Cathedral Valley Trail is a 64.6 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Torrey, Utah that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November.

DISTANCE
64.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,792 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

off road driving

river

views

muddy

no dogs

3 days ago

Started at the creek crossing in a Nissan Pathfinder 4 wd, but didn't need 4 wd. First half is rougher than the second half, which is pretty smooth and a fairly good clip can be maintained. Clear skies, and only saw one other vehicle (Subaru Wagon) on the back half. Roughest section is about a mile or two each direction from the Cathedral Valley Campground.

off road driving
3 days ago

Drove this in early November. I came in from the north along BLM route 920/1 from I-70 and camped on BLM land just east of Temple of The Sun. Vehicle was Jeep Grand Cherokee with 33" BFG KO2 and 2" lift.

Most of the route is pretty easy and could be complete with a stock GC with good tires. There were some stretches of the road that turned into 8" deep gravel mud trenches from melting snow coming off the mountains. The northern half of the loop coming in from Caineville wash was the easiest part. I saw a couple stock Subaru Outbacks in that area that seemed fine. The southern part of the loop from the Fremont river to the campground switchbacks was sprinkled with more challenging stuff.

There are numerous hiking trails along the way that allow you to explore mover of the South Desert and Cathedral Valley. Enough to help break up the drive and allow you to stretch your legs. If you are looking for more of a challenging drive there are a bunch of old mining/BLM routes along the way to push the limits of your vehicle.

off road driving
1 month ago

Wow. Just wow.

off road driving
4 months ago

This drive is AMAZING! It is unforgettable and I would highly recommend it!

To start get the map for “Cathedral Loop” at Capital Reef’s visitor center. It is a guide for this entire drive and it explains the geology, ecology and history you will want to have to get the most from the trip.

We went in an unmodified Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 and made the whole trip fine in 4 wheel drive. The mucky parts were no issue as long as you don’t stop in them. There were very few mucky parts actually but do check the weather before heading in and do start with the drive through the river because if you can’t make that part you don’t want to leave it for the end and have to turn around and go back 64 miles!!!

What you see in the park does not even compare to what you will see in this loop. We saw 4 vehicles the whole day! We started at 9am at the Visitors Center to zero our trip counter and followed our guide book. We finished at 5:12 PM. Storms are typical in the afternoon so again check that out and carry extra water and food.

Again this trip is totally worth it. I worry now that I will never top this drive! It is that good!

hiking
4 months ago

If you don't mind some bumpy, dusty, remote dirt roads and you have a high clearance vehicle this is a good alternative to a hike, And when you get to the Cathedral Valley, i think that you'll be amazed by the formations.

off road driving
7 months ago

I've driven this route over 200 times (tour guide) and still enjoy it. It is the premier introduction to the northern part of Capitol Reef National Park. You should always start by crossing the Fremont River Ford in case the weather changes during the day and the river is in flood when you reach it. If it has been wet or looks like there is rain coming do not attempt this route, the bentonite clay becomes very slippery and the lower areas tend to flood. By far the best way to see this scenery is with a guide, you don't have to worry about getting lost or stuck, your vehicle being damaged etc. And of course the guide will point out all the features you might otherwise miss and tell the history of the area. Along the route you will see Bentonite Hills, Jailhouse Rock, Upper South Desert Overlook, Cathedral Valley Overlook, Cathedral Valley, Wall of Jericho, volcanic dykes, Gypsum Sinkhole, Layer Cake, Temples of the Sun and Moon, Glass Mountain, Caineville Wash and Mesa and much much more.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Beautiful drive. Easy road if it is dry, but be careful, the clay can get very slick when wet. Bring a lunch and eat at the overlook before dropping into the canyon.

Friday, October 20, 2017

OMG SOOOOOOO OOOOOOO LONG NEVER ENDED

off road driving
Sunday, September 27, 2015

We would have to rate this drive as a WOW... because that is what we kept saying. Best to have a high clearance vehicle and you do have to drive across a small river but getting across it was pretty easy. Expect to spend at least 6 hours and checkout each spur and hikes. We purchase a map and guide at the Capitol Reef visitor center for $2. Bring lots of water and something to eat and room on your camera to take many pictures.

off road driving
Friday, March 01, 2013

This is pretty much an all day trip. We forded the Fremont river, and drove thru some awsome scenery to get to Cathedral Valley. We returned on the Cainville wash road. This is one of the best drives I've been on.

nature trips
Thursday, April 12, 2012

Most wonderful and scenic loop for high clearance vehicles or bikes. East of Capitol Reef NP.

off road driving
6 months ago

6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

off road driving
Friday, April 14, 2017

camping
Monday, February 27, 2017