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Utah Highway 12 – a Scenic Byway through the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument
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Image by UGArdener
Here are a few shots taken late one afternoon in September. This road was recently named one of the world’s 10 Most Beautiful Highways by Fox News:

"At elevations ranging from 5,000 to over 9,000 feet above sea level, Scenic Highway 12 curves 124 miles throughout the rugged landscape of southwestern Utah. The highway took nearly four decades to build and spans the area between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks. If you plan on traveling this way, you can access the highway from either US 89 or Highway 12. As you drive along, take some time to check out popular tourist destinations along the way, such as the Dixie National Forest, the Kodachrome Basin State Park, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the Anasazi State Park Museum."

www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/09/04/worlds-10-most-beautifu…

"Scenic Byway 12 spans a route of 124 miles, and travels through some of the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. It runs through Utah’s Garfield and Wayne Counties and is home to Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks; Kodachrome Basin, Escalante Petrified Forest, and Anasazi Museum State Parks; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the 1.8-million-acre Dixie National Forest.

Scenic Byway 12 has two entry points. The southwestern gateway is from U.S. Highway 89 (US 89), seven miles south of the city of Panguitch. The northeastern gateway is from Highway 24 in the town of Torrey near Capitol Reef National Park.

Additionally, there are nine communities along Byway 12, each with a character all its own. Settled by Mormon families who established homes and ranches in the area, the towns proudly display their unique heritage and invite you to visit.

Scenic Byway 12 takes visitors through memorable landscapes, ranging from the remains of ancient sea beds to one of the world’s highest alpine forests, and from astonishing pink and russet stone turrets to open sagebrush flats. The history and culture of the area blend together, making Scenic Byway 12 a journey like no other."

www.scenicbyway12.com/