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UTAH’S BEST SCENIC DRIVES Journeys that capture Utah’s Life Elevated® spirit

Photo by Barry Gutierrez


“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” — Wendell Berry


GUIDE CONTENTS 04

INTRODUCTION MAP

06–07

MULTIDAY ITINERARIES

08–11

12–15

16–19

20–23

ALL-AMERICAN JOURNEY

UNDISCOVERED SOUTHWEST

PANORAMAS OF ANCIENT LIFE

HERITAGE HIGHWAYS

24–27

28–31

32–35

36–39

HEART OF UTAH

HOME ON THE RANGE AND BASIN

FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS

NORTH OF THE 41ST : THE TOP OF UTAH


GUIDE CONTENTS

03

QUICK TRIPS

40

41

42

43

MIRROR LAKE BYWAY

WASATCH BACK LOOP

BEST OF BOX ELDER

CULINARY TOURISM

44–45

GEOCACHING & FALL FOLIAGE Q&A WITH CARLOS BRACERAS FROM THE UTAH DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

46

MORE RESOURCES

47

MORE CONTENT ONLINE

visitutah.com/drives


Utah is a place where prehistory intersects with the enduring spirit of the West. Wild, adventure-rich places cradle vibrant urban centers. With interstates and airplanes, the world can feel pretty small. On Utah scenic drives, the world feels grand; its horizons seem infinite. These drives carve paths through the fascinating Great Basin, colorful Colorado Plateau and majestic Rocky Mountains. Rather than being the shortest routes between two points, these drives are arguably the best routes. To help you find your way, this glove box-worthy guide maps eight extended drives through every corner of Utah to help you explore the culture, history and scenery that make each region unique. Slow down, take the side roads, get out and breathe the mountain air, the country air, the desert air. Then, eat with the locals and get directions to the best outdoor recreation around. Each town is a gateway to adventure and a custodian of Utah’s Life Elevated spirit.

What are Scenic Byways? On your Utah scenic drives, you'll encounter many of Utah's finest designated scenic byways. In total, Utah's topography provides the paths for eight national scenic byways and 19 state scenic byways, totaling more than 2,200 miles of paved perfection. Utah's All-American Road, Scenic Byway 12, headlines the network of top roads thanks to landscapes and heritage unlike anywhere else in the nation. The Federal Highway Administration believes scenic byways reach beyond breathtaking vistas. The best roads, they say, bring together “natural and man-made panoramas; electrifying neon landscapes; ancient and modern history coming alive; native arts and culture; and scenes of friends, families and strangers sharing their stories.” In short, byways access the heart and soul of a place, which Utah has in abundance.

What are Scenic Drives? Utah scenic drives combine designated byways and more of Utah's best roads into singular journeys filled with trailheads, scenic overlooks, museums, local flavors and vibrant communities where you can stop for the night or dock your RV. These are road trips that trace the achievements of civil engineers through stunning landscapes where the world's preeminent geologists, paleontologists, archaeologists, ornithologists and Western historians huddle to study their trade in the purest state. In other words, you'll discover monumental upheavals of exposed rock strata in All-American Journey (pg. 8) and Heart of Utah (pg. 24); dense concentrations of fossils in Footsteps of Giants (pg. 32); extensive evidence of early humans in Panoramas of Ancient Life (pg. 16); peak migrations over distinctive waters in North of the 41st Parallel (pg. 36); and landmarks to Western Expansion and the Second Great Awakening down the Heritage Highways (pg. 20) and throughout all of Utah's settlements, whether ghost towns or thriving metropolises. See it all in an outdoor adventureland you can hike, bike, raft, climb and explore from sunup to sundown — then stay up to welcome the return of the Milky Way. But get some sleep. There's more road ahead.


05 INTRODUCTION

Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park | Eric Erlenbusch


12 miles to Great Basin National Park

WENDOVER

30

80

Sawtooth National Forest

50

257

6

196

National Forest

6

73

15

89

LOGAN

8

91

68

215

28

84

80

MANTI

89

4

89

Uinta National Forest

Utah Lake

30

189

6

16

CASTLE DALE

31

Manti-La Sal National Forest 96

5

9 HEBER CITY

10

Cache National Forest

39

RANDOLPH

PROVO

Uinta National Forest

PARK CITY

SALT LAKE CITY

89

OGDEN

11

BRIGHAM CITY

89

15

201

15

TOOELE

83

DELTA Fishlake

174

Wasatch National Forest

Wasatch National Forest

6

Great Salt Lake

84

Bear Lake

40

35

150

PRICE

DUCHESNE

6

1

191

Ashley National Forest

191

Wasatch National Forest

88

VERNAL

7

FLAMING GORGE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA

ive r nR Gr ee

149

DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT

191

40


56

18

ST. GEORGE

Dixie National Forest

2

14

KANAB

89

143

PANGUITCH

15

SPRINGDALE

ZION NATIONAL PARK

130

QUICK TRIPS

MULTIDAY ITINERARIES

GENERAL MAP DETAILS

9

CEDAR CITY

21

12

Dixie National Forest

89

TORREY

Dixie National Forest

24

10

Fishlake National Forest

Mirror Lake Scenic Byway | Page 40 Wasatch Back Loop | Page 41 Best of Box Elder | Page 42

9 10 11

07

Heritage Highways | Page 20

4

MAP

7

Panoramas of Ancient Life | Page 16

3

8

6

Undiscovered Southwest | Page 12

5

Unpaved

276

95

2

Paved

24

24

All-American Journey | Page 08

Interstate Highway

12

CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK

Lake Powell

GRAND STAIRCASE–ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT

22

24

70

1

89

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

89

70

RICHFIELD

Co l 95

211

BLUFF

191

National Forest

162

491

To request a free Official Utah Highway Map, please contact the Utah Department of Transportation at 801-965-4000 or the Utah Office of Tourism at visitutah.com.

North of the 41st Parallel: Top of Utah | Page 36

Footsteps of Giants | Page 32

Home on the Range and Basin | Page 28

Heart of Utah | Page 24

National Monument

163

261

95

191

Manti-La Sal National Forest

3

Manti-La Sal National Forest

MOAB

128

MONTICELLO

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK

313

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

NATURAL BRIDGES NATIONAL MONUMENT

MONUMENT VALLEY NAVAJO TRIBAL PARK

276

Ri ve r or ad o


ALL-AMERICAN JOURNEY

Calf Creek Recreation Area | Josh Hirschi


AT A GLANCE: ALL-AMERICAN JOURNEY START: I-70 Exit 149 to S.R. 24 (190 miles from Salt Lake City)

SCENIC BYWAYS:

NUMBER OF DAYS: 3–6

Capitol Reef Country (S.R. 24) All-American Road, Scenic Byway 12

DISTANCE: 300+ miles

Sometimes you find yourself driving down roads that you can sense are truly special. It is not just the scenery, like the orange hoodoos of Red Canyon or contrasting landscape of alpine and distant sandstone seen from atop Boulder Mountain. It is something about the road itself. It seems to have a history. There’s something in the engineering. The way the road connects with the land.

70

24 24

72

Goblin Valley State Park

89 CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK

62 15

89

BOULDER

276

Calf Creek Recreation Area

12

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

TROPIC HENRIEVILLE

Ro c

kR o

d

a

Kodachrome Basin State Park

- th

e-

CANNONVILLE

in l eHo

BRYCE CANYON CITY

89

k

y wa

Red Canyon 143

Anasazi State Park Museum

ESCALANTE

c

PANGUITCH

Ba

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

95

ic m- B ullfro g Scen Not o

12 20

Mesa Farm Market

24

TORREY

Grosvenor Arch

Peek-a-boo Gulch 276

Cottonwood Canyon GRAND STAIRCASE–ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT

Interstate Highway 89

Paved

Unpaved

National Monument

National Forest

ITINER ARY // ALL -AMERICAN JOURNEY

6

09

On Highways 24 and 12, discover the vast Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument interspersed with national forest lands and state parks like you’ve never seen. Introduce yourself to the unique communities of adventurous and welcoming folks who call it home. Uncover a sense of prehistory that strengthens the fabric of this memorable road trip. Whether you long to camp in the backcountry or wish to seek out Zagatrated organic cuisine, you’ll want to slow down and enjoy this journey.


Highway 12 is one of the most fascinating stretches of road you’ll ever drive. It’s even better when combined with the drive through Capitol Reef National Park. From the Wasatch Front, drive south on I-15 to the U.S. 6 exit at Spanish Fork. Head west on I-70 to exit 149 for S.R. 24. The warped and alien formations of the San Rafael Swell and Goblin Valley State Park lie over the distant ridge. From Hanksville you’ll continue west along the Fremont River through Capitol Reef and to the junction with Highway 12. From there, it’s one endlessly scenic route to Panguitch with optional spurs into the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument — though backcountry enthusiasts with the right vehicle could take the really scenic route down the NotomBullfrog Scenic Backway to the Burr Trail. Hole-in-the-Rock (Spooky and Peek-a-boo gulch) and Cottonwood Canyon (Grosvenor Arch) offer additional unpaved journeys into the monument with careful planning in the right conditions.

STOPS ALONG THE WAY

• Goblin Valley State Park

• Mesa Farm Market

• Calf Creek Recreation Area

• Red Canyon/Dixie National Forest

WHERE TO STAY Between Goblin Valley State Park and Panguitch you’re looking at more than 230 miles of pure American highway through wildly beautiful, remote landscapes with plenty of camping. There are several places to hit a pillow or park the RV, whether you’re looking for a bed and breakfast or cozy lodge. Torrey and Escalante are great stops for hotel accommodations and Kodachrome Basin State Park and private campgrounds offer full hookups for RVs. Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon have dump stations but no individual hookups.

Goblin Valley State Park | Leah Hogsten

DON'T MISS

Torrey The idyllic and eclectic mountain town has wonderful accommodations at the doorstep to Highway 12 and Capitol Reef National Park. Boulder Incredible outdoor adventure, the Burr Trail, Anasazi State Park Museum and Zagat-rated cuisine at Hell’s Backbone Grill lure travelers off the road. Escalante An adventure town cradled by the Dixie National Forest, Grand Staircase–Escalante and the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. Henrieville-Cannonville-Tropic Get to know the welcoming people who live among the unparalleled natural beauty of Bryce Canyon, Kodachrome Basin and the Grand Staircase.

Red Canyon | Matt Gee


11 ITINER ARY // ALL -AMERICAN JOURNEY

Highway 12 | Larry Price

WHEN Anytime is a great time to travel Highways 24 and 12, though A/C is welcome in the peak of summer and winter snows will occasionally block travel over Boulder Mountain. In Utah’s high desert, spring and fall are ideal times for travel. During the summer, plan hiking and outdoor activity during the early morning and evening — you certainly won’t regret seeing Utah’s Navajo and Entrada sandstones catch fire during the magic hours. Regardless, carry extra water, let people know where you’re traveling, check at visitor centers for off-highway conditions and watch for afternoon thunderstorms during monsoon season.

TRAVEL TIPS

• Capitol Reef $10 for scenic drive past visitor center. $5 day use fee for Calf Creek. Bryce Canyon $30/car. State parks $5–10. Overnight fees extra. • National parks always open, summer visitor center hours typically 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. (Bryce Canyon to 8 p.m. through September). • Leashed dogs in paved areas and campgrounds at most national sites and some state park trails. Never leave pets unattended, especially in cars. • Carry plenty of water and a layer or jacket should evenings get cool or afternoon thunderstorms catch you on a hike. • Visitor Services Capitol Reef Country: (435) 425-3365 | (800) 858-7951 • Visitor Services Bryce Canyon Country: (435) 676-1160 | (800) 444-6689

Bryce Canyon National Park | Larry Price

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/american Learn more about All-American Journey’s All-American Road, Scenic Byway 12.


UNDISCOVERED SOUTHWEST

Kanarraville Falls | Eric Erlenbusch


AT A GLANCE: UNDISCOVERED SOUTHWEST START: Cedar City or St. George (300 miles from Salt Lake City)

SCENIC BYWAYS: Kolob Fingers Road (Exit 40, I-15) Zion Park (S.R. 9) Kolob Reservoir Backway Joshua Tree Backway

NUMBER OF DAYS: 4–5 DISTANCE: 400+ miles

Southwest Utah features one of the nation’s finest national park experiences set among uncommon landscapes and trails unlike anywhere else in the world. Many make the pilgrimage to southwest Utah for Zion National Park, but the journey doesn’t end in Zion. The vast Red Cliffs Desert Reserve is a different take on Utah’s desert southwest, adding the distinct aura of the Mojave Desert in a beautiful, protected habitat. Reservoirs, lakes and wild places are abundant out here, part of this land’s fascinating human and natural history.

130

56

15

CEDAR CITY 18

14 56

Kanarraville Creek

KANARRAVILLE 18 Kolob Canyons

15

VEYO 18

Gunlock State Park

Snow Canyon State Park

Silver Reef

LEEDS Quail Creek State Park

Red Cliffs Desert Reserve 9

Santa Clara River Reserve

ST. GEORGE

LA VERKIN

VIRGIN HURRICANE

ZION NATIONAL PARK

9

SPRINGDALE

Grafton

ROCKVILLE

Sand Hollow State Park 59

Joshua Tree Forest 15

Interstate Highway

Paved

Unpaved

National Monument

National Forest

ITINER ARY // UNDISCOVERED SOUTHWEST

13

With St. George as your base camp, explore an exciting array of outdoor recreation, heritage, scenic drives and lesser-known backways sure to capture your imagination. Summers are hot but the region is an excellent late-fall and winter escape. You’ll have opportunities to get on the water, hike among wildlife or retreat into the backcountry. No matter the season, the Undiscovered Southwest rewards your impulse to hit the road with towering monoliths, quaint towns, beautiful forests and tucked-away waters.


On southbound I-15, plan stops for hikes on the Kanarra Creek Trail and the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park, a few miles south of Cedar City. Continue to S.R. 17 to access the Zion Park Scenic Byway (S.R. 9) through Virgin, Rockville and Springdale. Return on S.R. 9 to enjoy the warm waters of Quail Creek Reservoir or the dunes of Sand Hollow state parks. Consider spectacular sunrises over Snow Canyon State Park or early-hour hikes in the protected habitats of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. Further along Snow Canyon Drive (S.R. 18) at Veyo, take Gunlock Road south to Gunlock State Park, Old Highway 91 and access to the optional Joshua Tree Road Scenic Backway, home of the northernmost Joshua trees in the United States.

STOPS ALONG THE WAY

• Kanarra Creek/Kanarraville Falls Trail

• Silver Reef Ghost Town

• Gunlock State Park

• Santa Clara River Reserve

WHERE TO STAY

Utah Shakespeare Festival

During peak season and holidays, overnight lodging along S.R. 9 and Springdale can fill up. St. George offers a wide range of accommodations throughout the year and excellent off-season availability. For RVs, Sand Hollow offers full hookups while Snow Canyon and Zion have several sites with electrical hookups. Reserve early.

DON'T MISS

Cedar City Stop by for the Utah Shakespeare Festival (June– September), local dining, Frontier Homestead Museum and access to endless adventure. Leeds-Hurricane-La Verkin Gateways to Red Cliffs Campground, ghost towns, Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail and Quail Creek or Sand Hollow state parks. Springdale The soaring canyon walls of Zion are a postcard backdrop to world-class lodging, art, spas, dining, coffee, local brewing and outfitting. St. George The largest city in Utah off the Wasatch Front serves up championship golf, extensive heritage, shopping, dining and Snow Canyon State Park.

Snow Canyon State Park | Matthew Morgan


15 WHEN St. George sits at 2,880 feet above sea level in a Mojave Desert climate warmed by more than 300 days of sunshine per year. Cool off in the Virgin River of Zion Canyon and area reservoirs and plan early morning or evening hikes during hot summer months (averaging 100 F in July and August), or consider St. George for your family’s offseason or winter retreat. Enjoy temperatures in the 60s F during November and March while December to February daytime temperatures typically only dip to the 50s F.

TRAVEL TIPS

Red Cliffs Recreation Area | Thomas Burton

• $30/car $15/person on foot/bike for Zion, $6/car Snow Canyon. State park fees $6–10 per vehicle or purchase an Annual Pass. Overnight fees extra. • There is a $10 parking fee for the Kanarraville Falls slot canyon hike. • Scenic backways may be impassable after rain and high-clearance vehicles may be necessary in some areas. • No matter the season, carry plenty of water on desert hikes and a jacket for cool evenings. Never enter slot canyons in stormy weather. • Visitor Services St. George: (435) 634-5747 | 800) 869-6635.

ONLINE ONLY Joshua Tree Forest | Eric Erlenbusch

visitutah.com/st-george Find local highlights, nearby attractions, accommodations and dining in St. George.

ITINER ARY // UNDISCOVERED SOUTHWEST

Sand Hollow State Park | Eric Erlenbusch


PANORAMAS OF ANCIENT LIFE

Highway 193 | Barry Gutierrez


AT A GLANCE: PANORAMAS OF ANCIENT LIFE SCENIC BYWAYS:

START: Monticello (290 miles from Salt Lake City)

Indian Creek Corridor Scenic Byway (S.R. 211) Monument Valley Scenic Drive (Inside park) Bicentennial Highway Scenic Byway (S.R. 95) Trail of the Ancients (U.S. 191, 163 and S.R. 261, 262)

NUMBER OF DAYS: 3–7 DISTANCE: 400+ miles

Travel through time along portions of the dramatic Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway, which intersects with Ancestral Puebloan history of the Four Corners area. This is a place where monumental landforms connect with the sky, and vast fields of stars fill the nights. 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. You’ll realize this was a very different way of life. In these sparsely populated lands, it is easy to imagine this place before humans.

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

313

24

MOAB

24

ITINER ARY // PANORAMAS OF ANCIENT LIFE

Goblin Valley State Park

17

After seeing the Valley of the Gods and massive natural bridges with mythological significance, you’ll learn about a more primitive time and place, and maybe learn a little about modern life in the process.

HANKSVILLE CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK

191 Needles District 211

95 Hite Crossing

MONTICELLO

491

276 Bi

191

ce e nt

NATURAL BRIDGES NATIONAL MONUMENT

nn

ia

lH

a or

l Co

do

R

er iv

ig

BLANDING

Edge of the Cedars State Park

hw ay

95 261 276

262

HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT

Cedar Mesa Valley of the Gods Goosenecks State Park

163

163

MEXICAN HAT

BLUFF

162

191

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Interstate Highway

Paved

Unpaved

National Monument

National Forest


There are many ways to tackle this important scenic byway but this tour begins south of Moab in Monticello or the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Learn the Ancestral Puebloan history at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding. Hike through 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. Time permitting, plan hikes to Cedar Mesa, Butler Wash, Comb Ridge and House on Fire. Or return home along the Bicentennial Highway Scenic Byway U.S. 95 to Hanksville through red rock landscapes and beautifully tranquil desert places.

STOPS ALONG THE WAY

• Canyonlands National Park

• San Juan River and Goosenecks State Park

• Valley of the Gods/Cedar Mesa

• Natural Bridges National Monument

• Goblin Valley State Park

WHERE TO STAY Find comfortable lodging, Western-themed accommodations and RV Parks in Monticello, Blanding, Bluff, Mexican Hat and Monument Valley. There are also yurts, tipis, developed and dispersed camping on public lands, and horse boarding options available throughout Utah’s Canyon Country.

DON'T MISS

Blanding At Edge of the Cedars, explore a 1,000-year-old Puebloan village and the largest collection of Ancestral Puebloan pottery in the Four Corners region. Bluff Take the Bluff History Tour, enjoy local and Native American art, discover the landscape’s ancient balance and beauty or launch on the San Juan River. Mexican Hat A quaint town lined with red rock ridges and gateway to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and Valley of the Gods. Hanksville Scenic supply stop near the headwaters of the Dirty Devil River, Butch Cassidy’s Robbers Roost and the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry.

Hovenweep National Monument | Barry Gutierrez

Edge of the Cedars State Park | Barry Gutierrez

The Swingin’ Steak, Mexican Hat | Barry Gutierrez


19 ITINER ARY // PANORAMAS OF ANCIENT LIFE

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park | Barry Gutierrez

WHEN At roughly 5,000 feet above sea level, the Four Corners area exhibits weather consistent with the high desert plateau of southeastern Utah. Summer months approach 100 F during the day, which makes mornings and evenings better for exploration. Spring and fall are ideal seasons for outdoor recreation and sightseeing in the Four Corners region while the cooler temperatures and periodic dustings of snow ensure winter visits to the area will be visually stunning and mostly free of tourist traffic. Monticello sits above 7,000 feet, providing a highelevation summer retreat for golf, heritage museums and outdoor recreation.

Edge of the Cedars State Park | Barry Gutierrez

TRAVEL TIPS

• There are entrance fees for all parks and monuments ($6–20) except Hovenweep. Hovenweep visitor center hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Leashed pets welcome in campgrounds and paved overlooks, Hovenweep and Monument Valley trails. Never leave pets in car. • The narrow 11 percent grade of the Moki Dugway switchbacks of S.R. 261 is not recommended for trailers or larger RVs. • No matter the season, carry plenty of water and a layer or jacket should evenings get cool or thunderstorms catch you on a hike. • Visitor Services Canyon Country: (435) 587-3235 ext 4139 | (800) 574-4386

Navajo Reservation | Barry Gutierrez

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/panorama Explore a 5-day itinerary including links and more photos by Barry Gutierrez.


HERITAGE HIGHWAYS

Mt. Pleasant | Leah Hogsten


AT A GLANCE: HERITAGE HIGHWAYS START: Fairview/Spring City (110 miles from Salt Lake City)

SCENIC BYWAYS:

NUMBER OF DAYS: 2–4

Heritage Highway (U.S. 89) Patchwork Parkway (S.R. 143) Cedar Breaks (S.R. 148)

DISTANCE: 200 miles

Traverse the Sanpete Valley and Sevier River Valley beneath the San Pitch and Tushar mountain ranges. Surrounded by multiple national forests, Highway 89 is the classic get-off-the-interstate scenic route to many of Southern Utah’s top destinations — with plenty to see along the way. Once the main north-south artery, Highway 89 is now a premier Heritage Highway, a corridor of Western, Native American, Mormon and natural history. You can get even further off the beaten path via ATVs or high-clearance vehicles, or by hiking the rim of the astonishing Cedar Breaks National Monument. Though it all started as a scenic drive, the scenery may lure you from your car more often than you’d expected.

21

Utah Lake 6 N e bo Lo op

191 89 96

132

132

FAIRVIEW SPRING CITY

EPHRAIM 6

31

6

MANTI 15

FILLMORE

70

RICHFIELD 24

Cove Fort

72 Big Rock Candy Mountain

21

10

SALINA

Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum

Fremont Indian State Park

257

Palisade State Park

62

15

24

Piute 89 State Park

143

PAROWAN

PANGUITCH

Brian Head Resort

12 14

12

89 Cedar Breaks National Monument

Interstate Highway

Paved

Unpaved

National Monument

National Forest

ITINER ARY // HERITAGE HIGHWAYS

6


From southbound I-15, take U.S. 6 through Spanish Fork Canyon to U.S. 89, or add an hour or two to the journey (with short hike to Devils Kitchen or the Grotto Falls) by taking the Nebo Loop National Scenic Byway to S.R. 132 and S.R. 117 east to Spring City. Drive south on Highway 89, which merges with I-70 after Salina (or take smaller streets parallel to the highway). Take exit 23 and the Clear Creek Canyon Road to Fremont Indian State Park Museum. Continue south on Highway 89 until Panguitch where Highway 143 begins. Cedar Breaks National Monument is a short side trip down S.R. 148.

STOPS ALONG THE WAY

• Nebo Loop National Scenic Byway

• Brian Head Resort

• Cedar Breaks National Monument

• Cove Fort and Territorial Statehouse

WHERE TO STAY You’ll find the most lodging in Richfield and Panguitch, but check the smaller towns too — you may be surprised by the comfortable, historic and luxurious options along the way. Palisade State Park and additional sites along the route offer full RV hookups, including sites near Big Rock Candy Mountain and Panguitch Lake.

DON'T MISS

Fairview-Spring City-Ephraim-Manti Discover museums, arts, festivals, Palisade State Park, spurs to Skyline Drive and fishing and hunting in the national forest. Richfield The largest city on the Paiute ATV trail is also near Fremont Indian State Park and Piute State Park in the Sevier River Valley. Panguitch This historical town has an enduring Western pioneer spirit and is a launching point to Southern Utah’s best natural attractions and Highway 12. Parowan The “Mother Town of Southern Utah” is rich in history, from the Old Spanish Trail and Mormon settlement to the petroglyphs of the Parowan Gap.

WHEN While the Scandinavian Festival and Spring City Heritage Days over Memorial Day weekend launch the season in the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area, any time is a great time to hit the historic Highway 89 corridor. The Spring City art community supports multiple galleries and workshops, a weekly radio show April–July, and a Bluegrass Festival. Summer highs typically don’t exceed 90 F throughout the corridor and rivers, reservoirs and heritage museums offer multiple options to cool off. Better yet, as you climb to Cedar Breaks or Brian Head near 10,000 feet above sea level, you’ll luxuriate in summer daytime 70s F and blissfully cool nights.

Big Rock Candy Mountain | Leah Hogsten

Horseshoe Mountain Pottery, Spring City | Leah Hogsten


Parowan | Leah Hogsten

ITINER ARY // HERITAGE HIGHWAYS

23

Lizzie & Charlies, Marysvale | Leah Hogsten

Panguitch | Leah Hogsten

TRAVEL TIPS

• Palisade State Park is $8/vehicle for day use. Reservoir has paddleboard, canoe and paddleboat rentals and there’s an 18-hole, par 72 golf course. • Check with local ranger districts for current conditions of Skyline Drive, a rugged and beautiful unpaved road across the Wasatch Plateau. • Cedar Breaks $5/person $18/night campground. Visitor center May–October 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wildflower Festival in July. • Look for interpretive kiosks for the Patchwork Parkway in Panguitch and Parowan and opportunities to stop along the route. • Visitor Services Manti: (435) 835-6877 | (800) 281-4346 • Visitor Services Richfield: (435) 893-0458 | (877) 473-8368 • Visitor Services Brian Head: (435) 586-5124 | (800) 354-4849

Panguitch Lake | Leah Hogsten

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/panguitch Relive the pioneer determination of Panguitch’s first settlers then discover your next adventure.


HEART OF UTAH

Wedge Overlook | Steven Lloyd


AT A GLANCE: HEART OF UTAH START: Fairview (95 miles from Salt Lake City)

SCENIC BYWAYS:

NUMBER OF DAYS: 2–4

The Energy Loop: Huntington and Eccles National Scenic Byway (S.R. 31)

DISTANCE: 250 miles

Dip into the rich pioneer heritage of the National Mormon Heritage Area or follow in their adventurous footsteps and head straight for the hills. The windswept Wasatch Plateau captures 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. On the other side of the Wasatch Plateau, cool off in sparkling reservoirs then step back in time to explore the ancient landscapes and inhabitants of Utah’s Castle Country. You’ll see an active dinosaur quarry and an outdoor art museum stretching for miles into one of Utah’s wildest places. The Heart of Utah is a potpourri of outdoor adventure, landscapes and heritage that samples the best lesser-known terrain in Utah.

D

Fork

Fifth Water Hot Springs

25

6

ITINER ARY // HEART OF UTAH

on iam

d

15

6

191

89

6

96

HELPER 132 31

FAIRVIEW

Nine Mile Canyon

264 Electric Lake

PRICE

116

123 10 122

31

117

6 Huntington State Park

Desert Lake Waterfowl Management Area

155 Joes Valley Reservoir

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

HUNTINGTON

89 29

CASTLE DALE 10 Wedge Overlook

Interstate Highway

Paved

Unpaved

National Forest


From the Wasatch Front, head south on I-15 and at Spanish Fork take exit 257 B-A to U.S. 6, then turn south on U.S. 89. From Fairview, you’ll begin the quick ascent up the Wasatch Plateau on S.R. 31, part of the Huntington-Eccles National Scenic Byway. The byway is the only paved road across the Wasatch Plateau, which marks the transition from the famous Colorado Plateau (home to The Mighty 5® national parks) to the Great Basin. On the east side of the plateau, you’ll explore spurs along S.R. 10 or scenic backways to the unexpected depth and size of the Little Grand Canyon. Then, make the extended detour up the beautifully paved Nine Mile Canyon to drive and hike among the indigenous rock art of the world’s largest outdoor art gallery. Finish up with stops in Price and Helper, or complete The Energy Loop: Huntington and Eccles Scenic Byway by returning to Fairview on S.R. 96.

STOPS ALONG THE WAY

WHEN

• Diamond Fork Canyon/Fifth Water Hot Springs

• Electric Lake

• Desert Lake Waterfowl Management Area

By July, most of the snow should have melted from the high-elevation Wasatch Plateau. S.R. 31 is open year-round, but heavy snows could close the road November to May. Off-road adventure abounds in the cool air at 10,000 feet (and picks up again after the snow falls). The northern section of Skyline Drive (from U.S. 6 to S.R. 31) is suitable for passenger cars assuming things have dried out by July. The southern section is rougher. Fall is an ideal time to explore the backways and trails of the national forest and Castle Country, when the leaves are changing and the daytime temperatures are slightly cooler — though overnight it can get quite chilly.

• Wedge Overlook

WHERE TO STAY Though these roads are not among Utah’s most trafficked, look for inns in Fairview, Huntington and Castle Dale — there’s even a bed and breakfast or two to add a little old-fashioned hospitality to your rugged adventure. There are a few full hookups at Huntington State Park. Price has the largest selection of accommodations and could serve as a base camp for a hub-and-spoke adventure throughout the region.

DON'T MISS

Fairview City The Gateway to Skyline Drive, the 75-mile Wasatch Plateau 4×4 road is also a gateway to the National Mormon Heritage Area. Huntington–Castle Dale Access Huntington State Park, Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Museum, go bouldering at Joe’s Valley Reservoir and drive backways through the swell. Price-Helper Check out the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum, the Western Mining and Railroad Museum and Nine Mile Canyon (from Wellington).

Joes Valley Reservoir | Monique Beeley

Little Grand Canyon | Steve Greenwood


ITINER ARY // HEART OF UTAH

27

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry | Mark Osler

Nine Mile Canyon | Steve Greenwood

TRAVEL TIPS

• $7 day use for Huntington State Park. $6 adult and $3 child at USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum with a $17 family rate, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. M–Sa. • High-clearance vehicles can travel most of Skyline Drive when dry. ATVs, hikers and fishers abound, with heaviest traffic during hunting season. • There are no fees for admission or camping in the remote San Rafael Swell, but visitors must be self sufficient. Pit toilets at Wedge campground. • Rafting the stunning Little Grand Canyon of the San Rafael River is possible during a limited season when water flow exceeds 200cfs. Joes Valley Reservoir | Caroline Treadway

• There are several places to take dogs on leash and off leash on this road trip. • Visitor Services Castle Country: (435) 636-3701 | (800) 842-0789 • Visitor Services Emery County : (435) 381-2600 | (888) 564-3600

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/san-rafael Unsure where to begin in Utah’s San Rafael Swell? Here’s a primer.


Vernon | Eric Erlenbusch

HOME ON THE RANGE & BASIN


AT A GLANCE: HOME ON THE RANGE & BASIN START: Exit 77 in Tooele County (45 miles from Salt Lake City)

SCENIC BYWAYS: Pony Express Scenic Backway

NUMBER OF DAYS: 2–4 DISTANCE: 300–400 miles

Few landscapes on Earth measure up to the Great Basin’s raw beauty, alluring horizons and rugged history. In the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada, the Great Basin Desert is a place where all water flows in, wild horses wander freely and island ranges give birth to stunningly diverse ecologies. Nowhere is the drama of the Pony Express and Westward Expansion more vivid as in the basin.

29

Home on the Range and Basin combines two unique areas into one grand tour of Utah’s underappreciated Western province. A ramble through the West Desert of Tooele County crosses parallel valleys and multiple ranges with trailheads to the Cedar Mountain Wilderness and the Deseret Peak Wilderness. Then head south to dig into the history and heritage of the Great Basin, from the Civil War to World War II. And you thought it was just empty space.

Great Salt Lake 80 80

201 215 138 36

IOSEPA

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Camp Floyd State Park Museum

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U-Dig Fossils

100 miles to Great Basin National Park

Interstate Highway

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ITINER ARY // HOME ON THE RANGE & BASIN

Timpie Springs Waterfowl Management Area


Start from Fairfeld, west of Lehi, or from I-80 for extended exploration in Tooele County. From exit 77 near Timpie Springs Waterfowl Management Area, you’ll run south on S.R. 196 through the Skull Valley Tribal Lands between two designated wilderness areas. The Tooele Valley is rich in Western heritage while Fairfield is a great start for an exploration along the historic Pony Express Trail. S.R. 36 meets Highway 6 southbound through the Tintic Mining District and past the Little Sahara before arriving in Delta.

STOPS ALONG THE WAY

• Timpie Springs Waterfowl Management Area, Iosepa Ghost Town

• Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge

• Great Basin National Park

• Little Sahara Recreation Area & Rockwell Outstanding Natural Area

WHERE TO STAY Tooele and Delta have the broadest range of overnight options, including RV hookups, but you’ll discover small-town lodging along the way, including a bed and breakfast in Eureka.

DON'T MISS Delta | Eric Erlenbusch

Tooele Valley Explore multiple museums covering pioneer, mining and railroads. Next, get off-road, hit the wilderness or gear up for saltwater scuba. Fairfield Camp Floyd Museum and Stagecoach Inn are historical remnants of Utah’s unique connection to the Civil War and Western migration. Tintic Mining District Explore Eureka’s buildings and sites on the National Register of Historic Places and the ghost towns of Mammoth and Silver City. Delta A West Desert base camp where you can unearth trilobites, visit the Topaz Museum or head west to Topaz Mountain and Fish Springs or Great Basin National Park.

Camp Floyd State Park Museum | Eric Erlenbusch

Skull Valley | Eric Erlenbusch


31 ITINER ARY // HOME ON THE RANGE & BASIN

Skull Valley | Eric Erlenbusch

WHEN Spring and fall are the best times to travel, or during early morning and evening hours of summer months, especially when traveling the maintained gravel and dirt road of the Pony Express Trail or Delta route to Fish Springs. The Annual Snow Goose Festival in February witnesses tens of thousands of these stunning migratory birds stop over at nearby reservoirs and Clear Lake Waterfowl Management Area.

TRAVEL TIPS

• There’s a small fee for Camp Floyd ($3/person $9/family). Many regional museums survive and improve with donations. • Respect posted private property in mining areas and near ghost towns and watch out for mine shafts. • There is lots of room in the valleys and ranges of the West Desert for dogs to get out and play, but carry plenty of water. U-Dig Fossils | Eric Erlenbusch

• Several miles of the road to Fish Springs are unpaved. Fill the tank and stock up. Auto tour open everyday, office M–F 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. • Visitor Services Tooele: (435) 882-0690 | (800) 378-0690. • Visitor Services Millard County, Delta: (435) 864-1400 | (888) 463-8627.

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/ west-desert Take an extended tour of the landscapes and attractions along U.S. 6 through Utah’s West Desert.


FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS

Dinosaur National Monument | Mark Osler


AT A GLANCE: FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS START: Vernal (175 miles from Salt Lake City)

SCENIC BYWAYS:

NUMBER OF DAYS: 3+

Flaming Gorge–Uintas National Scenic Byway (U.S. 191)

DISTANCE: 125 miles

Close your eyes and imagine a landscape lush with ferns and tropical trees and teeming with dinosaurs. Dinosaur enthusiasts have long turned to Utah and its ancient residents to connect with our prehistoric past. Dinosaur National Monument is your all-access pass to a bygone era. View the unique environment of the late Jurassic, nearly 150 million years ago, like the 1,500 fossils of the Wall of Bones yielding their ancient mysteries to modern science.

191

Antelope

Sheep Creek

FLAMING GORGE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA

Dutch John Red Canyon 44 191

Steinaker State Park

Red Fleet State Park

Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum

VERNAL

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40 88

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40

DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT

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35 Strawberry Reservoir

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Ouray National Wildlife Refuge

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USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum

PRICE Interstate Highway

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Unpaved

National Monument

National Forest

ITINER ARY // FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS

MANILA

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While the ancient giants are petrified, modern behemoths exist in the form of Flaming Gorge’s trophy trout. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is a scenic playground for boating, waterskiing, windsurfing, camping and backpacking in addition to some of the best fishing in the West. And, yes, there’s the way the sun catches the red canyon walls and seems to light them on fire. Footsteps of Giants is a land where dramatic history, uncommon geology and visual splendor overflow.


Wagons East! Hit I-80 toward Park City and take the U.S. 189/40 exit toward the Heber Valley. Stick with U.S. 40 past Strawberry Reservoir and Duchesne and in a matter of three hours you’ll be knocking on Vernal’s front door. Familiarize yourself with the land’s prehistory at the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum, then see the action for yourself at Dinosaur National Monument. An extended stay at Dinosaur includes stunning Dark Skies and astronomy programs or access to outdoor recreation in the monument’s extensive backcountry. Or, launch phase two of your scenic journey up the Flaming Gorge–Uintas National Scenic Byway (U.S. 191). Continue on 191 to the visitor center or veer west on S.R. 44 to explore the best overlooks and sites of the national recreation area on the way to Manila. From the Flaming Gorge area, return to the Wasatch Front via S.R. 414 or U.S. 191 to westbound I-80 in Wyoming.

STOPS ALONG THE WAY

• Currant Creek or Strawberry Reservoir

• USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum

• Ouray National Wildlife Refuge

• Red Fleet State Park Dinosaur Trackway

WHERE TO STAY Excellent Red Canyon and Flaming Gorge lodging and RV parks complement a wide array of developed and primitive camping, or consider a base camp hotel in Vernal, which is less than 30 minutes from Dinosaur National Monument and an hour from Flaming Gorge. There are full and partial hookups at Starvation, Steinaker and Red Fleet state parks.

DON'T MISS

USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum | Mark Osler

Duchesne This adventure gateway is at the foot of the Uinta Mountains and the junction of the Strawberry and Duchesne rivers near Starvation State Park. Vernal Stop for the Western Heritage Museum and Utah Field House, Steinaker and Red Fleet state parks or see outfitters to access Dinosaur’s backcountry. Flaming Gorge Explore Red Canyon, Manila, Dutch John, Antelope Flat, the Swett Homestead and the Sheep Creek Geological Loop.

WHEN For the warmest weather, Flaming Gorge has a tight season, and nearby accommodations fill up fast. The surface elevation of Flaming Gorge is over 6,000 feet, so while you will get a taste of Utah’s semi-arid climate, summertime temperatures often peak in the high 80s F with night temperatures dropping by 30 degrees. Utah Field House of Natural History State Park, Vernal | Mark Osler


35 TRAVEL TIPS

• Dinosaur National Monument is $10/vehicle, the Utah Field House is $7 for adults and $3.50 for kids/seniors. Fee areas of Flaming Gorge are $5 a day. Campground fees vary by location. recreation.gov • Utah Field House and Flaming Gorge Dam summer visitor center hours 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Red Canyon and Dinosaur Quarry 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. • In Flaming Gorge and Ashley National Forest, leashed pets allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas and trailheads, off leash okay on many trails. No pets on Quarry trails of Dinosaur National Monument. • Anyone 12 years old or older must have a license to fish in Utah. (Reciprocal permit required for Wyoming side of Flaming Gorge.) wildlife.utah.gov/licenses • Visitor Services Dinoland, Vernal: (435) 781-6765 | (800) 477-5558 • Visitor Services Flaming Gorge Country: (435) 784-3218 x135.

ONLINE ONLY Dinosaur National Monument | Mark Osler

visitutah.com/dino-history Learn the real story of Dinosaur National Monument.

ITINER ARY // FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area | Dan Ransom


NORTH OF THE 41st PARALLEL

Logan Canyon Scenic Byway | Jay Dash


AT A GLANCE: NORTH OF THE 41ST PARALLEL START: Logan (82 Miles from Salt Lake City)

SCENIC BYWAYS:

NUMBER OF DAYS: 2–4

Logan Canyon (U.S. 89) Ogden River (S.R. 39) Bear Lake Scenic Byway (S.R. 30)

DISTANCE: 275 miles

The top of Utah lies between 41 and 42 degrees north latitude. It is a tranquil place, rich in wildlife, natural splendor and cultural amenities. Drive the Logan Canyon and Ogden River scenic byways, splash in stunning turquoise water, taste the bountiful harvest and witness the glorious fall bird migration. You’ll uncover endless outdoor adventure, a certified International Dark Sky Park under a vast field of brilliant stars, and unexpected color and hospitality.

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Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

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Snowbasin Resort

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ITINER ARY // NORTH OF THE 41ST: TOP OF UTAH

Beaver Mountain Resort 142

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Between the turquoise waters of the Caribbean of the Rockies and the popular Pineview Reservoir, you can cool off on personal watercraft or luxuriate on sandy beaches and complement your adventure with nights on the town or quiet sunrises in untouched wilderness. So pack your gear. It’s time to head North of the 41st Parallel.


Head north on I-15 toward Brigham City and consider a side trip to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. In the fall, exit at Willard to cruise the Historic Fruit Way before heading up the canyon to Logan. Between the beautiful agricultural lands of Cache Valley and the turquoise waters of Bear Lake lies the 41-mile Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway. This section of historic Highway 89 carves a winding path through 500 million years of breathtaking geology and national forest lands before hitting a summit pass approaching 8,000 feet. Complete the Bear Lake Scenic Byway then continue the back way (S.R. 30 to S.R. 16) to access the Ogden River Scenic Byway. In the Ogden Valley, make a refreshing stop at Pineview Reservoir or take on a day of lift-served mountain biking at Snowbasin Resort.

STOPS ALONG THE WAY

• Historic Fruit Way (pg. 43)

• Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

• Tony Grove and Beaver Mountain Resort

• Ogden Valley’s North Fork Park

WHERE TO STAY Choose from extensive accommodations in Brigham City and Logan, or camping, RV and covered wagon “glamping” in Garden City. RV travelers will find partial hookups at Hyrum State Park and full hookups at Bear Lake State Park.

DON'T MISS

Logan Sample the local harvest and arts or explore Logan Canyon, Blacksmith Fork, Hyrum State Park and extensive national forests. Garden City This gateway to Bear Lake serves up hand-spun raspberry shakes aside small-town charm and access to endless fishing and water sports.

Cox Honeyland, Cache Valley | Jay Dash

Huntsville Experience Pineview Reservoir, summertime concerts and mountain biking at Snowbasin, and Utah’s oldest continuously operating saloon. Ogden An outdoor recreation mecca with a lively and historic downtown including indoor skydiving and blue-ribbon fishing on the Ogden River.

WHEN Traveling to the top of Utah celebrates the long days of summer with longer hikes and more time on the water. As summer glides into fall, the road trip joins the fall harvest and the southward flight of hundreds of thousands of graceful migratory birds across the Great Salt Lake. Utah’s Famous Fruit Way is a must-stop for fresh-picked berries to flavor your own pilgrimage north across the mountain byway of Logan Canyon where the leaves are changing. At 9,000 feet, Monte Cristo Campground on S.R. 39 is a cool mountain retreat throughout the warmer months (and a top snowmobiling destination come winter). The Bluebird, Logan | Jay Dash


39 ITINER ARY // NORTH OF THE 41ST: TOP OF UTAH

Bear Lake State Park Marina | Jay Dash

Pineview Reservoir | Jay Dash

TRAVEL TIPS

• Bear Lake State Park marina and day use fees $10, additional fees for camping and boat slips. $13 Pineview boat launch. • There are pet-friendly sites at Bear Lake State Park and dogs are permitted in the national forest, on a leash in campgrounds and picnic areas. • Garden City’s Raspberry Days in August celebrates the famous raspberry harvest with pageants, fairs and fireworks. • Discover the Milky Way in North Fork Park, one of the few places in the world near an urban center certified for its Dark Skies. Downtown Logan | Jay Dash

• Visitor Services Cache Valley: (435) 755-1890 | (800) 882-4433 • Visitor Services Garden City (435) 946-2197 | (800) 448-2327 • Visitor Services Ogden/Weber: (801) 778-6250

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/top-of-utah See a 4-day itinerary covering all the best of North of the 41st Parallel.


QUICK GETAWAY:

MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY The quaint mountain town of Kamas is undeniably the Gateway to the Uintas, though Samak may have sneakily staked a share of the claim — you’ll note Samak is Kamas spelled backward. From there, 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 wayfinding skills and the right supplies, climb Utah’s loftiest peaks. You won’t be alone up here either: In the mighty Uinta Mountains you may see elk, moose or perhaps a bighorn sheep.

THE DRIVE Kamas is only 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, 55 minutes from Provo and 75 minutes from Ogden. From there, you’ll forget about time as you enjoy the drive, watch out for wildlife or scout your trailhead. 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.

DON'T MISS

Mirror Lake The drive’s namesake lake is one of the best, with fishing, kayaking, fishing, camping and trails — all above 10,000 feet. Bald Mountain The 11,943-foot summit is a two-mile, family-friendly hike with panoramic views of the High Uintas. Christmas Meadows Enjoy a lush meadow at 8,800 feet with a campground and recreation area surrounded by lodgepole pines and aspen.

OVERNIGHT OPTIONS Primarily tent and RV territory, choose from hundreds of developed sites scattered along the highway like Soapstone, Lost Creek and Mirror Lake (~$20/single site) or look for dispersed camping in the forest.

Hayden Peak | Steve Greenwood

TRAVEL TIPS • Get fishing licenses and provisions from the Samak Smoke House, including all the house-smoked jerky you can eat. • Anyone 12 years old or older must have a license to fish in Utah. No fee to drive through, $6 for 3-day use pass. • Developed campsites fill up fast. Reservations available for some areas in advance at recreation.gov.

ONLINE ONLY Mule Deer | Mule Deer

visitutah.com/kamas-hikes Explore five must-do hikes in the Uintas.


QUICK GETAWAY:

WASATCH BACK LOOP

Getting to the Heber Valley is just as adventurous, given the options to explore Bridal Veil Falls, mountain resorts, zip-lines, horseback riding and tubing in Provo Canyon, or the hidden lakes, trailheads and Cascade Springs up American Fork Canyon. We call it a quick getaway, but opportunistic travelers may find it difficult to ever leave.

OVERNIGHT OPTIONS In additional to ample camping and overnight accommodations in and near Heber, consider European-style lodging with fine dining and luxury spas in Midway, the rustic sophistication of Sundance or find full RV hookups at all three state parks or private RV parks in the Heber Valley.

TRAVEL TIPS • Day use fees at state parks $7–10; overnight and boating fees vary by site type. Reserve in advance.

Bridal Veil Falls | Steve Greenwood

THE DRIVE Only 45 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City or Provo, access the Heber Valley from eastbound I-80 to U.S. 189/40 or the scenic route through Provo Canyon. Choose the really scenic route (particularly in the fall) by adding the Alpine Loop (S.R. 92) past Sundance Mountain Resort and Timpanogos Cave.

DON'T MISS

Timpanogos Cave National Monument Hike the moderately strenuous trail to three linked and dazzling caverns on the north slope of Mt. Timpanogos. Jordanelle State Park Choose between big adventure launched from a full-service marina or a serene retreat to the Rock Cliff Recreation Area. Wasatch Mountain State Park Camp, reserve a tee time at one of four 18hole golf courses or explore miles of mountain trails on foot or ATV.

• Plan time to ride the classic Heber Valley Railroad or taste local dairy at Heber Valley Artisan Cheese. • Visit Provo and Heber Valley outfitters to elevate your trip, including RZR rentals at Wasatch Mountain.

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/alpine See our Alpine Splendor itinerary for links and Wasatch Back trip starters.

QUICK GETAWAY // HEBER VALLEY LOOP

Imagine yourself in a mountain valley filled with an extensive trail system, an abundance of cooling waters and 90 holes of public golf. This is Utah’s Heber Valley. The Midway Swiss Days Festival pays homage to a wave of Swiss settlement, as settlers saw shades of their home Alps in the Timpanogos ridgeline. Today, old-world charm is interspersed with high-adrenaline off-road adventure on the Wasatch Back or tranquil mornings fishing the winding Middle Provo River between two glistening reservoirs, Jordanelle and Deer Creek state parks.

41

Jordanelle State Park | Doug Pulsipher


QUICK GETAWAY:

BEST OF BOX ELDER In an era of expansion and industrialization, the Transcontinental Railroad united the states in the northwest stretch of Utah territory. Millions of migratory birds follow the pathway of their ancient memory through present-day Box Elder. More than a Crossroads of the West, it’s a crossroads of time. Off the bustling modern interstate and Highway 89, this serene yet wild land celebrates its deep heritage, natural beauty and wild places. Brigham City is the primary gateway to Best of Box Elder. The city sits on Utah’s Famous Fruit Way, U.S. 89, and celebrates Peach Days in September. Check out the classic diners and fine food establishments in between short drives to must-see destinations like the Spiral Jetty, or take in the whole scene on a hike up the Perry Canyon Trail. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

THE DRIVE It’s an hour to Willard Bay or the Brigham City area from Salt Lake City (90 minutes from Provo) and another 30–45 minutes to area attractions. Take I-15 northbound to exit 351 (Willard Bay), 363 (Bear River) or 365 (Golden Spike).

DON'T MISS

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge The 75,000-acre refuge welcomes millions of migrating birds and has miles of driving tours and hiking paths. Golden Spike National Historic Site Relive the momentous meeting of the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroads and explore the Big Fill trail. Willard Bay A freshwater reservoir with fishing, boating, paddleboarding, camping, birding, geocaching and swimming ($10–15/car).

Golden Spike National Historic Site | Fred Hirschmann

TRAVEL TIPS

OVERNIGHT OPTIONS

• Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge wildlife is particularly active at sunrise and sunset.

There are hotels, RV parks and developed campsites near Brigham City and dispersed camping in the Ogden and Logan ranger districts of the UintaWasatch-Cache National Forest. Full RV hookups available at Willard Bay.

• Brigham City is a great stop for local shopping and eating and hosts Peach Days every September. • Highway 89 in Box Elder County is designated Utah’s Official Fruitway. • Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty earth art is a 50-minute drive from Golden Spike on a gravel road. Fill up on fuel, carry supplies and check local conditions.

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/railroad-trail Explore Box Elder’s Northwest Railroad Trail Expedition.


QUICK GETAWAY:

CULINARY TOURISM

Salt Lake City Farmer’s Market

It’s time to connect with the land, the places and the people who coax the very best from Utah’s water and soil. From the lush agricultural lands of the Cache Valley to farm oases among the sandstone of Southern Utah, innovative producers, brewers and chefs craft beauty from the bounty, deftly blending the best of the local landscapes with international influences into an experience uniquely Utahn.

TRAVEL TIPS • Learn more about locally produced food from markets like Tony Caputo’s and Liberty Heights Fresh. • Discover local farms, producers, restaurants, coffee and merchants at utahsown.org and localfirst.org. • At visitutah.com, browse TripAdvisor® restaurant reviews by city. • Get a fishing license and find a community fishery near you: wildlife.utah.gov/cf/

Hell’s Backbone Grill, Boulder

DON'T MISS

Capitol Reef Country Visit Capitol Reef National Park’s orchards and Gifford Homestead, Mesa Farm Market and organic dining in Boulder. Historic Fruit Way and the Cache Valley Sample the fruits and vegetables of some of Utah’s best agricultural lands along with honey, pork, cheese and bread. Wasatch Front Stroll farmers markets and community gardens for locally grown food and Utah’s Own, then sit down for farm-to-table dining. Wasatch Back Pair a destination meal at one of 100+ restaurants and bars in Park City with a tour of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese.

EVENTS Pair your culinary road trip with major events like Park City Food and Wine Classic (July), Taste of the Wasatch and Utah Beer Festival (August), and local harvest festivals like Raspberry Days (Garden City), Melon Days (Green River) and Peach Days (Brigham City).

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/local Learn more about local dining, agriculture and food production.

QUICK GETAWAY // FOOD TOURISM

43

The Farm, Park City


GEOCACHING Ready, Set, Geocache! To enrich your next scenic drive, the state of Utah launched the official Visit Utah GeoTour, part of the official Geocaching.com network. What is geocaching? It's a high-tech scavenger hunting adventure among Utah’s spectacular natural wonders and thought-provoking cultural heritage sites. The GeoTour uses your GPS to guide you to hidden gems, recommended by locals, across several of Utah's unique counties. Best of all, the Visit Utah GeoTour experience is free and allows participants to earn eclectic patches along the way. Collect them all! Found inside each geocache is a unique code and directions to a pick-up location. After you’ve found three of any county’s five geocaches, go to the pick-up location to collect a beautifully designed patch representative of that county (while supplies last). The GeoTour currently includes Box Elder, Utah, Daggett, Uintah, Carbon, Emery, San Juan and Iron counties, which means you can add a geocaching adventure to Heart of Utah (pg. 24), Footsteps of Giants (pg. 32), Panoramas of Ancient Life (pg. 26), The Best of Box Elder (pg. 42), Wasatch Back Loop (pg. 41) and along the routes of Undiscovered Southwest (pg. 12) and Heritage Highways (pg. 20). Learn more at visitutah.com/geocaching

FALL FOLIAGE Autumn leaves blaze in Utah’s high country as days shorten and crowds disappear. Immerse yourself in the colors and sounds of quaking aspen adorned in their autumn finery, in warm contrast to their coniferous counterparts — yet another win for Utah’s newly crowned state tree over its predecessor. Steal a glimpse of moose, elk or deer and picnic by Utah’s pristine streams and waterfalls. Utah’s mountains aren’t to be experienced from afar. Wade into the cool waters and cast your line for trout in the sparkling rivers and placid waters. Trails for boots and mountain bike tires abound, challenging the lungs and legs in cool autumn air. Beauty and adventure await just around the bend. Catching fall leaves at the peak of color takes some vigilance. Leaf peeping websites monitor changes in the mountain foliage to help travelers, but with so many great fall drives, we prefer to hit the road every possible weekend throughout autumn, whether for a quick hike in the canyons of the Wasatch Front or a weekend excursion to Southern Utah. All of our scenic drives pass through or near the national forests, which are home to breathtaking fall colors. Ready your cameras for some of the best fall color on Boulder Mountain of All-American Journey (pg. 8), along much of Heritage Highways (pg. 20), Eccles and Huntington canyons in Heart of Utah (pg. 24), Logan Canyon and Ogden River Canyon in North of the 41st Parallel (pg. 36) and throughout Wasatch Back Loop (pg. 41).

ONLINE ONLY

visitutah.com/fall-oasis Discover a perfect autumn road trip destination on Utah’s Fishlake Loop.


45 GEOCACHING & FALL FOLIAGE

Wasatch Mountains | Jay Dash


ON THE ROAD WITH CARLOS BRACERAS Carlos Braceras is executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) where he previously served as deputy director and chief engineer for 12 years. A native of New Jersey, Braceras has grown to love Utah as his home, enjoying biking and hiking in the beautifully diverse Utah scenery.

What are your favorite roads or drives in Utah? The great thing about living here is, no matter what kind of road you prefer to travel, we have it here in Utah. Whether you love hiking in the mountains or biking through desert canyons or driving along scenic byways, it’s here. We have it all. For myself, I really enjoy driving S.R. 95 in southeastern Utah and S.R. 12 in the Bryce Canyon area. What makes Utah’s roads and byways unique? In my opinion, it is the diversity of the views. In one day’s drive you can see outside your car the red rock canyons around Lake Powell and the towering mountain peaks of the Uintas. I don’t think there’s any place on earth that has such visual diversity in such proximity. What’s the best way to experience Utah? Because I’m a UDOT employee, you might expect I will say that the best way to experience Utah is by car on our outstanding roads. But I honestly think the best way to experience Utah is either by bike or by foot. It’s when you are away from the hustle and bustle that the natural beauty of Utah comes out. If you left on a Utah road trip tomorrow, where would you go and why? The Moab area is always very attractive to my wife and I. We always look for an opportunities to load our bikes in the truck and get away for two or three days to experience what Utah has to offer. Southeastern Utah is kind of our go-to place for a Utah getaway. What was the last Utah road trip you took (business or vacation) and what about the drive was memorable? It was for work and it was to St. George. What really caught my attention during that trip was how well our transportation system works. It was stunning to me to be able to travel from one end of our state to the other to conduct business, and to be able to do it in a safe and efficient manner. I’m always amazed at how you can start the day in an urban Salt Lake City environment and then be in that unique St. George setting in time for lunch. Incredible! What does the future hold for Utah’s roadways? The community has envisioned Utah’s future in a way that will enhance the quality of life as well as our economic competitiveness in Utah, and we have a unified transportation system to support that growth. We have a sustainable and multi-modal transportation system that includes not only roadways and transit but also biking and better pedestrian accessibility in all of our communities. As we look toward the future we see an integrated transportation systems that is only going to improve.


47 MORE RESOURCES

All-American Road, Scenic Byway 12 | Larry Price

MORE RESOURCES Bureau of Land Management 801-539-4001 ut.blm.gov U.S. Forest Service 801-625-5306 fs.usda.gov National Park Service nps.gov/ut Utah State Parks & Recreation 801-538-7220 stateparks.utah.gov

City and County Visitor and Travel Bureaus visitutah.com/local-info Outdoor Utah 801-278-6294 outdoorutah.com Camping Reservations stateparks.utah.gov/reservations reserveamerica.com Accommodations visitutah.com/stay

Utah Road Conditions 866-511-UTAH, 511 in Utah commuterlink.utah.gov National Weather Service 801-524-5133 www.wrh.noaa.gov/slc Utah Public Safety 801-887-3800 (24 hours a day) Dial 911 for Emergencies


This guide is a publication of the Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding in partnership with Utah Media Group. For more trip-planning information, please call (800) 200-1160 or (801) 538-1900 or visit visitutah.com ©Copyright 2015 Utah Office of Tourism. No portion of this publication’s photos, text or maps may be reproduced in any way without written permission from the Utah Office of Tourism.

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UTAH MEDIA GROUP: 4770 S. 5600 West, West Valley City UT 84118 / 801-204-6300 / utahmediagroup.com PROJECT TEAM: Brent Low, Publisher / Jed Call, V.P. Business Development / Megan Donio, Project Manager This guide is published by Utah Media Group and is distributed by subscription through the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune on an annual basis. Copyright © July 2015. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any format without consent of Utah Media Group. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication and assume no liability for errors, inaccuracies or omissions.


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Journeys that capture Utah's Life Elevated spirit. Publication by Utah Office of Tourism in partnership with Utah Media Group.

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