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4X4 rental and Capitol Reef in October

Minnesota
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4X4 rental and Capitol Reef in October

I visited six national parks in So Utah and AZ about three years ago and have been eager to return ever since. I'm trying to make it this October and have chosen a visit to CR. We'll be flying in from the east and I think we'll land in Grand Junction, rent a vehicle and drive from there. I have two questions that I'd appreciate some help on:

1. I understand that, in order to see some areas, such as Cathedral Valley, I should have a high-clearance 4X4. Do people try to rent them in their airport city (Grand Junction for me, I think) or in Torrey? I'd like to avoid having two vehicles rented at the same time. Is there a car or SUV type that is typically carried by the airport agencies that will do?

2. Is the weather likely to be wet in CR in early October?

Thanks, much.

Boston
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1. Re: 4X4 rental and Capitol Reef in October

Torrey has about a population of 200. I don't remember seeing much in the way of renting 4x4's. I'm not sure of Grand Junction but Vegas(maybe cheaper fight?) carries jeep wranglers. I had a jeep for few years out there and it's the perfect stock off road vehicle for out there. Most rental 4x4's are fine for out there but they're not built to be offroad (I'm sure not allowed either?). Most don't have skid plates, good tires, strong axles, etc. Jeeps are prefered because of the extra clearence, short front and rear ends which help with getting in and out of river beds, through washouts, etc. That said with my previous experince driving out there I wouldn't worry about a regular 4x4. I'd be more concerned of having water and food or breaking down 30 miles from someone with no cell towers.

As for rain, october tends to be less than august or september.

Did you drive offroad last time you where out there?

Minnesota
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2. Re: 4X4 rental and Capitol Reef in October

Thanks, Foschatt. Last time out we rented a Hundai Elantra out of Vegas, then spent partial days in Zion, North Rim of Grand Canyon, Bryce, Highway 12, CR, Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands, Arches, Fremont Indian State Park, and a day and two nights in Vegas. Six national parks and two state parks in six days. Probably a bit too much in a such a short time, but it was fabulous, something of a visual overload. Las Vegas was anticlimactic.

At Capitol Reef we did some short walks off the scenic drive, listened to a lecture on petrogliphs, and walked up to Hickman Bridge. Another couple that we met at the Capitol Reef Inn told us they had driven the Burr Trail Road in their Elantra.

Boston
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3. Re: 4X4 rental and Capitol Reef in October

mak9

I think you'd be fine renting regular 4x4. We would check with the rangers at the station to check on road contitions(not always 100% accurate). You can always turn around :) Had to in Canyonlands after about 3 hrs because of the conditions.

A few tips:

Just go slow. Let Rally drivers pass. If you see anyone.

Drive over rocks instead of around so they don't slice the side of your tire.

Bring water and food! Not much for shopping in Torrey either!

If you have a GPS that will track your route bring it. Other wise reset tripometer and track mileage if you are uncertain were your going.

Backcountry Adventures: UTAH is a great book for drives in Utah.

If it does rain watch out for roads with clay. It will turn your tires into slicks.

Getting into the backcounty is wonderful. Enjoy!

Torrey, Utah
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for Torrey, Capitol Reef National Park
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4. Re: 4X4 rental and Capitol Reef in October

There's nowhere in the Torrey area to rent 4x4s especially in October. Winter usually starts suddenly in middle to late October but there's not much chance of rain (snow!). If it is wet just don't go out there, plenty of people get stuck in quite capable vehicles. Much of Torrey closes down in mid October but there are a couple of motels that stay open all winter and the gas stations are open. The Cathedral Valley road is generally fine for any vehicle that has reasonable clearance, if it's dry you really don't need 4wd though I would recommend it just for ease of mind. When you come get in touch with me, I usually know what conditions are like in the back country as I love it out there and visit regularly. Haven't been to CV yet this year though, any time now!

Bob Palin

5. Re: 4X4 rental and Capitol Reef in October

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