Road Cycling in Capitol Reef Country
There are four roads in Capitol Reef National Park designated for biking, but the Scenic Drive is best for road cycling. The road is paved with a few rocky or sandy areas, and is generally considered easy to moderate. You can make your route as short as a mile or ride the entire 24 miles out-and-back through the colorful desert landscape, turning around at Capitol Gorge.
Cycling the Burr Trail takes you through extraordinary back-country scenery, and if you stick to the paved section you can do that part on your road bike. The upper section is paved for 18 miles between Capitol Reef National Park and the town of Boulder. There are some very steep areas, and spring and fall offer the best weather conditions. View Google Map (Approx. View – Note that the Burr Trail turns to a dirt road about 2 miles prior to the eastern end-point shown on this map)
The Capitol Reef Country Cruise is an out-and-back partial loop route that can begin in Fruita, with loops to the west on Scenic Byway 24 through Torrey, Teasdale, and Grover and then heads back along Scenic Byways 12 and 24 through Capitol Reef to Fruita, for a total of approximately 38 miles. There’s a minimal elevation gain along this moderate trail, and it’s a great ride during spring, summer, and fall. View Google Map
The Fish Lake Challenge is an exciting, higher altitude 70 mile loop from Bicknell or Loa (7,000 feet) to Fish Lake (9,000 feet). T his route takes you on a loop through Fremont, Utah, past Mill Meadow and Johnson Valley Reservoirs and on to Fish Lake. View Google Map
And while you’re in Capitol Reef Country, don’t forget the amazing Tour of Utah cycling event from August 5 to 11. The Tour of Utah is a UCI-sanctioned pro cycling event that attracts some of the top cyclists in the world. During Stage 2, cyclists travel through gorgeous Capitol Reef country from Panguitch to Torrey. View this link for more information.