The Burr Trail – Outsiders Part 5

As we said in our last post, we left Coral Pink Sands State Park for Boulder and the Burr Trail. Today we travel the trail through Long Canyon, Capital Reef National Park, to Bullfrog on Lake Powell. It is a gorgeous seventy-one miles through southern Utah and bares repeating on another adventure.

Long Canyon

The problem with being on a road trip, one thousand miles from home, and you have never visited the area before, well… you just don’t know what is most enjoyable. So it was with our drive down the Burr Trail. Everything is beautiful. Where to stop and spend a moment or five taking photos and enjoying the place. That was a challenge.

Should we travel south to Utah next year, I think we will be dedicating a couple of days to this canyon alone.

East to Capital Reef

Emerging from Long Canyon you are presented with an awesome panorama east across the plateau. Like most of the locations along this road, it is hard to do it justice with photographs. Let’s just say that this view down the ravine out towards Capital Reef is one of my favorites.

And then, into Capital Reef itself. You will know when your reach the boundary because the pavement ends.


I had read a fair bit about this road before leaving Kanab. All of the articles and videos talked about the infamous Burr Trail Switchbacks. They made comments about how rough the road is, the need for high clearance vehicles. They made it sound… exciting.

This is why I found it a bit of an anti-climax when we finally got there. Sure, in wet weather, put some ice on the road – it would quickly become a mess. But most of the time, not a problem provided you aren’t driving a big bus. The switchbacks are steep, and they are the classic definition of a hairpin turn. Each and every one of them.

Waterpocket Fold South to Bullfrog

Descending the eight hundred feet of the switchbacks puts you in what I think is called Waterpocket fold. Look north or south and you will see the ridge that runs for miles that makes the reef in Capital Reef. In retrospect, I should have turned around and returned to Long Canyon because the rest of the drive to Bullfrog was nowhere near as awesome.

Without a clear destination, it is just another road through the desert at this point.

When we reached SR276 near Bullfrog, we turned north and positioned ourselves to spend a day exploring the northern end of Capital Reef National Park.

On the Map

This map shows the locations mentioned in this post. Click on a thumbnail to open the image in the lightbox.

At this time, these images will not display any metadata like the ones in the post above. Also, these images will be combined in the lightbox slideshow when you open it. (Just so you know)

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