Utah is a strange and wondrous world. Out of all the states (29) that I’ve been to, this one is the most interesting. From the Salt Flats (out of this world strange) in the North to the rocky formations and aspen forests in the South. Route 12 cuts through many of Utah’s most amazing features.
The Red Canyon is located on the Dixie National Forest. Rightly named, it has fascinated people for centuries. A quick glance at it’s unique scenery is easy to tell why.
We spent the most of our time here and unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. There are so many places to hike and so many things to see. We did the Birds Eye Trail and Mossy Cave Trail.
This area is open and it’s trails are open all year round.
Kodachrome Basin State Park & the Grand Staircase National Monument
The Grand Staircase is broken into three parts; the Canyons of Escalante, The Grand Staircase and the Kaiparowits Plateau. We stuck to the Kaiparowits Plateau and saw some pretty interesting landscapes. There was a lot of gray rock here, with red highlight which was fascinating to me.
Capital Reef National Park
This National Park isn’t technically on Route 12, but you can follow Route 24 right at the junction and drive through a portion of the park. We did this as we needed to head east anyway for our next stop. There is a lot of history here about the first settlers, including an old school house and the cabin of the family who settled in the park, for a year and found the conditions too harsh. Either flash floods that destroyed their irrigation or droughts. There are a lot of neat rock formations, bright red and orange, along the route and a few hiking trails.
For more information about Utah’s Scenic Route 12, visit Highway 12 – All American Road There’s a lot of great information there and a map of the route.