There is a four mile stretch of Scenic Byway 12 in Utah called the Hogback, that is both beautiful and terrifying to drive across. This stretch of road sits right on top of a cliff, with steeps drop offs on each side. Driving across what feels like a knife-blade, with NO guard rails on either side of the road, was an intensely, insane ride.
But first, a little history about Scenic Byways. There are approximately 184 National Scenic Byways in the US, designated as such due to a specific quality of unique beauty or cultural interest. Scenic Byway 12 in Utah between Torrey and Escalante, is one of these roads. This 122 mile stretch of road contains beautiful vistas, canyons, interesting rock formations and terrifying drop-offs.
This winding road cuts through open range territory and at one point we had to stop for a cow who was standing in our lane. As we pulled up to her, she stood her ground while chewing her cud. After staring at us for a few moments, she slowly turned and sauntered off the road. Apparently, she is not bothered by the cars on the road!
We drove to Escalante and then through a small portion of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
When we drove across the Hogback later that day, on our way back to Torrey, we pulled over to take in the view. Surprisingly, once I was out of the car, the fear was gone. I walked along the road to get some photos, and felt fairly relaxed in doing so.
There are many areas of interest along highway 12 including the Dixie National Forest, Capitol Reef National Park, Anasazi State Park and Museum and much more. If you can make it across the Hogback, you will be rewarded with some of Utah’s finest scenery. But for me, once was enough. 🙂
Wishing you grand adventures,