back to articles | May 01, 2023 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

Capitol Reef National Park: Motorcycle Road Touring

Capitol Reef National Park promises the ultimate motorcycle road touring adventure. The entire region has beautiful, ornate, and untamed geologic formations and wonders that take texture, color, and shape to a whole new level.


Capitol Reef National Park promises the ultimate motorcycle road touring adventure. The entire region has beautiful, ornate, and untamed geologic formations and wonders that take texture, color, and shape to a whole new level.

Its backcountry roads will take your motorcycle tour to unforgettable marvels like the famous Cassidy Arch. Are you ready for this magnificent ride? Here is a simple guide to how to make your motorcycle road touring in Capitol Reef National Park successful.

The best time for the year for motorcycling through Capitol Reef National Park

The best time for motorcycling through the park is fall and spring. During these months, the weather conditions are extremely pleasant. It is also the perfect time for avoiding the crowds that come in during summer.

Summer is also ideal for motorcycle road touring if you have no problem with crowds. During winter, Capitol Reef National Park has fewer crowds. However, the temperatures are incredibly low, and some roads may be closed because of snow. If you plan to make stops and go hiking, winter is not the ideal month for motorcycling through the park.

Park entrance information

Capitol Reef National Park will charge you an entrance fee for traveling through the Scenic Drive and regions beyond the Fruita Campground. For motorcycles, you must pay $15 per motorcycle. This entrance fee lasts for one week. You can also consider an annual pass.

The Capitol Reef is open 24 hours a day all year round. One thing to note is that you do not have to pay the entrance fee if you only intend to see the park from a long Highway 24 or if you ride through the Loop the Fold and the Cathedral Valley Loop.

The best motorcycle scenic drives to take in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is a diverse region for motorcycle road touring. This majestic park has many scenic drives and short trails, promising the best backcountry adventure. Below are the best roads that you should take.

Capitol Reef Scenic Drive

Capitol Reed Scenic Drive comprises a 7.9-mile paved road suitable for motorcycles. This road will take you through the park's heart, ensuring you get an unforgettable view of several popular formations.

The Scenic Drive offers access to many of the park's famous trailheads. This road starts near Visitor Centre and has stunning views in all directions. While riding your motorcycle, you can see uniform rocks and shale layers carved, folded, and lifted into fabulous shapes. Indeed this motorcycle road touring will stir your imagination. Some of the top things to see in this Drive include:

1. Historic Fruita

Historic Fruita is near the campground and Visitor Center. In this region, you can view the culturally rich historic fruit orchards cultivated in the 1800s. The park protects some unique relics in Historic Fruita. If you are a history enthusiast, this Drive is a must-go-to place.

2. Historic Gifford Homestead

The Historic Gifford Homestead is another must-go-to place along the Scenic Drive. It features farmhouses from the 1900s and is mainly open in summer. During the open season, you can see some phenomenal cultural demonstrations. There are also pioneer-style homemade objects available for purchase.

3. Grand Wash Spur Road

The Grand Wash features a twisting road that will take you through a wondrous landscape. It comprises a steep-walled and narrow canyon. If there are any signs of a storm, avoid this road.

Along this trail, you can enjoy the marvelous view of the photogenic Cassidy Arch. There are also foot trails that will take you through the narrowest sections of the canyon.

4. Capitol Gorge Trail

Capitol Gorge is a dirt road located at the end of the paved Scenic Drive. It runs for two miles and provides the best place to see beautiful high canyon walls. In addition, you can enjoy the view of the Golden Throne rock formation. Make sure to take a stop and see a panel of rock art made by the ancient Fremont people.

5. Highway 24

Highway 24 is a road that cuts through Capitol Reef Park and enters it from the west side. It connects Hanksville and Torrey. When motorcycling through Highway 24, you do not need to pay an entrance fee. Furthermore, only 15 miles of Highway 24 cuts through the National Park.

Motorcycling through this Drive will ensure you collect some unforgettable memories. This Drive provides a scenic view of beautiful, tall white rock and red rock walls. It is the perfect place to see the best rock formation in Capitol Reef National Park. Some panoramic views to enjoy as you bike through this highway include:

  • Twin rock formation
  • Chimney rock trailhead
  • The castle rock formation

6. Cathedral Valley Loop

The best place to start the Cathedral Valley Loop motorcycle tour is Harnet Road, 11.7 miles from the east side of the Valley Center. This road is unpaved and will take you to the Cathedral Valley.

One thing to note is that this road is very rough and remote. Thus, be prepared for anything. Ensure you carry your food, water, fuel, and an emergency kit. The estimated time to ride through the Cathedral Valley Loop is 6 to 8 hours.

Even though Cathedral Valley Loop is located in the remote area of Capitol Reef National Park, it has many majestic features you can relish. This road has eroded features and geologic layers that can capture your attention. On this trail, you can sight the following:

  • The Glass Mountain
  • Bentonite hills
  • Lower and upper Cathedral Valley
  • Gypsum sinkhole
  • Volcanic Dikes
  • Basalt boulders

7. Loop the Fold

Loop the Fold is a 100-mile round-trip road with amazing scenery you can relish. Riding through this road will only take 5 to 6 hours. Loop the Fold circles Waterpocket Fold area of the park. On this road, you can enjoy seeing the following:

  • Long Canyon
  • Strike Valley Overlook
  • Headquarters Canyon
  • Surprise Canyon
  • Burr Trail Switchbacks

Final Thoughts

Capitol Reef National Park has plenty of amazing rock formations and desert landscapes. For the best motorcycle road touring, consider taking the Loop the Fold, Scenic Drive, Highway 24, and the Cathedral Valley Troop. You can dedicate several days to this incredible motorcycle touring adventure.

Buying a new bike is something that most people desire, especially when touring amazing places like Capital Reef National Park. Fortunately, financing a motorcycle is much easier than financing a new car or a home. You can get a motorcycle loan through a trusted online lender, bank, credit union, or dealership.