This scenic route is noted for its panoramic views of the surrounding painted desert country. The unpaved road climbs steeply through evergreen forests, from 6,800 feet (2,073 m) at the Hartnet/Cathedral (also known as the Caineville Wash)/Polk Creek Roads junction to 9,500 feet (2,896 m) on Thousand Lake Mountain, then drops to 7,000 feet (2,134 m) at Hwy 72. The mountain road is normally open from mid-June to late October. The road is closed during the winter and spring due to deep snow and muddy conditions.
Distances from the Hartnet/Cathedral (also known as the Caineville Wash)/Polk Creek Roads junction:
- 1 mile (1.6 km) Boundary between Capitol Reef N.P. and Fishlake N.F.
- 7 miles (11.3 km) Polk Creek and Elkhorn junction
- 12 miles (19.3 km) Hwy 72
- 19 miles (30.6 km) Fremont
- 24 miles (38.6 km) Hwy 24 at Loa