Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
dhaines
Posts: 24
Joined: 9/21/2012
14ers: List not added

Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by dhaines » Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:13 pm

Two questions, about Strike Valley Overlook in Capital Reef National Park, UT -

First, given standard dry conditions would a stock Ford Explorer "medium clearance" make along the Bullfrog Road, then maybe hike/drive the Burr Road, but definitely hike the last stretch along the overlook road?

Second, is it worth it? Of course this subjective, but given it's 2+ hours drive one-way, from Fruit UT - are the hours better spent on somewhere else on the trail in more accessible regions of the park? I'm thinking this would be more of a second day of day-hiking after going to Navajo Knobs.

I've been reading this write up - https://liveandlethike.com/2015/02/22/s ... l-park-ut/
User avatar
JGiffinPhotog
Posts: 107
Joined: 10/3/2012
14ers:summits48 winter1 
13ers:summits12 
Contact:

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by JGiffinPhotog » Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:36 am

You should be fine to make it down Bullfrog Rd & Barr Trail as long as it's dry. I haven't quite been that far down, but have done the research & it's a pretty standard dirt road for UT, but if it gets wet, the dirt/clay road gets super slick (the reason I didn't make it that far south when I tried to explore that area). It is a long way if you're staying in Fruita, so it kinda depends on how you want to spend your time. The drive is pretty great itself for views, but the park has a lot to offer. CR doesn't get the same attention as Utah's other parks, so it's pretty easy to get away from crowds & both the north & south sections have different kinds of rock & formations to see. The central area around Fruita offers a lot of good variety of things where you can knock out a lot of them in a few days, but is a little more crowded.

As the Moab area has exploded in popularity the last 10 years, I've been trying to explore CR & San Rafael Swell a lot more & there's so much to do it requires multiple trips! I need go get out there again soon myself!
http://www.jgiffinphotos.com
"In the end, it's not so much how to succeed in life, as it is how to survive the life you've chosen" - Hunter S. Thompson
“You won't find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains.” - Hunter S. Thompson
"...Let's go exploring!" - Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbs)
User avatar
cougar
Posts: 885
Joined: 8/9/2007
14ers:summits44 winter2 
13ers:summits85 winter2 
Trip Reports (10)
Contact:

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by cougar » Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:14 am

I was just down there, and any car can drive that road despite the 4x4 signage. Even saw vans. One small spot of rock slab might need clearance. Great hikes in that area, and the view is unique and other worldly. NBF rd is paved for first 15 miles or so. Burr trail is also a scenic 2wd rd.

Upper Mukey Twist loop is good, lots of arches and a slot. Some other slot hikes in the area like sheets gulch and burro wash. Generally less crowded area of the park.

You can also camp at numerous spots on BLM land along nbf or the cedar mesa campground nearby.
http://www.listsofjohn.com/m/cougar

"If we don't change direction, we'll end up where we're going."
"Bushwhacking is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get."
"Don't give up on your dreams, stay asleep"
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8295
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers:summits51 winter16 
13ers:summits41 winter13 
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by Scott P » Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:38 am

I'd say that it is worth it. It's a beautiful drive with beautiful hikes.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
JTOlson26
Posts: 446
Joined: 4/21/2009
14ers:summits17 
Trip Reports (1)

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by JTOlson26 » Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:52 am

I drove all of that this past summer and you should be fine on nearly all of it. Maybe not Overlook Road, but definitely down Bullfrog and Burr. Full disclosure, I was in a Toyota 4Runner that has bigger tires and is lifted a couple inches, but I saw sedans on Bullfrog and there was a truck with a fairly long wheel-base on Burr road.

My buddy and I backpacked from down there for a couple nights and it was awesome. No one out there, awesome expanses, great stars...really cool place.
User avatar
greenonion
Posts: 892
Joined: 10/4/2012
14ers:summits33 winter1 
13ers:summits1 

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by greenonion » Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:31 am

Scott P wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:38 am
I'd say that it is worth it. It's a beautiful drive with beautiful hikes.
+1 Absolutely worth it. Gorgeous area with more solitude as already mentioned. Can't speak to the Bullfrog road south of the Burr Trail, but both Burr Trail and at least northern Bullfrog road are a piece of cake. However, it has been roughly 8-10 years since I've been there. Enjoy it down there!
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8295
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers:summits51 winter16 
13ers:summits41 winter13 
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by Scott P » Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:35 am

greenonion wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:31 am
Can't speak to the Bullfrog road south of the Burr Trail
Except for the part in the park, it's paved.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
434stonemill
Posts: 73
Joined: 9/6/2011
14ers:summits31 
13ers:summits3 
Trip Reports (1)

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by 434stonemill » Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:07 pm

I would highly recommend it. Last September, looking to do a road trip and visit areas with no people, I hit up Great Basin NP, Escalante Monument and Capitol Reef NP, before a few days on Lake Powell.

I drove the entire Burr Trail Road from Boulder, UT to Bullfrog Marina. Along the way, found a great place to camp off of the Burr Trail Rd just west of the border with Capitol Reef NP. I did hike/run the full Muley Twist Canyon loop and highly recommend it. It has a little of everything, from arches to slot canyons to explore. Some fun scrambling and beautiful views of the Strike Valley. I drove up to the upper trailhead. I drive a stock Xterra and had no issues with any of the drive, either Burr Trail Rd or the road to the trailhead (this was Sept and everything was bone dry).

Here is link to the data from my watch for that run/hike: https://www.movescount.com/moves/move35 ... -year=2021


Muley Twist Cyn Arches.JPG
Muley Twist Cyn Arches.JPG (180.37 KiB) Viewed 567 times

Strike Valley.JPG
Strike Valley.JPG (78.86 KiB) Viewed 567 times

Muley Twist Canyon3.JPG
Muley Twist Canyon3.JPG (134.02 KiB) Viewed 567 times
dhaines
Posts: 24
Joined: 9/21/2012
14ers: List not added

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by dhaines » Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:37 pm

Thanks everyone!

Definitely in the realm of possible, now I just got to figure out if that's what I want to do.
User avatar
Chicago Transplant
Posts: 3663
Joined: 9/7/2004
14ers:summits57 ski12 winter24 
13ers:summits676 ski38 winter34 
Trip Reports (64)

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by Chicago Transplant » Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:46 am

I was just there last weekend, did not drive up the Burr Trail but you can drive the entire Notom-Bullfrog road to The Post (Lower Muley alternate TH) in pretty much anything if its dry. There was a Camry at The Post. Its a little sandy in places, but no clearance required. Very cool area, Lower Muley Twist was fun, also hiked Surprise and Headquarters Canyons. Camped at Cedar Mesa, there are also some dispersed options outside of the park boundary.
"We want the unpopular challenge. We want to test our intellect!" - Snapcase
"You are not what you own" - Fugazi
"Life's a mountain not a beach" - Fortune Cookie I got at lunch the other day
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 8295
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers:summits51 winter16 
13ers:summits41 winter13 
Trip Reports (16)
Contact:

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by Scott P » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:18 am

Chicago Transplant wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:46 am
Lower Muley Twist was fun
If you ever go back, Upper Muley Twist is a lot better.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
Chicago Transplant
Posts: 3663
Joined: 9/7/2004
14ers:summits57 ski12 winter24 
13ers:summits676 ski38 winter34 
Trip Reports (64)

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Post by Chicago Transplant » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:53 am

Scott P wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:18 am
Chicago Transplant wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:46 am
Lower Muley Twist was fun
If you ever go back, Upper Muley Twist is a lot better.
Thanks, I will! Its a nice area and worth going back. There seem to be a lot of opportunities to explore down there.
"We want the unpopular challenge. We want to test our intellect!" - Snapcase
"You are not what you own" - Fugazi
"Life's a mountain not a beach" - Fortune Cookie I got at lunch the other day
Post Reply