Southern Utah has some of the greatest scenic highways in the nation. We, at the Lodge, love driving the Capitol Reef Scenic Highway, Zion National Park Scenic Highway, and all the other scenic routes in and around our national parks. There are quite a lot of them, and each one offers something for everyone.
Many scenic drives can be found on the way to our national parks. Working these routes into your road trip is always worth the few extra miles. We have a couple of favorite scenic highways you should try.
First is world-famous Scenic Highway 12. This spectacular route is just a few minutes from the Lodge at Red River Ranch. Highway 12 connects Capitol Reef National Park with the Bryce Canyon National Park. Along the way it passes through the mountain town of Boulder and descends into the Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument. It is the panorama in the Grand Staircase that makes this trip so amazing and memorable. The town of Boulder is worth stopping in to have a look at the Anasazi ruins or having lunch at Hell’s Backbone Grill.
Our second choice is Trail of the Ancients. It is named for the Anasazi tribe that lived in the area for centuries. This scenic byway system covers many miles of country. It is recommended that you take up to five days to thoroughly enjoy everything there is to see on this road trip.
Trail of the Ancients will take you to hotspots like Natural Bridges National Monument, Valley of the Gods, Mexican Hat, Monument Valley Tribal Park, and Four Corners Monument. You will also see seldom-visited landmarks along the way. Trail of the Ancients can also provide excellent access into some of Southern Utah’s more remote backcountry.
Those of us at the Lodge love a good road trip. The scenic routes of Zion, Capitol Reef, Highway 12, and Trail of the Ancients guarantee a good time.