Scenic Byway 12

Overview

This byway provides an outstanding range of the recreation, scenery, and geological formations that Utah has to offer. The byway takes you through national and state parks and monuments – offering incredible red rock scenery, deep slot canyons, waterfalls, beautiful canyons, high mountains, juniper forests, and intense varieties of colors, no matter what season you visit in. Enjoy local archaeological, historical, and paleontological sites, as well as the exciting recreation – including hiking, camping, fishing, rock climbing, canyoneering, swimming, and horseback riding.

124 miles / 199.6 km, Panguitch to Torrey

Key Attractions

  • Boulder Mountain – great opportunities for fishing, camping, and hiking – breathtaking views and refreshing scenery – located on the Aquarius Plateau, the highest timbered plateau in North America

  • Powell Point – just north and in between Tropic and Henrieville – towering red rock mountain that stands out above the trees

  • Head of the Rocks Overlook – north of Escalante and south of Boulder – expansive and panoramic views of the countryside, stretching hundreds of miles with no obstacles in the path, only canyons and valleys below

  • Mossy Cave Trail and the Tropic Creek Waterfall – northwest of Tropic, UT – a scenic place to cool off, fun family activity area

  • Losee Canyon and the Arches Trail – hiking path where visitors can enjoy natural sandstone arches and other unique rock formations and landscapes

  • Sunrise Point – viewpoint overlooking Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Bryce Canyon National Park – the canyon contains some of the most stunning and absolutely unique rock formations, called hoodoos, in the entire world – made of colorful reds and oranges, surrounded by greenery and blue skies

  • Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument – large area that holds some of the most difficult terrain known to mankind – filled with different geologic formations, including arches, bridges, slot canyons, ridges, plateaus, mesas, buttes, and pinnacles – holds excellent examples of ancient rock art and paleontological sites

  • Capitol Reef National Park – park filled with great hikes, canyons, bridges, arches, creeks, and the Waterpocket Fold – the interesting geologic shape, a wrinkle in the earth, that extends for about 100 miles

  • Calf Creek Falls, Escalante Canyons – very popular and iconic hike to upper and lower falls – great for cooling off – fun for family

  • Reconstructed Anasazi House – Anasazi Village State Park, Boulder, UT – interactive tours and information of the building styles and history of the ancient Anasazi people

  • Boulder, UT – western-style, pastoral, and historic scenery – ranches, farms, barns, museums, and more

Location

  • 470 miles southeast from Denver, CO; 251 miles south of Salt Lake City, UT; 126 miles northeast of St. George, UT

  • Located in south-central Utah

  • Driving the byway:

    • Begin the byway at the junction of Hwy 89 and SR-12, seven miles south of Panguitch, UT and eight miles north of Hatch, UT

    • Drive east on SR-12 toward Tropic and Escalante – the road runs generally southeast until Escalante, where it runs primarily north

    • Continue on SR-12 until the end of the byway – the junction of SR-12 and Hwy 24, just east of Torrey, UT

Other Information

  • View map

  • Interactive map

  • Web site

  • Gas, food, lodging, shopping, restrooms, and phones are located along this byway – most located in the towns at the ends of the byway, Panguitch and Torrey

  • Camp sites are available in several locations – within Dixie National Forest, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and in various state parks and other recreation areas – primitive camping is available in several locations

  • Biking is a popular activity along this byway – bike paths are available through the Red Canyon area, near Panguitch – biking is not encouraged near The Hogsback area farther north, near Torrey, because of the narrow width of the road and varying weather


(This site is funded in part by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration.)