As in most national parks, bikes and 4WD vehicles are restricted to established roads, but Capitol Reef has several such "established" roads -- actually, little more than dirt trails -- that provide exciting opportunities for those using 4WD or pedal power.
The only route appropriate for road bikes is the Scenic Drive, described above. Both the Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge roads, plus three longer backcountry roads, are open to mountain bikes as well as four-wheel-drive vehicles. Be aware that rain can make the roads impassable, so it's best to check on current conditions before setting out.
One recommended trip is the Cathedral Valley Loop. It covers about 60 miles on a variety of road surfaces, including dirt, sand, and rock, and requires the fording of the Fremont River, where water is usually 1 to 1 1/2 feet deep. The reward is unspoiled scenery, including sandstone monoliths and majestic cliffs, in one of the park's more remote areas. There's a primitive campground. Access is from Utah 24, outside the park, 12 miles east of the visitor center on the River Ford Road, or 19 miles east of the visitor center on the Caineville Wash Road.
Hondoo Rivers and Trails and Backcountry Outfitters offer full-day four-wheel-drive tours, including lunch, into the national park and surrounding areas, at rates from $125 to $150 per person. Early morning starting times are available for photographers who want to catch the light at sunrise, and specialized tours, including trips to rock art sites, are also available. Backcountry Outfitters, whose motto is "Get Out and Stay Out!", also rents mountain bikes at $32 to $42 for a half-day and $38 to $48 for a full day. Those wanting to go four-wheel-drive touring on their own can rent a 4WD vehicle for $95 to $125 per day, including 150 miles, at Thousand Lakes RV Park & Campground.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.