The Burr Trail

The Burr Trail road is a scenic backway that spans 66 miles and winds through dramatic portions of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. 

The Burr Trail Road is most easily accessed from Boulder, Utah at the base of Boulder Mountain. The trail, pioneered by rancher John Atlantic Burr in the mid-1800s, follows an easterly descent from the town of Boulder toward Bullfrog at Lake Powell and intersects with the Notom Road that circles north along the east side of Capitol Reef National Park.

The route carves it way through pale Navajo sandstone dunes near Boulder, Utah, and then past landmarks such as The Gulch, The Lampstand, and through the rugged Waterpocket Fold. 

Scenic Long Canyon offers an optional 28-mile loop side trip where you’ll find several trailheads for scenic hikes along the way. Muley Twist Canyon offers a series of narrow, winding switchbacks where you’ll do best with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The junction of the Burr Trail and Notom/Bullfrog Road is found at the end of the switchbacks.

Pioneer Josephine Catherine Chatterly Wood recorded in her journal in 1882 that the Burr Trail, “…is the most God-forsaken and wild-looking country that was ever traveled.” The Burr trail remained unpaved until the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area was created in the 1970s.

Paving of the Burr Trail began in earnest in 1991, and today, The Burr Trail Road is well maintained and is fully paved except for a section within Capitol Reef National Park. 

Be sure to travel with a well-maintained vehicle, water and food supplies, and a full gas tank as there are no services along the scenic Burr Trail Road. A high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle may be needed during certain times of the year and for some sections of the Burr Trail Road.

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