Cathedral Valley

Cathedral Valley

Itinerary Ideas: Cathedral Valley

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Cathedral Valley is the loop to take when the thirst for solitude and beauty is your guide and dust, mud, heat or cold is your traveling companion. It’s a remote and isolated corner of Capitol Reef National Park where few venture. Massive rock formations shoot skyward from the desert floor to heights of hundreds of feet. Their names suggest mysterious and exotic places: Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Moon and The Wall of Jericho. Their colors are an ever-changing parade of tan, buff and red sandstone; the windswept clouds and sun being the grand marshal, shading, blending and changing the majestic monoliths.

Cathedral Valley Flowers

Explore The 59 Mile Loop
Days could be spent hiking and exploring the many canyons and monoliths in Cathedral Valley or you could see the sights while driving. A high clearance vehicle is recommended as is carrying plenty of water, food and gas. Being prepared for emergencies is a good idea because help would not be readily available. The 59 mile loop through Cathedral Valley starts East of the park boundary off U-24 at River Ford. This route requires crossing the Fremont River. The crossing is usually very shallow except during summer run off and periods of flooding (check at the Visitors Center for conditions of the river and the valley). The route follows Hartnet Road, taking you to a fork allowing you to continue traveling West on the Polk Creek Road across Thousand Lake Mountain to connect with Hwy 72 (giving a panoramic view of the desert and Cathedral Valley) or continue the 59 mile loop by following Caineville Wash Road to return back to U-24, just West of Caineville. If time is limited and crossing the river is something you would prefer not to do, start your day of sight seeing at the Caineville Wash Road. Traveling 15 miles and approximately two hours round trip will take you into lower Cathedral Valley to visit the Temples of the Sun and Moon and Glass Mountain. No matter which route you choose to see the Valley of the Cathedrals, don’t forget the camera. The Valley awaits the photographer, both amateur and professional.