un jour / 119 miles / 3 heures 57 minutes
Scenic Byway 12 takes you to the heart of the American West. This exceptional 124-mile route negotiates an isolated landscape of canyons, plateaus, and valleys ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level. You'll encounter archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities while driving this exhilarating byway.
9:00 - 17.2 miles / 34 minutes - 9:34
This short, easy hike into Bryce Canyon's northern area is the only hike in Bryce Canyon to parallel a year-round, running stream. One branch leads to a waterfall, the other to a damp cave.
The cave is a natural feature adjacent to Scenic Byway 12. Visitors may view both the cave itself and "the Dump" - where early pioneers diverted streams from the top of the Paunsaugunt Plateau into Bryce Valley.
10:34 - 8.4 miles / 16 minutes - 10:51
The interpretive theme of the Cannonville Visitor Center is the influence of the landscape on people, and the relationship between people and the land.
11:21 - 0 miles / 0 - 11:21
Located 9 miles south of Cannonville along paved roads, Kodachrome Basin State Park is a vividly colored geological area made up of numerous spectacular sand pipes or petrified geysers. The park has hiking trails, mountain biking, horseback riding, a small store, and a modern campground. Named by the National Geographic Society, it is a photographer's dream.
12:21 - 13.3 miles / 26 minutes - 12:47
East of Henrieville, just after crossing the Paria River
drainage, Scenic Byway 12 climbs through the eroded badlands of green-gray mudstone and sandstone of the Kaiparowits Formation, referred to locally as The Blues. Sparse in vegetation, this stunningly eerie, "blue" landscape yields some of the richest fossil specimens ever discovered from the Cretaceous Period. The Blues are a part of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The grey-brown rocks of this area are in startling contrast to the brilliant reds and golds of the rest of the area.
At the Lower Blues Overlook, travelers find a viewpoint of the Blues where there is information on geology, exploration, and paleontology. Striking views of the Blues and Powell Point, as well as beautiful rockwork walls make Upper Blues Pullout a "must-stop" pullout.
12:57 - 1.8 miles / 3 minutes - 13:01
p>Located 1 mile west of Escalante along Scenic Byway 12, the 130-acre Wide Hollow Reservoir within the Park's boundary adds water recreation and fishing to the travelers To Do List. Further, OHV riding areas are close by, and visitors can examine petrified wood dating back 160 million years. An interpretive trail that winds through the park provides information about the samples of colorful mineralized wood and dinosaur bones.
The Park's modern campground is open year-round, and all services are available in Escalante.
14:01 - 21.0 miles / 42 minutes - 14:43
Travelers may take a break from the curving, climbing road to view the twisted, rounded canyons below where outlaws once hid out in the Old West.
14:48 - 8.2 miles / 16 minutes - 15:05
About 15 miles east of Escalante, Scenic Byway 12 descends to the Calf Creek Recreation Area. Here, wade in the creek, have a picnic, or take the 5.5 mile round-trip nature hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. The sandy trail ends with water cascading 126 feet from the rock walls above into a pool surrounded by shade trees. Calf Creek Recreation Area also has a BLM campground and a picnic area.
17:05 - 5.7 miles / 11 minutes - 17:16
Scenic Byway 12 east of Escalante is "The Million Dollar Road to Boulder". This section was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and completed in 1935, providing the first year-round access for automobiles to this isolated pocket in southwestern Utah. Before then, mail and supplies were carried to Boulder by mules and pack horses over Hell's Backbone or the Boulder Mail Trail, both hazardous routes.
Here, the Million Dollar Highway travels its trickiest point -- along the top of a narrow canyon, which in places slopes down with little shoulder on both sides to a 2000-foot drop. There is a small turn off to the side of the road and many travelers cannot help but stop to peer over the edge. Down below the Escalante River is lined with trees and appears to be a giant green snake winding its way through the bottom of the canyon.
17:26 - 7.4 miles / 14 minutes - 17:41
Steep Creek Overlook offers a view of more than 100 miles on a clear day. Boulder Mountain is a recreation area for all outdoorsmen.
17:51 - 0.0 miles / - 17:51
Visitors to the Anasazi Indian Village State Park will go back in time to 1050 A.D. when the Fremont and Kayenta Anasazi occupied the area. An estimated 200 people once lived at the site, making it one of the largest Anasazi communities west of the Colorado River.
Take a self-guided tour through the partially excavated village and stop at the museum to view the artifacts. Anasazi Indian Village State Park is located in Boulder on Scenic Byway 12. The park is open daily all year excluding a few major holidays. Group and individual picnic areas are available. All services are available in Boulder.
18:21 - 8.0 miles / 16 minutes - 18:37
As Scenic Byway 12 descends the northern side of Boulder Mountain, this scenic overlook commands a stunning view of southeastern Utah, especially the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park and the Henry Mountains.
18:42 - 27.8 miles / 55 minutes - 19:37