National Scenic Byways
All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12
Highway 12 from Panguitch to Torrey passes through twisting canyons, red rock towers, pine forests and pioneer towns. Punctuating the drive are breathtaking panoramas, national parks and monuments, recreation areas and state parks. 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. 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.
Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway National Scenic Byway
Connecting onto I-70, this 512-mile route truly is a gem, creating a "diamond" pattern on the map through what was once Utah's "Jurassic Park." Beginning from Moab, you'll drive north through Price and Vernal, then a return trip south through the western Colorado towns of Dinosaur, Rangely and Fruita. Join dinosaur enthusiasts and scientists from around the world along you way! Explore the museums, active dig sites and rock art, 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.
Energy Loop: Huntington and Eccles Canyons National Scenic Byway
The Energy Loop: Huntington and Eccles Canyons National Scenic Byway (S.R. 96, 264, 31, U.S. 6) carries you over the Wasatch Plateau, capturing Utah’s high-alpine experience with 360 degree views including Mount Nebo to the north and the San Rafael Swell to the east. During the fall, contrasting fields of yellow aspens and deep green conifers line the path. Don’t miss the Wedge Overlook of the San Rafael Swell (the Little Grand Canyon), Huntington Reservoir and Mammoth Discovery Site of 8-8-88, Stuart Guard Station, Electric Lake and the famous Arapeen OHV trail.
Flaming Gorge-Uintas National Scenic Byway
The Flaming Gorge-Uintas National Scenic Byway runs between Vernal and Manila on U.S. 191 and Utah Highway 44. As you drive, you will pass through one of the richest areas for wildlife and their fossilized ancestors in the western United States. Pull over at any of the 15 Wildlife Through the Ages interpretive sites and nature trails to explore an unusual diversity of natural ecosystems both past and present. Here you will find stunning landscapes that have been uplifted and carved by the earth’s forces, exposing almost seven miles of rock evidence of warm shallow seas along ancient coastlines and Sahara-like dune felds. The formations exposed comprise 770 million years of geologic history, making it one of the greatest varieties of formations found anywhere. You'll also have access to 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
U.S. 89 north and east from Logan to the Utah/Idaho Border is a 41-mile National Scenic Byway and 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.
Nebo Loop National Scenic Byway
The beautiful Nebo Loop National Scenic Byway (F.R. 15) provides stunning views of Utah and Nephi valleys while looking up at the tallest peak in the Wasatch Range, the 11,928- foot Mt. Nebo. The 38-mile loop offers multiple picturesque campsites, picnic sites and several waterfalls only a short hike off the road. Traversing between Payson and Nephi, the byway 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 Mount Nebo.
Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway
Just south of Moab and Arches National Park you can travel through time along portions of the dramatic Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway (U.S. 191, 163 and S.R. 261, 262), which intersects with Ancestral Puebloan history of the Four Corners area. On your road trip, you’ll see evidence of early cultures that built a life in the ruggedly beautiful Canyonlands region, including incredible cliff dwellings. Learn the Ancestral Puebloan history at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding. Explore the ruins of the fascinating Hovenweep National Monument. Take the scenic drive through Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park then tour the Valley of the Gods. Plan a stop at the remote and spectacular Natural Bridges National Monument. Option to return home along the Bicentennial Highway Scenic Byway U.S. 95 to Hanksville through red rock landscapes and beautifully tranquil desert places.
Utah’s Patchwork Parkway National Scenic Byway
Utah’s Patchwork Parkway National Scenic Byway (S.R. 143) travels from Parowan to Panguitch with a side trip to Cedar Breaks National Monument on S.R. 148. Experience diverse colors, cultures and climates as you climb and descend the byway through the Dixie National Forest. 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.
Zion National Scenic Byway
The Zion National Scenic Byway (S.R. 9) travels from the intersection with S.R. 17 in La Verkin, through the towns of Rockville and Springdale, into Zion National Park and ending at the park's east entrance. The entrance fee is required, even if you’re just in it for the road trip (but you’ll want to stop and stay awhile). The Zion National Scenic Byway is a spectacular road that showcases unparalleled scenery, vibrant communities and diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation on public lands.
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 Southern 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.
Bear Lake Scenic Byway
The top of Utah is a tranquil place, rich in wildlife, natural splendor and cultural amenities. Drive S.R. 30, from Laketown to Garden City along the shore of the brilliant turquoise-colored Bear Lake, a.k.a. the "Caribbean of the Rockies." In the summer, stop for one of Garden City's famous raspberry milkshakes. You can cool off on a personal watercraft or luxuriate on sandy beaches and complement your adventure with nights on the town or quiet sunrises in untouched wilderness.
Big Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway
Big Cottonwood Scenic Byway (S.R. 190) is just minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and can be accessed by taking I-215 to 6200 South exit. The byway begins at the mouth of the canyon and goes east on S.R. 190. The canyon narrows almost immediately to dramatic alpine scenery as you enter the forest. Visitors can hike through the mining country of the Old West or enjoy rock climbing, wildflower photographing, picnicking, camping or fishing. The major ski resorts of Solitude and Brighton are near the top of the canyon and in the summer months, travelers can continue through to Park City via Guardsman Pass. Note: watershed prohibits domestic animals in this area.
Great Salt Lake Legacy Parkway Scenic Byway
This beautiful area connects the Salt Lake City International Airport with views of the world-famous Great Salt Lake. The byway (S.R. 67) is just a short drive from Salt Lake City. Traveling northbound on I-15, take Exit 319 and go west. Traveling southbound, take Exit 324. Millions of migratory birds enjoy Great Salt Lake as a huge cafeteria as they pass through from South America and Canada each spring and fall. Visitors enjoy the white sand beaches of Antelope Island State Park and, yes, you can float in the Great Salt Lake. The scenic byway and trail system along the Great Salt Lake has provided a new way to experience its cultural and ecological importance.
Little Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway
Little Cottonwood Scenic Byway (S.R. 210) begins at the mouth of the canyon and can be accessed by taking I-215 to the 6200 South exit. Few places so near an urban area are so rich in natural diversity. On your scenic drive, if time permits, stop and take in the wildflowers that bloom in the Albion Basin during the spring and early summer months, or take a hike that leads to a high altitude lake for fishing. The granite cliffs are a paradise for both rock climbers and the mountain goats you might see as you drive the byway. During the summer Little Cottonwood Canyon is renowned for its crack climbing on 400-foot granite walls alongside the highway. During the winters, it is a skiers paradise on slopes at Alta and Snowbird ski resorts. Dogs are not permitted in the canyon as it is a protected watershed area.
Mirror Lake Scenic Byway
It’s all scenic driving all the time on the 56-mile Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, until you’re lured from your car. Between beautifully developed campgrounds and endless designated wilderness, you’ll find the perfect stop to park your RV or pitch your tent for blissfully cool nights away from it all. Fish from your choice of hundreds of lakes and streams, take short strolls along the river, jump on a horse or ATV and, with way-finding skills and the right supplies, climb Utah’s loftiest peaks. You'll pick up the byway in Kamas, which is only 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, 55 minutes from Provo and 75 minutes from Ogden. From Highway 189, take S.R. 32 east to Kamas. The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway (S.R. 150) traces the Upper Provo River as it climbs to 10,700 feet.
Morgan-Parleys Scenic Byway
This drive stretches from I-84 in Morgan along S.R. 66 to East Canyon State Park and then southward along S.R. 65 toward I-80 at Mountain Dell Reservoir. The route winds through canyons, farmland and forests and follows part of three historic trails: the Mormon, California and Pony Express trails. Note that the S.R. 65 south of Big Mountain to Little Dell Reservoir closes for approximately six months annually from winter to spring.
Ogden River Scenic Byway
The top of Utah is a tranquil place, rich in wildlife, natural splendor and cultural amenities. The Ogden River Scenic Byway (S.R. 39) starts from Ogden’s 12th Street and heads east through Ogden Canyon and toward the Wasatch Cache National Forest Boundary. In the Ogden Valley, make a refreshing stop at Pineview Reservoir or take on a day of lift-served mountain biking at Snowbasin Resort. If time permits, stop for a bite in Ogden's historic downtown.
Provo Canyon Scenic Byway
The Provo Canyon Scenic Byway (U.S. 189) connects the beautiful Utah and Heber valleys through Provo Canyon. There are many opportunities for adventure in the canyon, such as Bridal Veil Falls, Stewart Falls, Sundance Mountain Resort, zip-lines, horseback riding, river tubing, Timpanogos Cave National Monument and an extensive trail system. About 45 miles south of Salt Lake City via I-15, you can begin the byway in Provo and continue northeast to Heber City. Choose the really scenic route (particularly in the fall) by adding the Alpine Loop (S.R. 92) past Sundance Mountain Resort and Timpanogos Cave.
Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway
Travel on I-15 to the exit for Beaver and head east on S.R. 153, Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway. A fall favorite, the Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway will transport you in time to a view of the west in the late 1800s. You’ll drive through the Tushar Mountain Range where you can enjoy OHV riding, backpacking, mountain biking, horseback riding, trout fishing and camping in beautiful pine surroundings with breathtaking vistas. Be sure to visit the nearby cities of Beaver, Junction and Marysvale to stock up on supplies or shop locally. In your trip include a visit to the Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum and the Fremont Indian State Park and Museum.
Capitol Reef Country Scenic Byway
This drive along Utah Highway 24 from Loa to Hanksville and through Capitol Reef National Park is nonstop knockout scenery, from the green valley of the Fremont River through the dramatic geologic upheaval of the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef to the wild shale and sandstone high desert mesas and buttes that spread out to the north of the rugged Henry Mountains. It is approximately 75 miles from Loa to Hanksville. Make that 75 extraordinary miles. Visitors on the All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12 connecting with the Capitol Reef Country Scenic Byway (S.R. 24) can continue west for 20 minutes to access Fish Lake.
Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway
Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway (S.R. 148) takes you from the Markagunt High Plateau Scenic Byway (S.R. 14) to the visitor center of Cedar Breaks National Monument. Several easy and moderate hikes allow you to view the huge natural amphitheater, which is more than 2,000 feet deep and three miles from rim to rim. Cedar Breaks National Monument is internationally recognized for its clear dark night skies, as the park offers visitors the chance to see a vast array of stars and galaxies. Cedar Breaks National Monument also hosts an annual festival that includes workshops and events in it’s high-altitude and colorful meadows. If time permits, travel southeast onto the Markaguant High Plateau Scenic Byway which will connect you with Navajo Lake.
Fish Lake Scenic Byway
Thanks to its Central Utah location east of the junction of I-15 and I-70, there are many ways to access the Fish Lake Scenic Byway (S.R. 25). Visitors on the All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12 connecting with the Capitol Reef Country Scenic Byway (S.R. 24) can continue west for 20 minutes to access Fish Lake while travelers on I-15 will exit at I-70 if northbound from St. George or U.S. 50 east if southbound from the Wasatch Front. Aptly named, the lake boasts excellent fishing, particularly large Mackinaw trout, splake, rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. In the winter, ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing are popular. Fish Lake is Utah’s largest natural mountain lake and sits at 8,848 feet. Also try fishing Johnson Valley Reservoir. The nearby towns of Koosharem, Fremont, Loa, Richfeld and Bicknell make excellent base camps to Fish Lake Scenic Byway.
Kolob Fingers Road Scenic Byway
While it is a short byway, Kolob Fingers Road packs in a lot of scenery. Take Exit 40 from Interstate 15 on the northwest side of Zion National Park and proceed up the distinctive red asphalt switchbacks among the park’s towering cliffs. While the view at the end is spectacular, there are also options to get out and hike along the byway. If you find yourself wanting to stretch your legs, consider hiking the La Verkin Creek Trail, the Taylor Creek Trail or the Timber Creek Overlook Trail.
Markagunt High Plateau Scenic Byway
The Markagunt High Plateau Scenic Byway follows S.R.14, with stunning views of Dixie National Forest between Cedar City and Long Valley Junction. Traveling onto the Markagunt High Plateau Scenic Byway will connect you with Navajo Lake. This 3.5-mile-long lake is drained by sinkholes where water from inlets dramatically disappears into the ground. From Markaguant High Plateau Scenic Byway you can also enjoy the Mammoth Cave (a lava tube), Strawberry Point, Zion Overlook and a panoramic view of Kolob Terrace.
Mount Carmel Scenic Byway
The Mount Carmel Scenic Byway’s (U.S. 89) north-south trajectory means a dramatic variance in geology and landscape as the 60-mile-long road traverses the Markagunt Plateau through the Sevier River valley and descending cliffs of Pink, Gray, White and Vermillion that make up the Grand Staircase. From Panguitch, you'll travel south with the options to take side trips to Cedar Breaks National Monument, Dixie National Forest and Zion National Park. You'll end up in Kanab, where explosive colors, dynamic landscapes, rich history and vibrant restaurants go on forever.
The scenic drive begins in Hanksville at the intersection of UT-24 and UT-95. You can reach this by I-70 by taking exit 149. The scenic drive then heads through the desert on UT-95 with Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park looming in the distance on either side of the highway. Consider a trip to either of these national parks to take in unique geological red rock landscapes and beautifully tranquil desert places. You will definitely want to plan a stop at the remote and spectacular Natural Bridges National Monument before reaching Blanding, where you can explore a 1,000-year-old Puebloan village and the largest collection of Ancestral Puebloan pottery in the Four Corners region.
Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway
UT-313 is a 22.5 mile long scenic byway and the ultimate gateway into Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. Along the byway, you will have views of the La Sal Mountains to the east, the Abajo Mountains to the south, the Henry Mountains to the west and the Bookcliffs to the north as you wind your way through Grand and San Juan counties. Along the byway, you'll encounter breathtaking scenery and family-friendly activities. Be sure to check out Moab Giants Dinosaur Park, Cliffline Viewpoint, Seven Mile Canyon and Dead Horse Point Overlook Trail. Dead Horse Point makes you feel as if you are on top of the world, with some of the most amazing 360-degree views.
Indian Creek Scenic Byway
Beginning at a junction with US Highway 191, 14 miles north of Monticello, the Indian Creek Scenic Byway (S.R. 211) travels west across the sage plain, through Photograph Gap, and descends the switchbacks into Indian Creek Canyon. The byway follows the Indian Creek Canyon until the landscape opens out into a broad valley at which point the byway accesses a county road which leads to the Abajo Mountains and Beef Basin within the larger Canyon Rims Recreation Area. The byway ends at the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. If you’re south of Moab on S.R. 211, keep an eye out for Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument. A lot of folks miss it as they travel from park to park, but this place is really unique. It’s a huge rock covered with petroglyphs carved 2,000 years ago by the Fremont, Navajo, Anasazi and Pueblo people.
Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway
Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway (S.R. 279) runs between a towering sandstone cliff and the Colorado River. Just south of Moab, this spectacular corridor is home to lush canyons, dinosaur tracks, ancient rock art, arches and an abundance of climbing routes. Approximately 2 miles into the drive there is a pull off where you can view the Moab valley and surrounding red rock. Further up the road you will enter the start of the Wall Street climbing area. You can see climbers scattered along the enormous slick rock wall on various routes at all times of the year. If climbing isn't your forte, there are numerous trails suitable for all hiking levels.
A Quick Guide to the Bonneville Salt Flats
Here's everything you need to know to visit and plan for Salt Lake City's nearby Bonneville Salt Flats.
A Van Lifer’s Guide to Responsible Travel in Southern Utah
When Utah’s dirt roads are calling you, it’s time to plan your van life road trip. Here’s what you need to know to travel safely, protect Utah’s rural communities, and help preserve sensitive desert landscapes.
A Visitor's Guide to Zion's Kolob Canyons
In the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park, you’ll find a scenic wonderland with an adventure for everyone. Learn more about this unforgettable attraction and plan a visit.
Ancient Pictographs, Petroglyphs and Timeless Mysteries
Exploring Horseshoe Canyon isn’t for everyone. First of all, the effort to get there is an adventure in itself, but those efforts make the reward — namely, the chance to see up close some of the most significant pictograph panels in North America — even more noteworthy.
Arrive by Train
Follow author Tim Sullivan and his eight-year-old daughter as they travel by train, bus and bike on a "pilgrimage" to Golden Spike National Historic Site.
Boomer Travel: 76 Hours in Moab
Moab, Utah is a prime destination for Baby Boomer travel. Check out our specially-designed itinerary and plan your visit!
Chasing John Wesley Powell: Six Places to Explore Utah's Green and Colorado Rivers
One hundred and fifty years ago a one-armed Civil War veteran set off with nine mountain men on a scientific expedition to map one of the last blank spaces left on the U.S. map: The Green and Colorado rivers. Much of the river remains wild today. Follow Powell's journey here.
Hole N'' the Rock
Your road trip in Moab might call for a stopover at the famous Hole N” The Rock.
Kiva Koffeehouse is a welcome stop for fresh food and espresso tucked on a hillside down a dirt driveway near milepost 73 on the scenic byway.
Mesa Farm Market
Best local shops and healthy eats near Moab and Capitol Reef. Try the goat cheese!
Moonscapes, Marscapes and More
If you want to know what Mars looks like — then the dramatic terrain of Capitol Reef National Park and the surrounding lands are a good place to start.
Movies Filmed in Utah: Plotting a Cinematic Drive-Through
Follow a Germany-based film enthusiast on an extended road trip to discover the rich history of Utah cinematography.
Reef Walking, Petroglyphs and Bones
Check out the world’s densest concentration of dinosaur bones at Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry and explore other prehistoric wonders around Utah.
Riding the Arapeen OHV Trail of Central Utah
Looking for the best off-roading trails in Utah? You have to try the Arapeen OHV Trail, featuring hundreds of miles of scenic backcountry trails in Central Utah. Start planning now!
Roaming Grand Staircase–Escalante
Ace Kvale is a photographer and guide in Boulder, Utah. Whenever possible, he hikes Utah's Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument with his dog.
San Rafael Swell Throughout the Seasons: 4 Reasons to Visit
From narrow slot canyons to grand sweeping vistas, sandstone plateaus to meandering rivers, San Rafael Country and the San Rafael Swell are home to some of the most spectacular scenery in Utah.
See the Fall Leaves Near Utah's National Parks
Sure, any of Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks are spectacular year round — covered in snow, peppered with spring wildflowers, and baked in sunshine. But find them exponentially special when the changing fall leaves are in juxtaposition to the immaculate red rock cliffs.
Serenity Found in Torrey and Capitol Reef’s Cathedral Valley District
Taking Southern Utah’s remote, less-traveled path in Capitol Reef's Cathedral Valley District to nurture your body, mind and spirit.
The All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12
This is 122.863 miles (to be exact) of pure driving bliss. Welcome to Utah’s Scenic Byway 12, a designated All-American Road.
The Art of Supporting Utah Artists
Here’s a look at six local artists whose work draws upon Utah’s diverse environments as inspiration.
The Story of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
Ancient erosion and modern cinema joined forces to elevate Monument Valley to one of the world's most iconic places to visit — but it's also the sacred home of the Navajo people. Learn more about the history, size and scenes that define the Monument Valley Utah experience.
Touring the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway
Discover dinosaurs in Utah. The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway is one of the best places to see dinosaurs in Utah.
Utah’s Unexpected Pit Stops
You’re doing it wrong if you think road trip pit stops are boring layovers on your way to more exciting destinations. How many of these hidden gems have you been to? Here are 11 mini-adventures to check off your list next time you’re road-tripping through Utah.
Winter Wonders in Greater Zion
As you’re mapping out your winter trip through southeastern Utah, consider adding the following parks and natural wonders to your itinerary.
Year-round Vibrance on the Nebo Loop Byway
A National Scenic Byway that Enchants at High Elevations, by Road or Trail
Plan Your Trip
Utah is a hard state to beat when it comes to scenic road trips. Find breathtaking routes and gorgeous backroads in this guide to Utah road trips.
View information for transportation in Utah such as rail, bus, car and flight. Also, find maps, weather details, and road conditions for the state.
Utah's Scenic Backways
Utah’s scenic backways combine paved, winding explorations into narrow canyons or remote landscapes with more adventurous turns down paths known for rough surfaces and extreme grades, all in the pursuit of hidden beauty.
Easy Riding: Southern Wasatch to Monument Valley
Talking about freedom and living it are two different things. Utah’s iconic American West offers both the picture-perfect backdrops to freedom and the roads for living it. This six-day itinerary follows the open-road inspiration of “Easy Rider."
- Timpanogos Cave National Monument
- Indian Creek Corridor Scenic Byway
- National Scenic Byways
- Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
History & Hoodoos
Just the national parks, ma'am. We get it. You're a bucket-lister with a checklist and a pen. We hope it has a lot of ink.
- The Mighty 5® national parks
- All-American Road Scenic Byway 12
- Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument
- Dead Horse Point State Park