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Highway 12 Scenic Byway (Hell’s Backbone)

Kara Westerlund
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This scenic byway was once voted the second most beautiful road in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Starting in Panguitch, the drive will take you through Bryce Canyon National ParkCapitol Reef National Park, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. You’ll cross desert, see massive rock formations, and travel up Thousand Lakes Mountain to almost over 10,000 feet. Heading into Torrey, you’ll leave red rock high desert landscapes to drive through pine forests and lakes. The road is narrow, winding, and beautiful at every turn with scenery that changes almost every fifteen minutes. 

Scenic Drive Tips

Boulder City is beautiful with some quaint restaurants. Try Kiva Koffeehouse, Burr Trail Grill, and Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm. Hike Lower Calf Creek Falls and camp at Calf Creek Recreation Area Campground, a small BLM site with 13 camping sites. Kodachrome Basin State Park is so quiet that you will feel like you are camping on the moon. Check out Larbs Hollow Overlook, and don’t forget to stop at the overlook in Escalante to see a view so spectacular that photos can’t capture it. There is so much to see along the way, so just slow down and enjoy the ride!

Submitted By

Cindy Williford, Karen Sharpe, Chris Davison, Dorothy Else, Jerry Karlovich

Photo Source

Culture Trip, Back Road Ramblers, Utah.com

Important Note:

As indicated above, this scenic drive was submitted by an independent third party and has not been verified by Triple E Recreational Vehicles. Please do your own research on suitability, road conditions and road safety before attempting to drive this route.

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