Scenic Byways, Highways, and Backways

Utah Scenic Drives

Utah is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and scenic drives. Here's a list of some of the most notable scenic roads, byways, highways, and backways in Utah.

Scenic Byway 12

Scenic Byway 12, (Highway 12) is a breathtaking and nationally recognized route that connects two national parks, three state parks, a national monument, and a national forest. Scenic Byway 12 extends for approximately 124 miles (200 kilometers). Highlights on this route are; Red Canyon in the Dixie National Forest, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Calf Creek Falls, The historic towns of Escalante, Boulder, and Torrey, Hell's Backbone Bridge and Box-Death Hollow Wilderness, Boulder Mountain, and Capitol Reef National Park.
hogback road

Scenic Byway 143

Utah's Scenic Byway 143, is also referred to as the "Patchwork Parkway," and is a scenic drive in southwestern Utah the beautiful landscapes of southern Utah. Scenic Byway 143 stretches for approximately 55 miles (88 kilometers) and highlights are as follows; Parowan, Brian Head Resort, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Panguitch Lake, and Panguitch, Utah,

In summer travelers can engage in a hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and camping. In the winter, the area around Brian Head, and Panguitch Lake offers opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Bryce Canyon formation and trees

Highway 128

This road follows the Colorado River, offering incredible views of red rock formations and access to Fisher Towers, Castle Valley, and Arches National Park.
Colorado River

Highway 9 - Zion-Mount Carmel Highway

Passing through the iconic Zion National Park, this road takes you through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and offers views of towering cliffs and unique rock formations.
switchbacks at Zion national park

Highway 191

This highway passes north and south through the eastern side of the state connecting near the four corners area on the southeast to Flaming Gorge in the northeast. One of many highlights on this route is the way passing through the scenic Moab area, giving access to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Alpine Loop Scenic Byway

This byway winds through the Uinta National Forest and American Fork Canyon, providing beautiful views of mountains, meadows, and the Timpanogos Cave National Monument.

If you find yourself in the area during fall, this a very popular drive that is bursting with fall colors. 
Mount Timpanogos

Mirror Lake Scenic Byway

Also known as Highway 150, this byway takes you through the Uinta Mountains, passing by Mirror Lake and offering access to numerous hiking trails and recreational opportunities.
Mirror Lake Scenic Byway

Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway

This route just outside of Moab follows the Colorado River, showcasing stunning red rock scenery, petroglyphs, arches, and the Potash evaporation ponds. 

A highlight along this route is a section called Wall Street, which is popular among rock climbers. Other notable points include petroglyph panels, the Poison Spider Trail, and the trailheads for Bowtie, Corona, and Jughandle Arches. This is a great backroad getaway.
Corona Arch - Moab

Burr Trail

This backway takes you through Capitol Reef National Park, offering breathtaking views of colorful canyons, the Waterpocket Fold, and the Henry Mountains.

Hell's Backbone Scenic Byway

This byway offers panoramic views of the Box-Death Hollow Wilderness Area, Boulder Mountain, and the Escalante River.

Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway

Beginning in Vernal Utah and ending in the border town of Manila. This incredible scenic drive showcases the east end of the Uinta Mountains with beautiful mountain ranges and scenic lakes. It passes through Ashley National Forest, Steinaker State Park, Red Fleet State Park, and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. This byway is overflowing with beautiful sites and overlooks not to be missed.

Logan Canyon Scenic Byway

This sections of Highway 89 takes you through Logan Canyon in the Cache National Forest. This delightful drive winds along the Logan River with towering mountain cliffs, past the Beaver Mountain ski area and ends with a breathtaking aerial view of Bear Lake. Dependent on the season, this area is a beloved for fishing, snowmobliling, skiing, and more. Be sure to leave some time to explore and enjoy the stunning blue waters of Bear Lake State Park. 

Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway

The Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway is a historically significant scenic route that circles through parts of Colorado and Utah. Stretching approximately 512 miles (824 kilometers), the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway encompasses key destinations and features such as: Dinosaur National Monument, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Colorado National Monument, The Fruita Paleo Area, Nine Mile Canyon, and numerous state parks, scenic rivers and streams, and other attractions.

Cedar Mesa Backcountry Byway

Cedar Mesa Scenic Byway Route 261 is known for its breathtaking views, access to unique geological formations, and its thrilling descent along the Moki Dugway. Hihglights along this route are Mexican Hat Rock Formation, Valley of the Gods, Moki Dugway, Goosenecks State Park, Natural Bridges National Monument.
The beauty to be found in Utah is endless. Here are some scenic backways in Utah that offer off-the-beaten-path experiences, each unique and stunning.

Burr Trail

Passing through Capitol Reef National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, this backway offers stunning views of colorful canyons and rock formations.


Located in Capitol Reef National Park, this backway takes you to the remote and awe-inspiring Cathedral Valley, featuring massive sandstone monoliths and unique formations.


This rugged backway provides access to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, leading to slot canyons, arches, and other geological wonders.


This backway winds through the La Sal Mountains near Moab, offering panoramic views of red rock landscapes and alpine meadows.


This gravel road descends the Moki Dugway switchbacks, providing stunning views of Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley.

House Rock Valley Road

This backway in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument offers access to the Wave, White Pocket, and other unique geological features.

Notom-Bullfrog Road

Passing through Capitol Reef National Park, this backway provides access to slot canyons, overlooks, and colorful rock formations.

Cottonwood Canyon Road

This backway traverses Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, showcasing towering cliffs, slot canyons, and unique geological formations.

Gunlock Road

This backway takes you to the Gunlock Reservoir area, offering views of red rock canyons and the reservoir itself.

Dickenson Flats Road

This lesser-known backway provides access to expansive views of the San Rafael Desert and Book Cliffs.

Whiterocks Road

This backway in the Ashley National Forest offers views of the stunning Whiterocks Amphitheater and the surrounding high desert.

Onion Creek Road

Located near Moab, this backway follows Onion Creek and provides access to stunning red rock canyons and formations.

Mirror Lake Backcountry Byway

This gravel road near Kamas takes you through the Uinta Mountains and offers access to alpine lakes and scenic viewpoints.

Pine Valley Road

Passing through the Pine Valley Recreation Area, this backway showcases dense forests, mountain scenery, and a variety of outdoor activities.

White Rim Road

This challenging backway in Canyonlands National Park takes you around the Island in the Sky district, providing incredible views of the canyons and the Colorado River.