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All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12   |  Larry Price

Utah's Scenic Byways

The geographic size of Utah might seem daunting, but time on the road passes quickly when new discoveries punctuate each mile traveled. From ghost towns to dinosaur footprints and red rock towers or a Caribbean-color lake, Utah's 27 state and national scenic byways are destinations themselves. 

No matter where you are traveling in Utah, take the scenic byway there and you'll be rewarded with an eyeful of inspiring landscapes, ancient heritage, profound geology or diverse wildlife. Utah's 2,200 miles of scenic byways also connect many of The Mighty Five national parks, 43 state parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and more than nine million acres of national forest land with Utah's vibrant cities and welcoming towns. To help you find your way, curated itineraries plot inspirational routes through Utah, from the iconic classics to the hidden gems.

Distances and times listed below are approximate, and will vary with current conditions and your own pace. Several of the following byways present multiple opportunities to pull off the road for a scenic or interpretive overlook, and some of the longer routes would make an excellent weekend vacation — or longer — by themselves.

Learn more about what it takes to get around Utah, including information on driving laws, road conditions, seasonal road closures, rental cars, tours and shuttles.

On your way to Southern Utah? Consider hopping off I-15 and taking an indirect route that includes four scenic byways and lots of fascinating points of interest along the way.


National Scenic Byways

All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12 
119 miles | 4+ hours

Highway 12 from Panguitch to Torrey passes through twisting canyons, red rock towers, pine forests and pioneer towns, you will experience one of this nation's most beautiful drives. Punctuating the drive are breathtaking panoramas, national parks and monuments, recreation areas and state parks.

Between the breathtaking engineering of the ridge-traversing "Hogsback" and some of world's most startling geography, Scenic Byway 12 is simply one of America's most beautiful drives. You'll find it difficult not to stop at multiple points along the way to experience breathtaking panoramas, national parks and monuments, recreation areas and state parks.You'll also see pioneer towns like Henrieville, untouched by time. You can taste Zagat-rated local cuisine in an unexpected place: Boulder, Utah. In winter, make sure to inquire locally for road conditions. While driving Highway 12, imagine climbing the 124 miles on a bike. Elite cyclists do just that as part of America's Toughest Stage Race, the Tour of Utah.

Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway National Scenic Byway
512 miles | 9–10 hours nonstop or a thorough 2–3 day tour | Map

Connecting onto I-170, this 512-mile route truly is a gem, creating a "diamond" pattern on the map through what was once Utah's "Jurassic Park." From Moab, north through Price and Vernal, then a return trip south through Colorado's Dinosaur, Rangely and Fruita, join dinosaur enthusiasts and scientists from around the world. Explore the museums, active dig sites and rock art along the way, headlined by Dinosaur National Monument and Price's CEU Prehistoric Museum. Learn more about Utah as a dinosaur discovery utopia

 This byway has an accompanying TravelStorys audio experience. 
Download the TravelStorys mobile app to listen and discover while on the open road.

The Energy Loop: Huntington and Eccles Canyons National Scenic Byway
138 miles | 2.5–4 hours | Map

US Hwy 6 from Price or Hwy 89 from Fairview is an exhilarating drive during any season. Visitors will discover why this byway is known as the "Energy Loop" when they pass a working power plant and natural gas wells. Learn of the hardships of the first generation of coal miners and railroaders while traveling to elevations of more than 10,000 feet. Don’t miss the Wedge Overlook of the San Rafael Swell (the Little Grand Canyon), Huntington Reservoir, Stuart Guard Station and the Mammoth discovery of 8-8-88, Electric Lake and the famous Arapeen OHV trail.

Flaming Gorge-Uintas National Scenic Byway
80 miles | 1.75+ hours | Map

U.S. 191 from Vernal travels north to the Flaming Gorge Dam Visitor Center or the Wyoming border then returns to the junction of U.S. 191/Highway 44 and travels north to Dutch John.With 82 miles of wildlife viewing opportunities, this byway crosses habitats of deer, elk, moose, eagles and many other bird and animal species. You can learn about the region's geology and wildlife with the aid of interpretive signs. The byway features 17 interpretive pullouts and also accesses Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area with panoramic views of the reservoir, spreading north from the Flaming Gorge Dam. 

 This byway has an accompanying TravelStorys audio experience. 
Download the TravelStorys mobile app to listen and discover while on the open road.

Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway
41 miles| 1 hour | Map

U.S. 89 north and east from Logan to the Utah/Idaho Border is a 41-mile National Scenic Byway is the most scenic route from Northern Utah to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone in Wyoming. The byway runs alongside the winding Logan River from the city of Logan to Garden City. Much of the corridor travels through spectacular, craggy limestone cliffs. The scenic byway peaks at a glorious vista overlooking the turquoise waters of Bear Lake, then winds down the mountain to the Idaho border. Check out our itinerary for a North of the 41st Parallel Road Trip.

Nebo Loop National Scenic Byway
38 miles | 1.5+ hours | Map

Forest Service Road 15 between Payson and Nephi is a winding 38 mile scenic drive between Payson and Nephi connects the Grotto Falls Trail, Payson Lakes, Nebo Snowmobile complex, the Historic Payson Guard Station, Devil's Kitchen (resembles Bryce Canyon) and the overlook of the 11,938-foot Mount Nebo.

Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway
Side-trip style: 480 miles | 9–10 hours nonstop or 2–3 day tour | Map
Counter-clockwise: 300+ miles | 8+ hours nonstop or longer tour | Map (Moki Dugway route)

From Monticello to Monument Valley, Blanding to Mexican Hat via Natural Bridges, or Bluff to Hovenweep with a wide swing east into Colorado and south into Arizona. There are many ways to tackle this important scenic byway.

Packed with scenic vistas and both archaeological and cultural intrigue, the byway encounters numerous examples of Ancestral Puebloan history in the Four Corners area. A tour of the Utah portion of the Trail of the Ancients includes Four Corners Monument, Edge of the Cedars State Park and Museum, Natural Bridges National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, and many other areas of interest. A more circular route hits the steep and spectacular Moki Dugway, comprised of white-knuckle inducing gravel switchbacks. Get inspiration for a Road of the Ancients roadtrip.

Utah’s Patchwork Parkway National Scenic Byway
51 miles | 1.5+ hours | Map

S.R. 143 passes from Parowan to Panguitch with a side trip to Cedar Breaks National Monument on S.R. 148. During a winter snowstorm in 1864, Mormon pioneers painstakingly traversed this unforgettable mountain road by throwing down handmade patchwork quilts onto the snow, stepping on them gingerly to avoid sinking. Patchwork Parkway passes Brian Head Resort down the road on S.R. 148. Stop at the interpretive sites to learn more about the area's Mormon pioneer heritage.


State Scenic Byways

Utah's distinct topography provides the surface for 19 designated state byways. From the high mountain meadows of the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway in Northern Utah to the exposed rock strata of Souther Utah's Capitol Reef Country Scenic Byway, and the dozens of byways in between, Utah offers a state road network with unparalleled vistas and heritage. 

Northern Utah

Bear Lake Scenic Byway
10 miles | 15 minutes | Map

Highway 30, from Laketown to Garden City along the shore of the brilliant turquoise-colored "Caribbean of the Rockies," known as Bear Lake. In the summer, stop for one Garden City's famous raspberry milkshakes. Check out our itinerary for a North of the 41st Parallel Road Trip.

Big Cottonwood Canyon State Byway
15 miles | 25 minutes | Map

Highway 190, up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Solitude and Brighton winter and summer resorts and plenty of hiking and camping among beautiful alpine lakes. Note: watershed prohibits domestic animals in this area.

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