Scenic, Photo, and Wild Horse Tours

backroad tours

We realize that not everyone’s into hiking, climbing and canyoneering, so for guests interested in sampling Capitol Reef country’s gorgeous views and unique experiences in more casual style, we offer 4WD tours across our 2.5-million acre permit area. We’ve lived right here for over 25 years, so we know the perfect spots, whether it’s for scenery, serious photography, or wild horse viewing.

Our 4WD vehicles will get you there safely and comfortably. All our backroad tours are led by certified Wilderness First Responders or Registered Nurses. All tours have complete First Aid Kits, and satellite beacons for emergency support in remote locations. Since these are custom trips, not canned tours, maximum group sizes are small, to offer guests a truly personalized experience. You will never be added to a pre-existing trip.

Scenic Tours
Southern Utah contains some of the world’s best scenery. That’s no secret, but we’ll show you places that are. Ute Indians called Capitol Reef’s Waterpocket Fold ‘land of the sleeping rainbow,’ for its magnificent colors, but that’s just the beginning.

From high mountain plateaus to austere badlands, our scenic tours are for guests who want to sit back and enjoy the views, hear about natural and western history, and go on short strolls to easy overlooks.


Photo Tours
For photographers who look beyond the same old national park scenics, Capitol Reef and its surroundings offer truly creative possibilities. We’re photographers ourselves, so whether you’re into horizon landscapes, near-far scenics, intimate macros, nature details, atmospherics, wildlife, or history and culture images, we can help fulfill your creative vision.


We know the best locations, the proper times for optimal light, and the weather conditions that make each location pop. We’re experienced in using solar and lunar software to help you arrive at the perfect place and time. We can offer tips, techniques, and full-on workshops, or we can simply provide location scouting and access services. It’s your choice.  We’ll happily arrange a location-rich tour tailored to your visual style and particular equipment.

Our standard photo tours run six to eight hours, and target either sunrise, or sunset, with meet-up times dependent on weather and seasonal day lengths. Call us! We’re happy to discuss logistics and tour options.

Timing Your Tour

[] Desert Wildflowers: Mid-April thru late May

[] Alpine Wildflowers: Mid-June thru July

[] Alpine Autumn: September

[] Desert Autumn: October

[] Moonrise: The night before true full

Wild Horse Viewing (June-August)

Utah is home to 2,600 free-roaming horses and burros, now-wild animals descended from the ‘mestengos’ (strays) of early Spanish herds. North American wild horse history began in the late Pleistocene, when their equine ancestors, native to North America, went extinct on our continent. Horses returned to the Southwest in 1598, when conquistador Juan de Onate, founder of Santa Fe, bred a herd of 75 Spanish stock up to 800 animals. In the American west, horse ownership by Native Americans began after the 1680 anti-Spanish Pueblo Revolt. Within a century, native horse use had spread from the West Coast to the Great Plains.

Wild horse populations in southern Utah increased sharply beginning in 1829, when the Old Spanish Trail connected New Mexico, California, Nevada, and Utah. Many horses were bought, sold, traded, stolen, and lost on the 1,100-mile journey. By 1900, western populations peaked at an estimated 2 million head. Within 50 years, rancher opposition, round-ups, aerial gunning, and even waterhole poisonings, had reduced numbers to an estimated 25,000. Several hundred of these mustangs now call the staggeringly scenic San Rafael Swell, just north of Capitol Reef, their home.


We run these tours only during the June thru August breeding season, when herds are grouped up, stallions are fighting, and the action is more interesting. Our tours typically run from 9am to 6pm, and include a scenic loop drive through Capitol Reef, the Caineville Badlands, the precipitous escarpments of the San Rafael, and the horse plains of Sinbad Country – a magnificent redrock landscape,enriched by its scattered herds of buckskins, bays, paints, palominos, and burros. Let us introduce you.





2019 RATES

 Contact: Jen Howe 435-425-3330
Steve Howe 435-425-3339

 Please note our reservations, deposit, and cancellation policy.

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