Pictures along the route

 

Drive Through Video

Utah 12 Scenic Byway is one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

Instead of driving in a boring high desert in central Utah on I15, journey through time on one of the most beautiful roads in the world! In 2013, Fox News considered this road the second most beautiful road in the world. This route will take you to three National Parks, a National Monument, and two other National Parks close by. It is an amazing route that you will never forget, and I am sure that you will be compelled to come back and visit again.

If you are coming from the north, you will start your journey in Torrey Utah. Torrey is a small town that offers multiple choices for accommodations, however, it's a popular spot and if you stay in Torrey you may want to book your stay early.

You will first want to visit Capitol Reef National Park, which is about 10 miles away from Torrey. In the Park, take a right at the visitor center and drive through the park for another ten miles. There are some beautiful sights to visit along the way; once you're done, drive back to Torrey, and once you're back in town, take a left on Scenic Byway 12.

Highway 12 quickly climbs in elevation, and you will start driving into the Dixie National Forest. Here, you can pull over at the Larb Hollow overlook, which is a fantastic place to take a few pictures. Further south, you will climb Boulder Mountain, the highest forested mountain in the US. You will gently drop elevation from these heights and enter the hogback, where the road is on a high ridge that precipitously drops on either side.

The next destination is Lower Calf Creek Falls. This relatively flat three-mile hike in a deep canyon leads to a stunning waterfall. If you have the time, it is well worth your time. Be sure to bring sunscreen, though, as there is little shade in places, and it can get hot.

There are several attractions in the Escalante area. One of the most scenic options is taking the hole-in-the-rock road that leads to several arches and will eventually end up overlooking Lake Powell. Other attractions are the Escalante River trail and Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.

On your way to Bryce National Park, you can enjoy a lovely hike along the Mossy Cave trail. This trail goes through a scenic canyon and ends with a little waterfall. From here, you can continue driving several miles to Bryce National Park.

This whole trip is around 125 miles and can be done in as little as 3-4 hours. However, it is a remarkable drive, so if possible, you will want to take your time.

Happy travels!


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