Burr Trail
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Old cattle trail which is accessible by 4WD vehicles.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles247 reviews
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204
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6
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0

Kirsten A
Mount Pleasant, UT39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Family
We borrowed a large van so we could bring a lot of people with us, and we specifically visited slot Canyon, otherwise known as the singing Canyon. The road to it with well maintained and It was a short easy walk to reach the canyon. There were holes in the rock the you could climb in-and-out of which was a real joy for the children, and the echo when you got inside was perfect for yelling and singing! Overall It was great for a day trip in Utah!
Written July 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary S
Kansas City, MO112 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
I would suggest starting at Boulder, Utah and drive to Notom Road, then turn around and backtrack. Notom road was not as scenic as the rest of the area, IMO. and it was pretty much a washboard the entire non-paved part. I'd suggest a high clearance two wheel vehicle or 4-wheel. It was one of our favorite days of the 6 we were in Utah. The burr trail was pretty smooth. We were fortunate enough to have a group singing in the back of the Singing Canyon slot when we were there.
Written June 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

the8js
Salt Lake City, UT58 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
My husband and I have heard about Burr Trail for years, so we decided to finally see it. We were told our car would make the loop OK if we took it slow. The first part of the drive was spectacular but after the steep switchbacks, there was absolutely nothing to see for the long, slow, bumpy ride back to town. I was miserably uncomfortable for what seemed hours, as I needed a restroom. Nowhere to pull off the dirt road with not a bush or rock in sight. Recommend not continuing on after the switchbacks - turn around.
Written July 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

garbagecollector
Saint Cloud, FL1,119 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
We drove from Boulder, Utah several miles on the Burr Trail south towards Capitol Reef. We did not have a vehicle for driving the Burr Trail inside of Capitol Reef, but we thoroughly enjoyed the beauty and remoteness of the Burr Trail on the way there.

If you were not able to do the famous slot canyon hikes in other parts of the Grand Staircase that require driving 20 miles or more on a gravel/dirt rough road, I have a recommendation. Singing Canyon is a short, but very sweet and stunning slot (or narrow) canyon along the Burr Trail. It isn't marked with any signage, but if you drive 8-10 miles of the Burr Trail from Boulder, you need to see it. There were 2 couples in our party, and after we saw Singing Canyon we all agreed it was a highlight of our vacation in Utah and Colorado.
Written August 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

prestoninaj
378 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
We were national park road tripping and did not know about this loop. Because of the previous night's snowstorm, we couldn't go off pavement, but what we did experience was breathtaking. Singing canyon was especially enjoyable. We hope to come back in another season and do the full loop.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan H
Tacoma, WA3,879 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
We drove a portion of the Burr road. We started at Notom Bullfrog Road located off highway 24 near the east entrance to Capitol Reef National Park. We took this road until it intersected Burr Road at which point we headed to Boulder. The view along the way is beautiful and ever changing. There is one section of the dirt part of the road (a lot of this drive is paved) with some crazy switch backs up the hillside. We easily managed them in our pick up; although a bit unnerving looking down). We have 4 wheel drive, but didn’t need it at all. This is a long drive. So, pack a lunch and take your time on this drive.
Written November 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alaskaseeker
Bloomfield, New Jersey441 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Couples
THE BURR TRAIL (UTAH’S HIDDEN BYWAYS I)

When one thinks of the red rock country of Utah, the National Parks, such as Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Arches come to mind. Utah has much more to offer, such as the hidden gem called the BURR TRAIL (State Route 1688). The beauty of this ‘trail’ is that it is not a trail at all, but a road leading to some of the grandest scenery in Utah.
This road can be divided into two sections. The first section, which I will describe below, can be driven in any car. Part two will require a high clearance vehicle and experience driving on unpaved, dirt/gravel tracks without services. In both cases, I would recommend taking extra water and breakdown equipment in the event of any emergency. I would also like to point out that cell phones, as well as other electronic communication devices, DO NOT function in this area! In addition, I would not recommend the unpaved section to anyone after a rain of any significance (check locally).
There are two commonly used entrances to the Burr trail. I will use the one starting in Boulder, Utah. Boulder, Utah did not have a road connection to the rest of the state’s road system until the 1940’s.
If you are in Bryce Canyon National Park and have an extra day, this is your trip. Drive to UTAH ROUTE 12 and head north toward Torrey, Utah. After about 4-5 miles, you will pass a small portion of Bryce Canyon National Park called the “Mossy Cave Trail” (on your right), which is less traveled and leads to red rock and waterfalls.
From this point to the town of Escalante, Utah is about 25 miles. The road is good, and you pass through some farming/ranch country. Escalante, Utah has the BLM, NPS, USFS Interagency Visitors Center/Ranger Station for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (on right), which is a full facility and a source of information. The paved section of the Burr Trail lies within the jurisdiction of this National Monument, so I would suggest obtaining a map and asking about road conditions.
Leaving the visitors center and continuing north on Utah 12, you will see why Boulder, Utah was so isolated for so long. The road remains excellent, but you are now traveling through the NORTH ESCALANTE CANYON/ GULCH WILDERNESS AREA. At this point, the road goes through a series of switchbacks and your speed will drop to about 25 MPH. Take some of the designated turnoffs and enjoy the stark scenery of this section, which is a marvel of road construction.
Twenty-Five miles north of the town of Escalante, Utah is the town of Boulder, Utah, the start of the Burr Trail. The small sign for the Burr trail will be on your right as you travel north on Utah 12. About 0.5 miles after you make your right turn, you will pass the Boulder Mesa Restaurant. I would suggest a stop here, either on the way in or out. The Buffalo Burgers are excellent, prepared on an outside grill. In additional, their pies are heavenly. The also have the last facilities (i.e. toilets) for the next few hours (unless trees and rocks are your thing).
As you continue along the Burr trail (paved), you will pass ranchland and the scenery will become more desert-like and interesting. You will finally make a long, right handed switchback and descend into the jewel of the Burr Trail, LONG CANYON. Long Canyon is a beautiful red rock canyon, with walls streaked with desert varnish, coves, some arches, and breathtaking vistas that is about six miles long. You will also notice something strange. THERE ARE LITTLE TO NO PEOPLE HERE!!! I, as an amateur photographer, have found that morning lighting is best (i.e. after about 10:30AM). In addition, the afternoon may bring localized thunderstorms, especially during the summer. Since there are no true pullouts, I would also recommend pulling you vehicle slightly off the road in the unlikely event that a vehicle needs to pass. STOP OFTEN AND ENJOY.
Continuing along will eventually take you out of Long Canyon and into an area of red rock and dome vistas. This area, located on the grey strata of rock, is fossil country (DO NOT REMOVE ANY FOSSILS! IT IS AGAINST THE LAW). This area is also a photographer’s paradise. Be sure to get out of your vehicle and wander around Long Canyon and the rest of the Burr trail. There is much to see within walking distance from the road, as well as experience.
The paved road ends at a small parking area with a cattle guard and open gate across the road. This is the dividing line (i.e. border) between the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park (unpaved). This is also the point where you will decide whether to double back to Boulder, Utah or continue on the UNPAVED Burr trail down into the Waterpocket Fold and up to Utah Route 24 east of Capitol Reef National Park. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS IF THE ROAD IS WET!!!! If you have the proper vehicle, the time, a map, and the proper provisions; continue a few miles ahead to a group of sharp switchbacks (LOW GEAR HERE). You will pass an arch on the skyline to your left before the switchbacks, as well as side roads to some viewpoints. Below the switchbacks, the road reaches a split. If you go to the right, you will end up at Lake Powell.
Your road is to the left (state route 1670), paralleling the Waterpocket fold in Capitol Reef National Park and heading north to Utah Route 24 (about two hours).
I wish you all a safe and enjoyable journey.
ALASKASEEKER
Written January 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nancygmurphy
Hockessin, DE2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
After reading a great review of the Burr Trail in Trip Advisor, we decided to give it a try. The scenery was absolutely fabulous. We were staying in Torrey, UT so we started out by driving east on Rt. 24 through Capitol Reef Nat. Park, then south on Notom-Bullfrog Road which took us back into the park and through Waterpocket Fold. Then west on Burr Trail Road, a short hike on The Gulch trail, a late lunch at Burr Trail Grill and returned to Torrey on Rt. 12. It was a slow paced all day trip with lots of stops to photograph and enjoy the rock formations that vary in color from rusty red to white, gray and sage. All gravel roads were in good condition. If you're in the area and enjoy peace and quiet and the beauty of nature, by all means travel all or part of this route, especially Burr Trail Road and Rt. 12. I've been to all 50 states and Rt. 12 is my hands-down favorite route in the entire country.
Written October 4, 2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LPWilliams
London, UK1,042 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2011 • Solo
Why drive north to Torrey/Capitol Reef NP on Highway 12 when you can instead skirt the NP via the magnificent Burr Trail ?

Had I not stopped just before Boulder for a cup of coffee, which is where the signposted turnoff is, and then re-read my tour book I would have missed this extremely memorable journey

I drove along if all the way east before it turns south, then went north to Notom on what is called 'The Bullfrog Road', on my way towards Capitol Reef NP (from Bryce Canyon NP) during my month-long tour of the Utah/Arizona natural attractions last year.

THIS IS, IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, A MUST DO !!!!!

Look on a map (I'll add hopefully helpful photos + see later in my review) and you'll see the journey doesn't add that much distance BUT it will take you a LOT longer to drive due to the irregular route, rough/sandy terrain and photo stops - allow 5hrs.

I have compiled an extensive Trip Advisor 'Trip List' for my tour, which includes 'extra' attractions and also has links to the other individual TA reviews I've contributed for the accommodation/attractions I visited - it has been made a Trip Advisor 'Itinerary'; I hope it is of interest and use to you - I plan to add visitor information sections/viewable media sections..... The most direct way to access it is by clicking my review-count below my profile name to the left of this review text. Alternatively, see after my review below the dashed line...

The attractions of driving this 'trail', for even the 'shortened' section I did, are :

1. The scenery (especially the colours) are incredible.
2. You will see parts of Capitol Reef NP otherwise invisible when visiting there.
3. You will experience a superb switchback descent in Burr Canyon before turning north to skirt the eastern side of Capitol Reef NP.
4. Once back on the highway you can then go to Torrey westbound, meaning you can view/visit Capitol Reef NP as you pass right by it !

I had a normal 'compact' low-clearance 2WD hire car and experienced no problems driving the non-paved section (May 2011) - it does need a little care occasionally but as you should be driving slowly anyway, to experience the non-stop scenic views, any 'bumps' can be detected beforehand and avoided as required. If wet I doubt the non-paved section would be 2WD accessible as it would be liquid mud

If you're in any doubt then either abort your journey, swallow your pride and turn around (you'll still have had some great views and will get them again going back !), or proceed VERY carefully and/or try and get advice from anyone you meet who is coming from the other direction.

Please refer to the official websites I give reference to in the section of my Trip List covering the trail (one of which may be available on this webpage in the meantime after my request to add it, it includes a downloadable map); I would be slightly wary of some people who can (in my opinion) be a bit 'gung-ho' about the prospects of a viable drive. It is you that are doing the journey and this area NOT a place to get stuck or suffer vehicle problems...

I've hopefully been realistic, but not put you off - so :

The trail is best driven starting at Boulder as the other way around you'll be going up the switchback cliff, which is less enjoyable + all the good views are seen looking east. Also, remember that, as hinted at already, once you leave Boulder there is no civilisation AT ALL until you get back onto the paved section just south of Notom before reaching Highway 24 to the east of Capitol Reef NP. Had I known beforehand I would have made use of the comprehensive information/map provided on the NPS website about the trail I referred to earlier.

On the initial eastern leg there was a small 'information section' comprising 2 x large notice boards on the northern side of the road. I'm not exactly sure how far along they were, but it was before the trail went significantly eastward - keep your eyes peeled for them or look at the photos of them I took which will hopefully get added to my review....

I could blather on with a description and cover the highlights in-depth, but that website has an excellent mile-by-mile 'hitlist' which is far better than anything I could write - so why bother ?

Suffice to say that the paved sections are fuss-free, the sandy portions occasionally tricky (but in no way insurmountable), the views consistently excellent, the drive through 'Long Canyon' will be exhilarating (I'll add 'episodic' video segments I took on my camcorder whilst I drove along it to this webpage at some point) and the switchback descent much, much more fun (albeit trickier) than the still very good comparable section at 'The Moki Dugway' (again, see my review etc).

I'll also try and get video added of the switchback section, which I only took when parked along it (you'll also get an idea of my vehicle type that way !) - I'm not stupid enough to have tried and drive/video them at the same time !

Once you've done that, to be honest the drive north was not so special but you still got some decent views west looking at the eastern edge of Capitol Reef NP, just in time to whet your appetite as that should be your next destination.....

I will add any relevant photos/videos after this review is posted by TA.

----------------------------

As well as the method described near the start of this review my TA 'Trip List' can also be accessed from the 'Utah Itineraries' link on the right of the Utah Forum page. Or the direct link is :

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i24850-Las_Vegas_to_Zion_Bryce_and_other.html

Alternatively, to search via TA, it is entitled 'Las Vegas to Zion, Bryce and other SUtah Natl Parks + Monument Valley-May 2011'.

Please feel free to send me messages with any questions.
Written April 26, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian S
London, UK712 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Solo
After reading several reviews before writing this, I have to say I find it hard to believe that, in this day and age, people go into these drives with little knowledge as to what to expect.
This review reflects the Burr Trail - Notom Road curcuit; starting from Torrey to Boulder and finishing at Torrey. To do this you need to be aware of certain things. (a) You may drive through snow over Hogsback (9,600 ft) (b) Dirt road is involved and the Notom Road section may be impassable (c) There is a steep switchback involved (d) If you're not prepared to get out of your vehicle and walk, you're going to miss a multitude of photo opportunities.
I'll start from the turn-off at Boulder. Immediately you'll come across Durffey Mesa on your right, a series of petrified sand dunes. The next point of interest is Deer Creek, a camp area favoured by the hiking fraternity.
Thereafter you'll reach Long Canyon, the first of many dramatic scenic points on this route. A brief descent takes you to the base of the canyon and it is very scenic while you're in there. Though there's no signpost you'll spot Singing Canyon on your left which is worth a quick stroll. Towards the end in Long Canyon it offers many photo ops before the canyon abruptly ceases and there's a pullout where you'll want some panoramas.
Where the tar ends is where many turn back. Sad really, because just a short way on there are more spectacular views with the snowcapped (when I was there) Henry Range in the background and then the descent to Muley Canyon, well worth exploring if you have a 4WD. Though I didn't have one, I managed some of the walk anyway and thought it worthwhile.
Next down the road you come to the Switchbacks, an 800 ft descent over a mile that's worth stopping for at the top to take yet another photograph. Soon after you reach the bottom is where the Notom Road intersection can be found and I turned left.
Now, from here the road is problematic. After rain I wouldn't advise any vehicle to go down it. When I was there it was about four days after and nothing had been done so there were several nasty ridges in places, bearing in mind I was in a 2WD rental car, and it took some driving skill to negotiate these. So, check before you go.
However, the scenery here in Waterpocket Fold was amazing and I say that because I got out of the car and climbed the ridge to the left more than once. The views from the top are geologically breathtaking - so many folds, so many colours, so many different photo angles.
Summing up, if you don't have a sense of adventure and don't get out to walk, your experience will be lessened to a large degree compared to what I did and, that said, I missed heaps as well.
Written April 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Burr Trail - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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