The Capitol Reef Trifecta:
1) Cassidy Arch (shortest route is 3.5 miles)- Take picture from on top of the arch or with the arch in full view. Click here for short trail description The best route for this trail is to start at the Cohab Canyon trailhead near the main park campground and run the Frying Pan trail all the way in to the arch. From there, you can continue down into Grand Wash. I'd recommend getting to the narrows before turning around, or if you have a shuttle, park it at the trailhead at the bottom of Grand Wash. One advantage of starting at either of these trailheads (besides more and better views) is that you would avoid paying the park fee. Click here for an overview map of the trail system
2) Burr Trail- (East of Boulder, Utah) One of the most scenic roads in the country. Click here for a great description and history of the Burr Trail. Loop back to Torrey via Notom Road, just below the Burr Trail switchbacks. Here are a couple of stops to make along the way...
A) Long Canyon Slot (1/4 mile)- Stop at the pullout about 11 miles from Boulder and take a picture inside the short slot canyon. Click here for trail description
B) Lower Muley Twist- Get out and stretch the legs a little on this trail at the top of the Burr Trail switchbacks. Take a picture inside the canyon. You can turn around after a mile or two, or continue on down the canyon if you’re looking for more distance. Click here for trail description.
3) Lower Calf Creek Falls (6 miles)- Take a picture (and a dip in the frigid water) at the turnaround in front of the waterfall. Trailhead is 12 miles south of the town of Boulder. Click here for trail description.
***This was by far the most difficult Trifecta for me to narrow down to 3 trails. It's difficult to comprehend the amount of diversity in this region until you've begun to explore it. July is not the optimal time of year to explore many of these areas, make sure you have enough water and are aware of flash flood dangers.
Other amazing options (which can replace any of the above trifecta legs if you’re looking for something new) include but are not limited to:
Sulfur Creek (6 miles)- Take picture in front of one of the waterfalls in the “Goosenecks” section of the canyon. This can be done as an out and back, venturing 3 miles into the canyon and returning the way you came, or as a shuttle from Chimney Rock trailhead to the visitors center. Click here for trail description.
Hickman Bridge- This is a short run/hike in to a beautiful natural bridge. You can continue on up the trail to a nice overlook of the Waterpocket Fold and even further up to Navajo Knobs, but this wouldn't be recommended in the summer unless you're running early in the morning. Click here for trail description
Escalante Natural Bridge and Arch (4 miles)- The trailhead for this hike is only about a mile south of the Lower Calf Creek Falls trailhead. Take a picture in front of either the large natural bridge, or the small arch, which runs vertically and is more visible on the approach. Several stream crossings on this one. If you’re looking for more miles, continue upstream, you can shuttle through to the town of Escalante. Click here for trail description
Hole in the Rock Road- This area contains some of the most amazing and remote canyons of the Grand Staircase National Monument. Endless possibilities to explore, click here for an overview of the trails available
Spring Canyon- This is a really fun trail in the Waterfolds section of the park, but it's a little long. I'd recommend the lower section from Chimney Rock trailhead 9 miles down to Hwy 24 (one way, so you'd need a shuttle).
Upper Calf Creek Falls- Short, exposed hike. Not as scenic as the lower falls, but has a great swimming hole with some cliff jumping which is fun in the summer.
Boulder Mail Trail/Death Hollow- Awesome and remote trail with towering canyon walls once you drop into Death Hollow.
Upper Muley Twist- So much to see on this trail. You'll need 4wd to access shortly after the turnoff from the Burr Trail (or add a couple more miles running).
Brimhall Natural Bridge- Gorgeous approach and end reward on this trail.
Cathedral Valley- A must see if you have a high clearance vehicle.
Robber's Roost/Dirty Devil Wilderness Area- Very remote area and the worst time of year to explore it, but unbelievable nonetheless.
Horseshoe Canyon (Canyonlands National Park)- An out of the way and seldom visited section on the far west border of Canyonlands National Park that offers endless exploring options.
Mt. Ellen (11,522ft, in the Henry Mountains)- This steep mountain range stands 7,000 feet above the desert floor, it was supposedly the last range mapped in the continental United States. This is the mountain range that you'll be staring at from across the way as you run the rim of the Aquarius Plateau during the race at approximately the same elevation.
Black Hole of White Canyon- One of the most scenic and least traveled stretches of highway in Utah leading up to Hite. Great way to cool down in the summer.
Goblin Valley- While there aren't many miles of trail, it's definitely worth making the trip to see this state park if you haven't yet.
There are many more trails in this area that I have not yet explored, so this list will continue to grow.
For each of the 3 “legs” of the Trifecta that you complete, you will receive 10% discount credited towards the next Ultra Adventures event that you participate in! Complete all three legs of the Trifecta and you have earned yourself 30% off of the next event! These discounts can also be accumulated, so after 3 events, you can earn 90% off of the 4th event just for getting out and doing what you love!!
***Race credit must be redeemed within one year from the race date and the amount credited is based on the amount that you paid for the event that you participated in- (ie. for a $100 registration fee you would earn $10 credit for each leg of the Trifecta, for a $200 registration fee, you would earn $20 credit for each Trifecta leg completed).