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access to waterpocket fold

San Luis Obispo, CA
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access to waterpocket fold

To anybody with actual been there experience. I am going thru Utah the first two weeks of Dec. We want to drive into the fold on the unimproved

(dirt, I presume) road the shows on AAA maps coming off hwy 12 and running south until it ends down in the fold. My concern is the need for 4WD (I have it) and more importantly, ground clearance. I drive a Toyota Previa minivan so have a rather long wheelbase for offroading and am concerned about abrupt approach and depature angles and short dips that could result in getting hung up. As noted above, we do have 4WD. Also is this area prone to heavy snows that could trap us . We'd only spend a night or two down in there but would appreciate someone's experience before setting out. It's worth noting that I have extensive offroad experience in jeeps and on motorcycles. Thanks for any replies. Waldo

san francisco
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1. Re: access to waterpocket fold

If you are referring to the Burr Trail, which connects boulder with highway 276, that is easily negotiated by passenger cars as long as it is dry. I did it in a minivan in 2002 and in a nissan sentra in 2003.

Your big concern should be rain and snow, both of which are possible in December, which could make some of the grades difficult to climb.

I would pay very close attention to the weather.

Here's the park service blurb on the Burr Trail.

http://www.nps.gov/glca/burrtr.htm

Torrey, Utah
Destination Expert
for Torrey, Capitol Reef National Park
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2. Re: access to waterpocket fold

You are unlikely to have any problems as long as there hasn't been any recent snow or rain, it's fine right now. You can always go in from UT24 along the Notom Road if you have to, it's much lower but not as scenic as the Burr Trail. I did the Notom-Burr trail last February on my KLR50 - http://www.bobpalin.com/notomburr

Bob Palin

Torrey, UT

Salt Lake City, UT
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908 posts
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3. Re: access to waterpocket fold

I'm a little confused regarding which road the OP is referring to, and don't have my AAA atlas handy.

The Waterpocket Fold runs north/south, more or less corresponding to the boundaries of Capitol Reef National Park. There really isn't a road heading _south_ from _UT 12_ and _ending down in the fold_. There is a road heading south from UT 24, along the eastern boundary of Capitol Reef NP. This is called the Notom-Bullfrog Rd. It is paved for the first several miles, then maintained gravel. This road follows the east side of the Waterpocket Fold, then connects with the Burr Trail, which heads south towards Bullfrog Marina on Glen Canyon Reservoir.

There is also the Burr Trail itself, which heads _east_ from UT 12 at the village of Boulder. This road is paved all the way to the boundary with Capitol Reef NP, then drops down a famous set of switchbacks to connect with the Notom-Bullfrog Rd. Neither of these roads 'end down in the fold'.

I suspect, though, you might actually be looking at the Hole-in-the-Rock Rd., which heads south(east) from UT 12, just east of Escalante, then does end, but at the famous Hole-in-the-Rock crossing of Glen Canyon.

If you can clarify, it will help.

As general advice, if you're going to venture off pavement in December, the roads may well be passable, but you'd be wise to be prepared on the off chance you'd get stuck. E.G., have sleeping bags, extra food & water etc. Traffic will be very sparse off the paved roads, and people do get stuck sometimes.

Big Sky, MT
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4. Re: access to waterpocket fold

If you are referring to the Burr Trail, it is one of the most spectacular drives I have ever taken. I have always been traveling in the Spring (early May), and have not had a problem with passability. Even in the Spring, however, I have seen plenty of snow storms. The weather can change quite rapidly, so I can't echo strongly enough the advice to be prepared to spend the night unexpectedly (whichever road you take).

Torrey, Utah
Destination Expert
for Torrey, Capitol Reef National Park
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5. Re: access to waterpocket fold

The OP hasn't been back since the day he posted, he was asking about December - wonder if he went? It's gorgeous right now!

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