Plan on a full day for this entire scenic drive, including the 8-mile Capitol Reef National Park Scenic Drive, allowing at least half a day to poke around Capitol Reef and longer if the park grabs your interest. Several excellent side trips might extend this drive even longer.
Unless you’ve already arrived at Highway 24 from a previous drive, start this journey in the pretty farm community of Loa. From the north, Highway 24 to Loa is easy to reach from I-70 near Richfield in the Sevier Valley. Highway 24 from Loa to Torrey is scenic in a peaceful, bucolic way, following a pretty river in a verdant valley. The land along the Fremont River is all private and mostly farm and ranchland. It is easy to understand why early settlers found this valley so attractive. There is a small national forest campground, called Sunglow, just east of Bicknell on the left.
Five miles east of Bicknell a paved road on the right leads a mile or so to the lovely little hamlet of Teasdale, a worthwhile diversion to see a fine example of a classic Mormon farming community. Keep an eye open for deer all along Highway 24.
The town of Torrey is the gateway to Capitol Reef National Park as well as to the mountain wilderness of the eastern flank of the Aquarius Plateau.
Explore the best of Capitol Reef, side trips and nearby drives below.
Capitol Reef Top Drives — A National Treasure
Visiting Capitol Reef? Explore things to do, places to stay, nearby experiences, and much more with Utah’s Office of Tourism.
Side Road Trips in Capitol Reef
The Capitol Reef Scenic Byway is lined with pull-outs that let you stop and take it all in and there are several great side road trips.
Temple Views and Backcountry Road Trips
About 5 miles east of Sleepy Hollow, watch for the turnoff on the left for Cathedral Valley Scenic Backway. This 56-mile dirt track heads back to the northwest through the northern tip of Capitol Reef and into Cathedral Valley, ending at Fremont Junction on I-70.