The Burr Trail

The four of us left Calf Creek CG the next day and headed initially in opposite directions, but with the same end objective location. Kirk and Kathy wanted to hike a couple more slot canyons, Peek-a-boo and Spooky for those that know Grand Staircase hikes. Pam and I decided to take a relaxed drive on the Burr Trail to our end goal of Kane Ranger Station in the Cedar Mesa area.

The Burr Trail is a 70-mile, remote road that started as a cattle drive route between Boulder, UT and Bullfrog, UT. About two-thirds of the road is paved now, but the speed limit ranges between 20 and 35 mph.

A few miles after leaving Boulder, you drop down into beautiful Long Canyon.

We stopped several times along the drive to enjoy the sights.

At the end of Long Canyon the road opens up to a colorful valley.

The pavement ends at the boundary between Grand Staircase NM and Capital Reef National Park.

The dirt road runs through the southern section of Capital Reef NP.

One of the more interesting sections of the drive is the Burr Trail Switchbacks that takes you down one of the faces of the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile tilt of the earth’s crust similar to the Squeeze. This is the entry to the switchbacks from the top.

This is looking over the side of the road, where most of the road is still hidden in the rocks until the bottom. What a blast to drive, although the Roamer needed every inch of the switchbacks to make the turns.

As you approach Bullfrog, you can see the water of Lake Powell in the distance.

We stopped for lunch at the Bullfrog marina. Lake Powell is the result of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. The huge lake has 100s of sandstone cliff fingers that offers world class water-skiing on glass smooth water. In the distance you can see the covered marina that protects the huge house boats used on the lake.

In years past, we would rent a house boat and ski boat with friends and find our own sandstone finger channel to camp and ski the week away. While most folks from Arizona use the Wahweap marina outside Page, AZ to get onto Lake Powell, Utah folks use Bullfrog, where the two are separated by 50 miles of lake.

It was Mother’s Day when we were at the marina and our waitress gave Pam a Mother’s Day present of coffee pods since we were running low and the local stores did not carry them. And yes, the Roamer does have a Keurig coffee maker. There is a difference between being in the back-country and roughing it – lol.

A ferry can take you across to the other side at Bullfrog, but we drove around instead because it was a wash on time between the two routes to get where we were going. Our route took us through the beautiful Glen Canyon National Rec Area before we arrived at Cedar Mesa.

The two flat-top mountains that bookend the road to our next campsite are the Bears Ears Mountains, both over 8,000 feet. This is the area that is the newest National Monument and currently under review.

We dispersed camped about a mile north of the Kane Ranger station on a flat rock outcropping. Kirk and Kathy met up with us there at sunset.

The next day we would split for a couple days while they back-packed Kane and Bullet Canyons.

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