Utah, USA – All America Scenic Byway 12 – by Peter Ellis
Rated among the top ten scenic byways of the States, this drive takes you through slick rock canyons, red rock cliffs, pine and aspen forests and alpine mountains. This 120 mile drive takes you to or near National Parks, State Parks, quaint rural towns and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
This is a drive that does not need to be rushed as the forests and canyons have wonderful hiking trails and the well sited camp grounds allow you to stay a while – two to consider would be The Hole in the Rock and the Burr Trail. Bryce Canyon is certainly a place to stop and explore the beautifully coloured and dramatic hoodoos.
Byway 12 also crosses a narrow ridge known as the Hogsback with steep cliffs on either side. When I drove this section I found myself trying to hold the centre of the road and breathing in – but what a view on both sides!
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments has much to offer in the way of scenery that will stay with you for a long time. Places like Calf Creek Canyon and Boulder Mountain would be recommended. At Boulder you have the chance to explore the prehistoric Native American Village at Anasazi Indian State Park.
There truly is so much to see and do that you need to give yourself as much time along this Byway as is possible to see some of the USA’s most spectacular views – add in good bird and wildlife sightings and friendly locals – and you have a great destination with a difference.
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