We'd been on the paved part of Temple Mountain Road before when we went to Goblin Valley State Park and did Molly's Castle for the first time in 2013. But we'd only gone as far as the Goblin Valley turnoff, so we had a lot more of it to see. We started on the far end at Hidden Splendor.
It's a pretty area in Taylor Flat on that end -- the usual desert views that are always so breathtaking. That part soon gave way to the buttes and changing layers of Sinbad Country, though. The trail was easy, and it gave us time to look around.
The trail went around Flat Top, and we could see Temple Mountain in the distance. When we got to the large parking area and pit toilet across from the Behind The Reef Road trailhead we stopped there for a while. We read the signs and stretched our legs. There were people, ATVs, RVs, and dirtbikes just about everywhere. It was Memorial Day Weekend, and the place was really busy.
We wanted to get a track of the whole thing, so we kept going as it turned from dirt to pavement. The trail took us through San Rafael Reef, and we were soon cruising quickly to the trailhead at the highway and through the San Rafael Desert. When we got there, we did a u-turn and headed back in and through the reef again to go check out Behind The Reef Road.