be sure to stop at the Upper South Desert Overlook and Upper Cathedral Valley Overlook for some incredible views, both which are well marked on the road!

You’ll come to a point the road crosses with Cathedral Rd, you’ll take this right hand turn and descend down into the valley on Cathedral Rd. From here you have about 30 miles till you’re back on pavement.

You’ll then pass signs for Baker Ranch Rd and Gypsum Sinkhole, all little things worth exploring. 

Further on your way down the road you’ll arrive at the temple of the sun and moon - which features incredible monoliths!

This road has many hidden features not listed here, take the time to explore the loop and all it’s wonders you wont be disappointed!

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Nearby

Camp and see the Temple of the Sun in Cathedral Valley

Hike Lower Cathedral Valley Overlook

Explore the Temple of the Sun & Moon and Glass Mountain

Capitol Reef's Sulphur Creek Route

Hike the Chimney Rock Loop, Capitol Reef NP

Sunset Point, Capitol Reef NP