Tantalus Flats

Torrey, Utah 84775

Tantalus Flats

Tantalus Flats Professional Review and Guide

"Capitol Reef National Park’s Waterpocket Fold is the decided focus of the Tantalus Flats tour with its uplifted and inclined sandstones played in colors of white, gold, and reddish orange; profound canyons that elude sunshine; and rotundas of lithified dunes. Of course you can waltz through similar terrain elsewhere in southern Utah’s canyon country. But no other route combines such desert splendor with an alpine approach.

Pulsating through heat vapors rising from the distant desert floor awaits Capitol Reef, marked by the Waterpocket Fold’s unwavering lineation of naked sandstone knobs. And the Henry Mountains, which tower above the Reef, add additional alpine components. You embark from the alpine while viewing the desert; by midday, you’ll be engulfed by the desert and look back at Boulder. The route starts with 3 miles of pavement of Utah State Hwy. 12, followed by 3.5 miles of packed dirt doubletrack to near Lower Bowns Reservoir. Thereafter the route follows doubletracks that vary from packed dirt, to rock-studded, to sand."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
700 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
March through late October
8,750 feet
Trailhead Elevation
Top Elevation
Dixie National Forest, Teasdale
Local Contacts
USGS: Bear Canyon, Fruita, Golden Throne, Grover, and Lower Bowns Reservoir
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018