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! This road was considered the 2nd most beautiful road in the world by Fox News in 2013. This route will take you to 3 National Parks, a National Monument, with 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 will quickly climb 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 which is the highest forested mountain in the US. Here, you will drop elevation 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 is a relatively flat three-mile hike in a deep canyon that 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, there is a lovely hike along the Mossy Cave trail. This trail goes through a very scenic canyon and ends with a little waterfall. From here continue driving several miles to Bryce National Park.

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

Happy travels!

 

Note: the map, galleries, and YouTube video on this page were generated using the WYSIWYG Galaxie Blog post editor. The media on this page are not mine.