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Burr Trail, Singing Canyon & Strike Valley Overlook (driving tour & short hikes)

If you are in the mood for an amazing driving tour with short hikes, head to Boulder, then down super-scenic BURR TRAIL RD all the way to the Switchbacks (34 miles from Boulder, UT) there are a couple short hikes we like to recommend along the way.  One is SINGING CANYON for the non-hiker, the other is STRIKE VALLEY OVERLOOK,  about a mile if you have 4-wheel drive & it's not too muddy to get to the trailhead.

From Boulder, at Burr Trail Rd, set your odometer to zero.  At approx 11.8 miles, look for a quick stop along the way called Long Canyon Slot or Singing Canyon.  It is unmarked, but popular, and you might find someone playing a wooden flute to hear the echo.   Not sure which turnout?  It's on the left, about a mile after a switchback.  There is no sign, and no left turn, just enough room for 4 cars to park along the left side of the road.  You might spy the deep & narrow slot canyon in the cliff, but look close because it's hiding behind a cottonwood tree.  Don't bother taking a water bottle.  This is a 5 minute hike.  To find trailheads easier, try downloading the ALL TRAILS App (free version), type in the name of the hike and it will map you there. 

Keep driving down Long Canyon, because it just gets better, and the viewpoint at the end overlooks a painted desert.  Then, the scenery is more open and eventually turns to a good dirt road as you enter Capitol Reef.  

2-4 miles after the road turns to dirt, you will be in a pretty valley and see a sign on the left, "UPPER MULEY TWIST CANYON."  Turn left here, and the jeep trail will take you towards the STRIKE VALLEY OVERLOOK TRAIL - a must-see view of the spectacular 100-mile long Waterpocket Fold that forms Capitol Reef.   With 4-wheel drive, this will be a 3 mile drive on a sometimes challenging jeep road (with views of little arches along the way) then a 1/2 mile hike to the overlook.   Otherwise, it's maybe 1/2 a mile to the first parking area and a 6.5 mile hike.  Short, compared to the 14 mile Upper Muley Twist loop!

Back to Burr Trail road, it's just a couple more miles to the switchbacks.  Definitely drive to the bottom to view the enormous rock formation you just drove through, then maybe save the Overlook hike for last.  Better yet, drive out to the Overlook on Easter Weekend to fly a kite!  Ours was lost down a cliff and may never be found...

Here's another good description of this hike, with a printable map:

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: (May 1, 2020)  Please call Capitol Reef National Park to see if the Strike Valley Overlook trail is open.

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