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bryce canyon to capital reef

Dalton, Georgia
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163 posts
6 reviews
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bryce canyon to capital reef

My husband and I will leave Bryce around 10 AM to stay 2 nights in Torrey. We would either like to have lunch or dinner at Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder(prefer lunch if possible by 2:30PM). We are not big hikers, but we will have a 4WD vehicle rented. What short hikes should we not miss and which roads off Hwy 12 should we not miss going on?

I was also wondering if taking Burr Trail Rd and Notom Bullfrog Rd into Torrey was worth doing or would this take way too long? Should we just continue up Hwy 12?

I would greatly appreciate any advise. Thank you.

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Scenic Byway Route 12
Canyons, Caverns & Caves, National Parks, Hiking Trails, Off-Road & ATV Trails
Calf Creek Falls Recreation Area
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Waterfalls, Bodies of Water
Peekaboo Gulch
Geologic Formations
Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
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19,903 posts
428 reviews
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1. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

Definitely hit Hell's Backbone Grill for lunch. There are a number of sidetrips and hikes you can do, but don't know that you really have time on your schedule. A trip down the Hole in the Rock Road would be interesting. There are a variety of hikes including Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch, plus others. But there's not a lot that you can do there in under 3-5 hours that would be really worthwhile. The two mentioned hikes are also a bit of a ways drive down Hole in the Rock.

Calf Creek Falls hike is right on Route 12 but, again, it will take you maybe 3-4 hours or more. Well worth it, but that might mean skipping lunch. FYI, do make a stop at Kiva Koffeehaus. In fact, get out of Bryce a bit earlier and have breakfast there. it's a better alternative to anything in Escalante.

Burr Trail to the Notom Bullfrog Road through Waterpocket Fold would be a good way to approach Torrey. Yes, it takes longer but pretty amazing route. It's paved much of the way to the county road then mixed bag up to US24. Lots of road improvement there in last year.

Do note that while you may have rented a 4WD, your rental terms likely still forbid you using it off pavement. Hole in the Rock Road gets pretty rough. And it isn't 4WD you need but higher clearance. Just keep that in mind. We usually have a Jeep Wrangler so it's no issue for us. We did, however, take our Audi Q5 on the Notom Bullfog Road last summer and it worked out OK but don't think I would do it again.

Have fun.

Oh, and if you could have lunch at Hell's Backbone and dinner at Cafe Diablo in the same day, that would be culinary heaven.

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Spooky Gulch
Spooky Gulch
92 Reviews
Escalante, UT
Dalton, Georgia
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163 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

Thanks for your advise. About the rental terms forbidding you going off pavement; that is why we are renting a 4WD in the first place. Doesn't the rental places figure you will be going on dirt roads in Utah? We would really like doing the Burr Trail-Notom Bullfrog Rd if it really great scenery we should not miss.

We are going back to Page after Capital Reef. Should we try coming back down Hwy 12 to Cannonville, then hit Kodachrome Basin and on down Cottonwood Canyon Rd until we run into Hwy 89?

I appreciate the help.

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Utah
Utah
United States
Torrey, Utah
Destination Expert
for Torrey, Capitol Reef National Park
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1,569 posts
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3. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

Ooh, Cottonwood Canyon, this should be fun. (Lots of heated discussion previously)

Last time I went down it, last fall, it was in great shape, stay off it if there has been any rain or there might be, don't start down it loo late to be out before dark. Your mileage may vary. Professional driver on a closed course. Previous performance is no guarantee of future returns. (sorry, touchy subject)

What kind of 4WD vehicle have you rented? A Jeep? a pickup truck? An AWD sedan? What time of year are you visiting?

You should definitely at least go down the Burr Trail out of Boulder to the end of Long Canyon - you'll know when you get there, massive view with the Henry Mountains on the horizon, 17 miles from Boulder I think? (Seems further) Typically the rest of the route can be navigated in any vehicle with a little clearance, 4WD drive may help in the sandy sections. Do not attempt the unpaved part of the Notom Road if it is wet, people get stuck all the time. Have you driven dirt roads before? (Dirt not gravel)

BTW - it's CapitOl Reef

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Dalton, Georgia
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163 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

Hertz is saying a Toyota Rav 4 or similar. Guess what-we are flying out early tomorrow morning for just 1 night at Bryce Canyon Lodge. Then we will get up Tuesday morning for sunrise and see a little more of Bryce before heading up Hwy 12 towards CapitOl Reef.

Any more suggestions? Highlights at Bryce, etc.

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Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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5. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

Regarding the vehicle, just know that if you go off pavement and damage the vehicle, you will be held responsible for any and all damage. It's the risk you take.

I wouldn't put a lot of faith in a RAV4, but that's just me.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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6. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

<< Doesn't the rental places figure you will be going on dirt roads in Utah?>>

You'd think so right? But no, they don't want to cover any damages.

If you want to try the Cottonwood Wash road stop in Cannonville at the visitor Center. They will have the best information about the current status of the road. It was rated 2 wd to Grosvenor arch two weeks ago, but the southern end is where the tricky part / full of clay is and you'll need to know if there is water damage etc.

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Santa Ana, CA
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3,321 posts
15 reviews
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7. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

I don''t think a RAV4 is four-wheel drive. Similar to that is the Honda CR-V. I like those two cars. I don't think the feature called "all wheel drive" helps with anything on one of those dirt roads.

You'll be safe on the Burr Trail in any vehicle. I once shared it in the rain with a bulldozer and a road grader.

I'll repeat what Killer Bob said about the Notom Road: don't be on it if it's wet. I've seen cars stuck in the mud.

Santa Ana, CA
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3,321 posts
15 reviews
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8. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

That was stupid of me. The person left home yesterday.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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9. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

Don't worry Danny. Other readers can benefit too. And the OP might even check their messages away from home

10. Re: bryce canyon to capital reef

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