Boulder to Bullfrog

Burr Trail Backway

Originally developed as a cattle trail by stockman John Atlantic Burr, the Burr Trail Scenic Backway passes through three iconic parks starting at Boulder Utah to the north located on Highway 12 to Bullfrog Basin and Ticaboo Utah to the south on Highway 276. The route offers back country access to numerous trails and canyons through the painted rock desert of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Waterpocket Fold and Badlands of Capitol Reef National Park, and slickrock canyons of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The distance is approximately 75 miles from Boulder to Bullfrog.  The first 30 miles are paved leading to the Capitol Reef border. From there the road turns to graded dirt and can be rather washboarded in sections. The  last 20 mile stretch from the Springs/Bullfrog Basin junction to Hwy 276 is also paved.

A note from the BLM: Although in dry weather the Burr Trail is easily accessible to passenger cars, wet weather may make the road impassable even for 4WD vehicles. Check with rangers or local officials for weather and road conditions. Recreational vehicles are not recommended.

The upper section (paved section) includes Long Canyon, its tributary slot canyon, “Singing Canyon,” Deer Creek campground, and other interesting roadside views. Once you exit Long Canyon there is an amazing panoramic view of the Waterpocket Fold and Circle Cliffs with the Henry Mountains looming in the background. Once you reach the Capitol Reef border the pavement ends and graded dirt begins. A short distance down the road from the border the Peek-A-Boo Arch at Upper Muley Twisted Canyon comes in to view. The first half mile of the side road to this area is passable for passenger cars, then the road enters Upper Muley Twist Canyon and is recommended only for 4WD vehicles.

One of the highlights of the trip is the Burr Trail Switchbacks. A shorter but tighter version of the Moki Dugway in San Juan County (SR 261) with steeper slopes and grade. The view from the top is amazing, definitely worth stopping the car to take it all in. A short distance from the bottom of the Switchbacks is a junction. This is where the road from Hwy 24 east of Capitol Reef runs parallel to the Waterpocket Fold, passes through the small town of Notom and connects with the Burr Trail. From here Bullfrog is 33 miles to the south and Capitol Reef is 34 miles to the north. This is the beginning of the Badlands section.

TitleCategoryAddressDescription
Boulder 37.901248792651586, -111.42511783114264
Sandstone Sand Dunes 37.84876502568879, -111.37053134059857
Deer Creek Campground 37.85480119539068,-111.35537858960242
The Gulch 37.85042248160664,-111.31449765256161
Long Canyon 37.857420257624334,-111.30860653272879
Singing Canyon 37.86492836543067,-111.30047081907736
Lampstand Butte 37.97625018366826, -111.16186245744086
Road to the Lampstand 37.91766930663911,-111.13322298713223
Wolverine Loop Road Wolverine Loop Road
Western boundary of Capitol Reef National Park 37.863233492409705, -111.07720314183581
Pinon/juniper forest 37.86137497635734,-111.07413529547182
Picnic area 37.862394265707465, -111.07517879037306
Junction with road to Upper Muley Twist Canyon 37.85348938763373, -111.04311586250384
Wash crossing 37.854171201088626, -111.04536149386308
Top of the switchbacks 37.84703766551033,-111.02523902299697
Bottom of the switchbacks in Burr Canyon 37.84957900289161, -111.0229462277174
Peek-a-Boo Arch 37.85391068772103,-111.01514869913206
Junction with the Notom Road 37.85491452431518, -111.01244623898071
Surprise Canyon Trailhead 37.83496995465338,-110.99090070432578
Post Corral 37.826780921527764, -110.97945651708875
Capitol Reef National Park boundary 37.8319608672948, -110.96776405895076
Junction with Starr Spring Road 37.7592061077086, -110.90769263036589
Halls Creek Overlook road Halls Creek Overlook road, BLM 12200
View of the Henry Mountains 37.67474486102613,-110.85016290337813
Viewpoint 37.64329635020396,-110.81603665045634
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area boundary 37.627543788031225, -110.80087816754383
Bullfrog Creek crossing Bullfrog Creek, Utah, USA
Pedestal Alley Trailhead 37.59769260698486, -110.7797859816103
Bullfrog Basin Bullfrog, UT, USA
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