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Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:13 pm
by dhaines
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/

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:36 am
by JGiffinPhotog
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!

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:14 am
by cougar
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.

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:38 am
by Scott P
I'd say that it is worth it. It's a beautiful drive with beautiful hikes.

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:52 am
by JTOlson26
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.

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:31 am
by greenonion
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!

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:35 am
by Scott P
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.

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:07 pm
by 434stonemill
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 924 times

Strike Valley.JPG
Strike Valley.JPG (78.86 KiB) Viewed 924 times

Muley Twist Canyon3.JPG
Muley Twist Canyon3.JPG (134.02 KiB) Viewed 924 times

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:37 pm
by dhaines
Thanks everyone!

Definitely in the realm of possible, now I just got to figure out if that's what I want to do.

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:46 am
by Chicago Transplant
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.

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:18 am
by Scott P
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.

Re: Strike Valley Overlook - Capital Reef UT

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:53 am
by Chicago Transplant
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.