Utah’s heritage and natural beauty can be discovered by traveling on scenic and historic state highways. Utah’s official scenic drive program includes 27 Byways (paved roads appropriate for passenger cars, but often requiring speeds less than 55-miles-per-hour), and 59 Backways (less conventional roads varying from paved to unmaintained dirt roads). Watch for highway signs indicating Byway and Backway routes.
Three of the roads in Utah’s Scenic Byway Program have also been recognized by the federal government as National Scenic Byways: The Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway, the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway, and the Huntington/Eccles Canyons Scenic Byway.
Logan Canyon Byway. Southeastern Utah – US 89 from Logan to the Utah / Idaho Border.
Following the 1800’s-era path of fur trappers and mountain men, on their way to great lakeside rendezvous’, this Byway begins at the mouth of Logan Canyon, just east of the city of Logan, in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The 41 mile road winds through a parade of towering cliffs, glacial cirques, and natural springs and waterfalls. Lush vegetation and spectacular fall colors soften the nearly vertical limestone walls. The climb from 4,700 feet to 7,800 feet at the canyon’s summit is rewarded by a sweeping view of turquoise and azure-colored Bear Lake. This Byway is known as the most scenic route to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park.
The Logan Canyon Scenic Byway is 41 miles long and takes 1 hour to complete.
Laketown. State Hwy 30 from US 89 to Laketown on the southern shores of Bear Lake to the city of Laketown. Bear Lake is famous for its unique bright blue color due to the limestone particles suspended in the water. The lake is a favorite for boating and fishing throughout the year.
The Laketown Scenic Byway is 15 miles long and takes 30 minutes to complete.
Ogden River Scenic Byway. U-39 from Ogden to the Eastern Wasatch-Cache Forest. The byway starts at Ogden Canyon with colors ranging from white to pink to red. Pineview Reservoir provides excellent recreational activities like camping, fishing and hiking.
The Ogden River Scenic Byway is 44 miles long and takes 1.25 hours to complete.
Big Cottonwood Canyon. State Hwy 190 east of the Salt Lake Valley takes visitors through the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The 15 mile canyon provides hiking, camping, fishing, rock climbing, and picnicking.
The Big Cottonwood Canyon is 15 miles long and takes 1 hour to complete.
Little Cottonwood Canyon. State Hwy 210 east of the Salt Lake Valley where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Basin floor. The route passes through the westernmost wall of the Rockies which rises to almost 12,000 feet. Alta and Snowbird Ski Resorts are located in the canyon. Recreational activities include: skiing, camping, rock climbing, and hiking.
The Little Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway is 7 miles long and takes 1 hour to complete.
Bridal Veil Falls
Provo Canyon. US 189 from Provo past Bridal Veil Falls, Deer Creek Reservoir and on to Heber Valley. First pass by the Provo River, which is famous for fly fishing. Then view the beautiful waterfall from the road at Bridal Veil Falls. Deer Creek Reservoir State Park is located at the top of Provo Canyon and is a favorite for boating, sailing, fishing and windsurfing. The byway ends at Heber City, home of the Heber Creeper Steam Railway.
The Provo Canyon Scenic Byway is 32 miles long and takes 45 minutes to complete.
Mirror Lake. State Hwy 150 from Kamas to the Wyoming border. Numerous lakes and campgrounds line this byway which mostly parallels the Provo River. Recreational activities include fishing, camping, hiking and cross-country skiing.
The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway is 65 miles long and takes 2 hours to complete.
Flaming Gorge – Uintas Byway. US-191 from Vernal north to the Wyoming border and fromt the junction of US-191/44 to Manila – Northeastern Utah.
This 82 mile road, themed “Wildlife Through the Ages”, highlights wildlife observation sites as it travels through the Ashley National Forest and over the eastern flank of the Uinta Mountains. It passes the billion year-old exposed core of the Uintas near Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Signs along the way explain the evolution of the geology and wildlife in this historic area. The road offers numerous opportunities for fascinating side trips.
The Flaming Gorge – Uintas Scenic Byway is 67 miles long and takes 1.75 hours to complete.
Huntington/Eccles Canyons. SR-31 from Fairview to Huntington SR-264, and SR-96 from Fairview to Colton. Spanning a route of 85 miles and passing through more than 100 million years of geological history, Utah’s Highways 31, 264 and 96 combine to form this Scenic Byway. These winding roadways begin in the eastern and western valleys below the Wasatch Plateau and reach elevations of over 10,000 feet. Travelers can see and learn about prehistoric rock art, Native American history, early Spanish exploration routes, architecture of early settlers and first generation hardships associated with coal mining and railroad industries. The varieties of geologic strata provide a constantly changing landscape making the drive exhilarating during any season. Recreational activities include fishing and camping.
Nebo Loop Byway. Northern/Central Utah – Forest Service Road 015. This well-signed Byway is a winding drive between Payson on the north and Nephi on the south. In its 38 miles, the road crosses the Uinta National Forest providing breath taking views of Utah Valley, the Wasatch Mountains; especially the wraparound views of 11,877 foot Mt. Nebo, the highest mountain in the Wasatch Range. There are several scenic overlooks, and wildlife watching opportunities are plentiful. This road is a favorite autumn drive for many Utahns because of the brilliant fall foliage.
The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is 38 miles long and takes 1.5 hours to complete.
Fish Lake. State Hwy 25, between State Hwys 24 and 72. Fish Lake and Johnson River are two of the most scenic and popular fishing spots in Utah. Campgrounds and day-use areas are located along this byway.
The Fish Lake Scenic Byway is 13 miles long and takes 45 minutes to complete.
Heritage Highway 89. From Kanab to Fairview-links five Western heritage areas. The artisans and business owners along this route are dedicated to offering tourists a quality Western heritage experience. They have identified five areas along the road, each with distinct geographic, cultural and historic characteristics. In addition to learning about local lore, visitors can see heritage sites, buy heritage products, experience heritage events and eat heritage food.
Colorado River Byway. Southeastern Utah – State Hwy 128. This Byway follows the course of the Colorado River between the west Cisco Interchange of I-70 and US 191 just north of Moab. The 44 mile route is punctuated with side canyons and trails inviting exploration. Tall, narrow formations such as Fisher Towers and Castle Rock add roadside interest, as does the mosaic effect of sky, clouds, sandstone cliffs, trees and vegetation reflected in the steady flow of the Colorado River.
The Colorado River Scenic Byway is 44 miles long and takes 1 hour to complete.
Potash. State Hwy 279 north of Moab. This byway passes through several areas of petroglyphs. Further up is a large rock located above the highway with dinosaur tracks. The Corona Arch is next with a 140-foot by 105-foot opening. Followed by the Jug Handle Arch which is 46 feet high and 3 feet wide.
The Potash Scenic Byway is 34 miles round-trip and takes 2 hours to complete.
Squaw Flats. State Hwy 211 north of Monticello. This byway passes by Newspaper Rock which is a 50 foot high rock covered with ancient Indian petroglyphs from several different periods. Next is Canyonlands National Park with a visitors center and campgrounds.
The Squaw Flats Scenic Byway is 35 miles and takes 1.5 hours to complete.
Bluff. US 163 between the town of Bluff, and Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Monument Valley has been the setting for western movies and commercials with its red-rock desert and spires. After leaving Monument Valley, a volcanic core called Alahambra is near the road.
The Bluff Scenic Byway is 45 miles long and takes 2 hours to complete.
Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway. Sr-313, nine miles north of Moab off US-191.
Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway. From Utah’s Moab, north through Price and Vernal, and then a return trip south through Colorado’s Dinosaur, Rangely and Fruita links important dinosaur related sites. This 500 miles route creates a “diamond” pattern on the map, traveling backroads through Utah and Colorado. This was once the world’s “Jurassic Park,” a breathtaking world of dinosaurs who roamed the region for millions of years and then disappeared. Travelers will find museums, active dig sites and rock art along the way.
The Utah National Parks Highway. Links Utah’s spectacular National Parks and Monuments. Beginning at US-89 near Big Water, west to SR-9 at Mt. Carmel Junction, then continuing west throughZion National Park on SR-9 to SR-17 near La Verkin; then north on SR-17 to I-15; follow I-15 frontage roads to SR-14 near Cedar City, then southeast on SR-14 to Sr-48 near Cedar Breaks National Monument, then north to the junction of SR-148 and 143; SR-143 leads to US-89 near Panguitch; follow US-89 south to SR-12 near Red Canyon and through the northern end of Bryce Canyon National Park; east of Bryce Sr-12 jogs northeast through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and passes through a block of the Dixie National Forest and over Boulder Mountain to SR-24 near Torrey; SR-24 runs east through Capitol Reef National Park to SR-95 near Hanksville; follow SR-95 southeast, across Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell), and skirt Natural Bridges National Monument to meet US-191 near Blanding; the route continues north on US-191 to access points for Canyonlands andArches National Parks; then on to US-191’s merger with I-70 at Crescent Junction.
Indian Canyon. US 89 from Kanab to its junction with State Hwy 12. This byway follows an old Indian trail between Price Valley and the Uinta Basin.
The Indian Canyon Scenic Byway is 47 miles long and takes 1 hour to complete.
Bicentennial Highway – Southwestern / Southeastern Utah
State Hwy 95 from Hanksville to US 191 near Blanding. This route is the gateway to Natural Bridges National Monument, the worlds largest display of natural bridges. Three of Lake Powell’s major marinas are also in this byway.
The Bicentennial Scenic Byway is 133 miles long and takes 5 hours to complete.
Loa to Hanksville.. State Hwy 24 through Capitol Reef National Park. This route passes by Capitol Reef National Park, Fishlake National Forest, Goblin Valley State Park, the San Rafael Swell, and Canyonlands National Park.
The Loa to Hanksville Scenic Byway is 162 miles and takes 4 hours to complete.
Highway 12. State Hwy 12 from US 89 southeast of Panguitch to its junction with State Hwy 24 at Torrey. This route passes through Bryce Canyon National Park, Escalante Canyons, Dixie National Forest and Capitol Reef National Park. Rated among the top 10 Scenic Byways in America by Car and Driver magazine, this 180 mile route passes through slickrock canyons, red rock towers, pine covered forests, meadowlands and pioneer towns. Breathtaking panoramas, national parks, monuments, recreation areas, and state parks dot the route. In winter months ask locally for road conditions.
Markaguant. State Hwy 14 from Cedar City to its junction with US 89. This route is one of the most traveled areas in Southern Utah. Start with the sheer cliffs of the Ashdown Gorge, then enter in to the Dixie National Forest with the beautiful red limestone amphitheater and green trees. The Navajo Lake is a favorite spot for fishing and camping.
The Markaguant Scenic Byway is 40 miles long and takes 1 hour to complete.
Cedar Breaks. State Hwy 148 between State Hwy 14 and State Hwy 143-15 miles east of Cedar City.. The large amphitheater is one half mile deep and three miles from rim to rim. The walls are eroded into beautiful spirals, ridges, and rock formations.
The Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway is 6 miles long and takes 30 minutes to complete.
Brian Head – Panguitch Lake Byway. Southeastern Utah – State Hwy 143 from Parowan to Panguitch
Climbing through Parowan Canyon to forested heights of 10,000 feet, this 55 mile route travels past vermilion cliffs to Brian Head Resort and Cedar Breaks National Monument. The Byway ends in the small city of Panguitch. Driving this route in the fall offers the surprise of a type of aspen with leaves that turn a brilliant red. The resort town of Brian Head has skiing in the winter, mountain biking in the summer, and all sorts of other amusements in between. The amphitheaters of Cedar Breaks are technicolor cousins of those found in Bryce Canyon National Park.
The Brian Head – Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway is 55 miles long and takes 1.5 hours to complete.
Beaver Canyon. State Hwy 153 from the town of Beaver, 17 miles to Elk Meadows Resort. The resort is a year round resort with restaurants, shops, and lodges. Winter and summer activities include: skiing, snowmobiling, camping, hiking, mountain biking and hiking. The Tushar Mountains provide excellent fishing in the mountain lakes and streams.
The Beaver Canyon Byway is 17 miles long and takes 45 minutes to complete.
Kanab. US 89 from Kanab to its junction with State Hwy 12. Over 70 movies have been filmed in and around Kanab at places like Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Zion National Park, and the Virgin River.
The Kanab Scenic Byway is 60 miles long and takes 1.5 hours to complete.
Zion Park. State Hwy 9 from I-15 to Mt. Carmel Junction passing through Zion National Park.. Visitors can see sandstone cliffs, the Great Arch of Zion, and drive through the tunnel carved into the canyon walls.
The Zion Park Scenic Byway is 54 miles long and takes 1.5 hours to complete.
Kolob Fingers Road. Access from I-15 south of Cedar City. The Byway enters the Kolob Section of Zion National Park. The finger canons are narrow, rugged, and an assortment of red vibrant colors. Kolob Arch is probably the largest freestanding arch in the world.
The Kolob Fingers Road Scenic Byway is 5 miles long and takes 30 minutes to complete.
The Utah National Parks Highway. Links Utah’s spectacular National Parks and Monuments. Beginning at US-89 near Big Water, west to SR-9 at Mt. Carmel Junction, then continuing west through Zion National Park on SR-9 to SR-17 near La Verkin; then north on SR-17 to I-15; follow I-15 frontage roads to SR-14 near Cedar City, then southeast on SR-14 to Sr-48 near Cedar Breaks National Monument, then north to the junction of SR-148 and 143; SR-143 leads to US-89 near Panguitch; follow US-89 south to SR-12 near Red Canyon and through the northern end of Bryce Canyon National Park; east of Bryce Sr-12 jogs northeast through theGrand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and passes through a block of the Dixie National Forest and over Boulder Mountain to SR-24 near Torrey; SR-24 runs east through Capitol Reef National Park to SR-95 near Hanksville; follow SR-95 southeast, across Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell), and skirt Natural Bridges National Monument to meet US-191 near Blanding; the route continues north on US-191 to access points for Canyonlands andArches National Parks; then on to US-191’s merger with I-70 at Crescent Junction.