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Highway 12 Scenic Byway

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Quick Facts
Designation: USFS Scenic Byway
Designation: Utah State Scenic Byway
Fees: Fees at campgrounds and parks along the way.
Length, One-Way: 122 Miles (203.33 Kilometers)
Time: At least a day due to steep grades, switchbacks, a

General Information

Description -
A Kaleidoscope of Color
Drive a byway that offers a kaleidoscope of color and a national gem at each end. Highway 12 is a showcase of sandstone sculpted by nature where people have lived and explored for thousands of years. Many travelers drive the byway as they travel between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks. As visitors drive the byway that connects the parks, they will be treated to views and stops just as enticing.

Culture for the Curious
Visitors to the byway will be able to experience life on the byway for the past and the present. Byway towns offer a flavor of the simple life in the middle of a fantastic wilderness. Historic stops and pullouts provide stories for the curious byway traveler. Ancient ruins and artwork can also be found throughout the canyons and rock faces that line this byway.

Irresistible Recreation
At nearly every turn there is an opportunity for visitors to get out of the car and stretch. But stretching is only the beginning. Hiking trails are everywhere along this byway. Hiking, horseback riding, and traveling by ATV are all irresistible activities that allow visitors to explore the back roads and trails of the area. As drivers continue through this wonderland of sculpted color, the urge to explore it firsthand is irresistible.

Attractions - The Highway 12 Scenic Byway is known for it's Archeology, Cultural, Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.

Directions from : From US 89 south of Panguitch, SR-12 travels through 122 miles of the most varied scenery in Utah. Beginning in Red Canyon, SR-12 winds through the northern portion of vibrant Bryce Canyon National Park, Dixie National Forest, past Kodachrome Basin State Park, through the new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Escalante Canyons, crosses over aspen-covered Boulder Mountain, and ends up in Torrey, just 5 miles west of Capitol Reef National Park.

The Hwy 12 paved route is rated one of the top ten Scenic Byways in America by Car and Driver magazine. Spanning a route of more than 120 miles, Hwy 12 travels from west to east through Garfield County and Wayne County.

Starting from Hwy 89 and SR-12 Junction

  • Hwy 12 Scenic Byway begins at U.S. Hwy 89, 7 miles south of the city and 8 miles north of the town of Hatch. When you start you bisect the beautiful red rock formations of Red Canyon in Dixie National Forest. Continuing east the Scenic Byway passes through spectacular views of a variety of rock formations. Stone and mud food storage structures called granaries can be seen along the route. Visitor centers and businesses along the way have information about the area.

  • From Escalante, geographically located near the midpoint of the Byway, the road turns north winding through vast expanses of slickrock country. Along the way travelers are rewarded with views of the Escalante River, Calf Creek Canyon, the Hogsback and Boulder Mountain. At Boulder visitors can get a firsthand look at life in a prehistoric Native American village at Anasazi Indian Village Park.

  • Continuing north from Boulder, Hwy 12 crosses the eastern flank of Boulder Mountain with spectacular views of Capitol Reef National Park, the Henry Mountains, Circle Cliffs, and Navajo Mountain on the far side of Lake Powell. On a clear day travelers can see more than 100 miles into Colorado and Arizona.

  • Hwy 12 ends at its northernmost point where it joins Hwy 24 in Wayne County. The town of Torrey is near the junction, and travelers can take the 9-mile drive east along Hwy 24 to Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center.

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    Recreation Opportunities
    Activity Remarks On Site
    ICON Scenic Driving Highway 12 Scenic Byway
    ICON Viewing Scenery Highway 12 Scenic Byway

    More Information

    Contact Information:
    Garfield County Council , , , , Phone: 800-444-6689
    , travgar@color-country.net

    Additional Information:
    Utah Scenic Byways - Utah's Scenic Byway Program is comprised of 27 routes that showcase Utah's splendor; from slick rock canyons and pristine deserts to majestic mountain views and high country lakes.

    Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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