Travel Postcards – Burr Trail, Utah

Burr Trail winds its way through some of Utah’s most stunning scenery, from the small town of Boulder to Bullfrog near Lake Powell. Along the way the scenery makes me feel tiny but I also feel very much in touch with the earth and the geology of the area.

Burr Trail Winding RoadBurr Trail Winding Road – Nikon Coolpix S550, handheld, f5.6, 1/426, 6mm, natural light

The trail winds through canyons with sheer walls of Wingate sandstone, lighter colored Navajo sandstone which at one time were sand dunes that became petrified over time. The slopes are dotted with junipers, rabbitbrush and sagebrush.

Hole in a Rock on Burr TrailHole in a canyon wall on Burr Trail – Nikon D70, handheld, f11, 1/100, ISO 320, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 200mm, natural light

Narrow and majestic Long Canyon has walls that tower hundreds of feet above the road and often those walls have a dark coating of “Desert Varnish” on them which is manganese dioxide and has been used by ancient tribes to create Petroglyphs. In this image there are spots of the varnish on the canyon wall on the right side of the frame.

Burr Trail IllusionBurr Trail Illusion – Nikon D70, f11, 1/500, ISO 320, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 44mm, natural light

At an overlook along the trail are there hills colored by clay. This image could puzzle a person, did I take it by pointing my camera lens up or down?

Burr Trail Illusion RevealedBurr Trail Illusion Revealed – Nikon D70, f11, 1/500, ISO 320, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18mm, natural light

I was pointing my camera down in the last image. In the distance are the Henry Mountains and Capital Reef National Park. Part of the trail is paved and the other part is a dirt road.

I haven’t yet traveled the entire trail but I am sure the sections I haven’t seen are just as incredible as the sections I have.

Off of the beaten track, this trail is very much worth the journey.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Mia, These are fabulous.

    We are just getting ready to make a trip down that way with our grand-daughters. We will be staying in Kodachrome, in Escalante and then Capitol Reef. We love that country. It has been a long time since we did the Burr Trail we might have to sneak in a ride on this trip.

    I bought them some nice point and shoot cameras so they could learn some basics. I am taking my Cannon SLR.

    • Sheila, I hope that you and your family have an awesome trip down south, Kodachrome is spectacular and a great place to stay. Escalante & Capitol Reef are too! I hope you get to Burr Trail.

  2. Wonderful views and amazing color Mia, you’re right about the puzzling image. Love this post!

  3. What a totally different world Utah is compared to Kentucky. It’s like night and day. Love those images Mia. Carol

  4. Mia, thank you for taking us along on your travels. Such stunning, scenic landscapes to see. You photographs are outstanding, as always!

  5. That’s quite a striking landscape, Mia. Terrific views and interesting rock colours. The Burr Trail doesn’t look like a busy road!

  6. Awesome!

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