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Image by Jared Lisack


Hundreds of miles of unpaved roads ranging from calming journeys to hair-raising excursions exist in the regions surrounding Hanksville. This area  of Utah is a playground for those who love to explore the great outdoors in four-wheel drive vehicles. Whether you are looking for an easy, scenic drive or a challenging off-road adventure, there is something for everyone near Hanksville.

NOTE: Off road travel is NOT allowed inside Capitol Reef National Park itself.

Off-roading Near Hanksville

Here are a couple off-roading experiences that are particularly incredible in this area. These roads are not for the faint of heart as they may become impassable when wet. They are also only accessible by high clearance vehicles.


Robbers Roost

The Robbers Roost region, where Butch Cassidy and his "Wild Bunch" hid out, features historic desert hideouts and is split by deep red rock canyons near the Dirty Devil River. Only four-wheel drive vehicles can access this area and conditions can be very remote.

San Rafael Swell

The San Rafael Swell is a giant, up-warped dome of sedimentary rock that was once an ocean floor. The swell is filled with narrow slot canyons, mesas, buttes, and natural bridges. Back country roads penetrating this reef provide access to abandoned mining operations and archeological sites.

Image by cody lannom


If you're planning on doing any off-roading while in the area, it's important to be aware of a few things first. Off-roading can be extremely dangerous if you're not prepared. The desert conditions around Capitol Reef National Park are harsh and can change quickly. Make sure you have plenty of water and food, as well as a well-stocked first-aid kit. It's also important to let someone know where you're going and when you expect to be back.

Image by Nicolas Cool
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