Grand Staircase BLM
Entrance to Red Canyon Bryce Canyon National Park Powell Point above the Blues Slickrock hill on Scenic Byway U12 Calf Creek Canyon Scenic Byway U12 on the hogback Waterpocket Fold from Boulder Mountain summit

Scenic Byway 12 - Utah State Highway 12

Our tour starts at the west end of Scenic Byway 12 at US89, 7 miles south of Panguich.  Drive up Scenic Byway 12 to experience the colorful ride up Red Canyon and through its tunnels, see the awesome views and hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park, view the colors and sedimentary pipes of Kodachrome Basin State Park, climb onto the Aquarius plateau on top of the Grand Staircase inside the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, drive up the mountain past the Blues to Petrified Forest State Park on the west end of the town of Escalante, go by petrified sand dunes next to live dunes at the side of the road on the wind-eroded slickrock - awesome views of petrified sand left behind when the ocean dried up eons ago, drive through scenic Calf Creek Canyon with Lower and Upper Calf Creek Falls, an easy hike from the BLM Recreation Area campground, stand on the edge of the road on top of the world and look down into the canyon from from either side of the road on the hogback - a narrow ridge between two benches barely wide enough for the highway, stop at the Anasazi State Park Museum to view artifacts of the Ancestral Puebloans who lived here long ago, drive over Boulder Mountain with stunning views from Boulder summit of the Henry Mountains, Waterpocket Fold inside capitol Reef National Park, and Lower Browns Reservoir, then down the mountain and off the Aquarius plateau to Scenic Byway 12's end at Scenic Byway 24 in Torrey, 5 miles west of the entrance to Capitol Reef National Park.

Digress with a side trip down the historic Burr Trail with outstanding scenery, through Long Canyon and down the Waterpocket Fold switchbacks to the junction with Notom-Bullfrog Road.  Turn around and climb the switchbacks to return to SB12, or go north on Notom-Bullfrog Road to Scenic Byway U24, and west through Capitol Reef National Park to the eastern end of Scenic Byway 12 at Torrey.  The Burr Trail continues to U279 north of Bullfrog.

The Photo Gallery for previewing photos is followed by a menu of Auto-shows with View all photos, a QuickTour with one photo from each of the seven sections, and auto-shows of each of the seven sections.  The Central Utah Map shows Scenic Byway 12 winding through mountainous south-central Utah between US89 at its western end and Scenic Byway U24 at Torrey on the eastern end.

Note: On December 4, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to draw new boundary lines for the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument.  The proposal introduces three new national monuments in this area named, west to east, Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits, and Escalante Canyons.  This page does not include those changes and will be updated as the information becomes available.  Our current Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument (and its photo above) and Canyons of the Escalante articles remain unchanged while this process is unfolding.  The geologic Grand Staircase formation is not affected by this order.