Only the most adventurous travelers enter the remote canyons and desert country of the north. The few roads cannot be negotiated by four-wheel-drive vehicles, let alone ordinary cars, in wet weather. In good weather, high-clearance vehicles (good clearance is more important than four-wheel-drive) can enter the region from the east, north, and west.
The roads lead through stately sandstone monoliths of Cathedral Valley, volcanic remnants, badlands country, many low mesas, and vast sand flats. Foot travel allows closer inspection of these features or lengthy excursions into the canyons of Polk, Deep, and Spring Creeks, which cut deeply into the flanks of Thousand Lake Mountain.
Mountain bikers enjoy these challenging roads as well, but they must stay on established roads. Much of the north district is good for horseback riding, too. Cathedral Valley Campground’s five sites provide a place to stop for the night; rangers won’t permit car camping elsewhere in the district. The campground is on the four-wheel-drive Cathedral Valley loop road about 36 miles from the visitor center  (from the park entrance, head 12 miles east on Highway 24, then turn north and ford the Fremont River and follow Hartnet Road about 24 miles to the campground); check on road conditions at the visitor center before heading out.
The Upper Cathedral Valley Trail, located just below the campground, is an enjoyable one-mile walk offering excellent views of the Cathedrals. Hikers with a backcountry permit must camp at least 0.5 mile from the nearest road. Guides to the area can be purchased at the visitor center.