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Old 01-29-2014, 12:42 PM   #24
Rut Runner OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto
Oddometer: 153
Cathedral valley

Cathedral Valley

The Cathedral Valley route is a 55 mile loop through Capitol Reef NP and surrounding BLM land. The 4WD Trails Guidebook gave it a 10/10 rating for scenery and 2/10 for difficulty. The start of the trail involves a fording of the Fremont River, which I wanted to avoid in the present conditions. According to other sources it is possible to enter via Caineville wash road and then cut across to avoid the river ford. I managed to find a shortcut across within a few hundred yards of hwy 24. These pics were taken on the shortcut before reaching the main route:

I had to dodge a few flooded sections and the low-lying approach to the Bentonite Hills had my rear wheel spinning, Once up on the hills the road firmed up quite abit- from here it was fast riding.

Bike is parked just in front of the "temple":

Heading back south the road deteriorated quite abit. There were frequent wash-outs and flooded sections. One washout was 4 feet deep and ran between two ridges. Not wanted to desecrate a National Park by going cross country, I ended up breaking down the square edges of the washout with my boots. That took awhile. My fear at this point was making it 80% of the way, then having to backtrack! I continued on and was quite relieved when I picked up recent vehicle tracks coming from the other direction. Conditions improved and I eventually made it to hwy 24.

This is an area I would like to return to. The 10/10 scenic rating was well deserved and there were many other roads and trails intersecting the main route. I donít think you could go wrong exploring in this area!

To be cont'd...
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