Utah's Scenic Byway 12
Utah, United States
Utah's Scenic Byway 12 Reviews
Utah's Scenic Byway 12 Sep 26, 2011
Scenic Byway 12 spans a route of 124 miles, and travels through some of the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. It runs through Utah’s Garfield and Wayne Counties and is home to Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks; Kodachrome Basin, Escalante Petrified Forest, and Anasazi Museum State Parks; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the 1.8-million-acre Dixie National Forest.
Scenic Byway 12 has two entry points. The southwestern gateway is from U.S. Highway 89 (US 89), seven miles south of the city of Panguitch. The northeastern gateway is from Highway 24 in the town of Torrey near Capitol Reef National Park.
It is best to start the scenic drive from the Interstate 15, from there get on route 9 to visit Zion National Park. After Zion, keep driving on route 9 until meet up route 89. This part of route 9 is pretty winding and the scene is beautiful.
Scenic Byway 12 takes you through memorable landscapes, ranging from the remains of ancient sea beds to one of the world’s highest alpine forests, and from astonishing pink and russet stone turrets to open sagebrush flats. The history and culture of the area blend together, making Scenic Byway 12 a journey like no other.
To take this trip, you need at least three days driving by car.
First night, after the first day of visiting of Zion and driving on route 9, you best place to stay is the Bryce Canyon Village. This will give you enough time to visit Bryce Canyon in the morning and drive on route 12 in the afternoon. Bryce Canyon is actually not a canyon, but a series of amphitheaters that are etched into the pink Claron limestone of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Many of the multicolor hoodoos, pinnacles, buttresses and columns are visible from the 37-mile round-trip scenic drive through the park, which offers numerous viewpoints, photographic opportunities and access to hiking trails.
You can stay in Torrey for the second night because Torrey is close to Capitol Reef National Park. The third day is to see the Capitol Reef. Capitol Reef National Park is the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile-long monocline, or fold, in the Earth’s crust that towers as much as 2,000 feet above its eastern base. There is much to do and see here in this quarter million acre park.
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