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“Beautiful scenery” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cathedral Valley

Cathedral Valley
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
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Type: Valleys, Outdoors
Activities: Four-wheeling, Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: Scenic area accessible by dirt road vehicles or hikers.
Torrey, Utah
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

We took a group of family members there and everyone was impressed with the beautiful formations.

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31 reviews from our community

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English first
Las Vegas, Nevada
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
“Go with God...Even if you are a non-believer”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

The Cathedral Valley Loop is my favorite desert adventure on four wheels by a mile. By 60 miles to be exact!

First of all there is the solitude; on my first trip here I encountered only two other vehicles; and they were a party of students from Brigham Young traveling together; and no one at all on my second trip!

Secondly there is the unspoiled, unfenced magnificence of the overall scenery and the grandeur of those lonely monoliths rising from the desert floor. If you are a photographer, they make you want to linger to catch them in every kind of light.

Thirdly there is the element of risk too. I travel on my own, so if I or my vehicle encountered a problem, help is a long way and a long time away. I go well prepared, but you can’t cover everything, particularly the weather.
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On our first trip (with my wife) we started out early morning under clear blue skies with no rain or storms in the forecast and ended up having to cross six separate flash flood channels, each one deeper and faster than the last. The last one actually held us up for over an hour until it was safe to cross (see my pictures - I will add them later, didn't like the way TA was going to crop them)

Thunder storms in deserts like this are usually local events, as they were in this case – not a single drop of rain actually fell on our car the whole day. That tornado nearly got us though!

It’s not just the flash floods you have to be aware of, most of the road is very sandy and in some places rutted, and when it gets wet it turns into a slimy, sticky, clinging mess that even a 4x4 with off road tires has trouble getting traction. I spent a fortune in quarters getting most of it off the Grand Cherokee when I got back to Torrey. I sold it two years later and there were still signs of it under the hood!

My recent trip (alone this time) in my FJ Cruiser was uneventful, I chose to go round counter clockwise this time and exit up onto I 70. This suited my trip plan, but the favorite way is to start at the river ford and go clockwise.

Go for it, but be prepared to be stuck overnight if the weather turns wet, you will remember this “journey of a lifetime” for a lifetime

.I have plans to go again and spend more time on my photography; dawn shots – the moon behind the monoliths - time exposures etc. etc.

Visited July 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“for the more seasoned traveler with high clearance 4 wheel drive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

just to be on the safe side you should have high clearance 4 wheel drive for this trip. There are local guides if you don't have this sort of transportation. Truly out in the middle of no where on unimproved roads. Beautiful desert.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toquerville UT
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“A Spectacular Backcountry Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

After being weathered out on 3 previous tries, we finally got to drive Cathedral Valley. This is one of the most fun drives we've done since moving to Utah. You will see simply amazing colors, rock formations and even a historic cabin. Bring your camera!!

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Island, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Cathedral Valley Loop”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

An incredible 60 mile loop (one day) drive through amazing scenery. Best part of the trip.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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