Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scenic Highway 12: The Drive From Escalante to Boulder

Photograph of the road - taken from the car.

Highway 12 in southern Utah is designated as a Scenic Byway with good reason.  I had driven another Scenic Byway in Utah during August, and it was beautiful, but this drive from Escalante to Boulder was astounding.

View area.  You can see the highway on the upper right section of the photo.

The highway climbs to this spectacular viewing area where colorful rock stretches as far as you can see.  We could see the highway descending through this amazing country below us, and were excited to be able to drive through this beautiful and stark area.  The pink and coral colors contrasted nicely with the blue sky and green of the sparse vegetation.

Scenery between Escalante and Boulder, Utah

Another view of the road winding below.

Don't plan on driving this section in a big hurry. There are enough twists and turns, steep downhills and climbs, to keep a driver on the alert.  Also, who would want to speed through this spectacular view?  Pull-outs are stationed along the road a strategic points so you can stop to take in the view or to take pictures.

Scenic Highway 12 extends from Bryce Canyon to Torrey, Utah, the gateway to Capitol Reef National Park.  It is a beautiful drive, and with three state parks along the route, there is plenty to see and do.  We drove this section in one day, and stopped at Grosvenor Arch, Kodachrome Basin, Escalante State Park, and Anasazi State Park.

Geologic Formation along Scenic Highway 12

If you don't want to stop to take photos, try your hand at taking pictures out the window, as I did with the above photo.  Caution:  only take pictures out the window if you are the passenger or if you are stopped safely off the road! Happy driving, and enjoy the scenery!

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