Top 5 Scenic Drives in Utah

Nov 3, 2016
By: Jake Wilhelmsen

Utah is filled with exclamation points. In some places, they’re so thick you can plow through a few dozen in a single drive. Rivers, mountains, lookouts, canyons, arches, forests, wildlife, waterfalls, red rock, all just off the open road. (You ain’t got nothin’ on us, Colorado!) Below are five of our favorite Utah scenic byways for the windows-down touring season.

Make your scenic drive a scenic weekend.


5. Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Hwy | Vernal

Drive where dinosaurs roamed. Stops on this national scenic byway include active quarries, backcountry sites and museums with bones, footprints and reconstructed skeletons. The route also provides access to Nine Mile Canyon’s ancient Fremont rock art and significant archeological more

Nearby Lodging

Area Guides & Rentals

4. Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway | Northeastern Utah

The state’s first national forest scenic byway, known as “the drive through the ages.” Climbs through foothills to the 1-billion-year-old exposed geological core of the Uinta Mountains near Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. High desert, forest and a huge variety of wildlife. It takes 1:45 if you don’t stop, but you’re gonna wanna more

Nearby Lodging

Area Guides & Rentals

3. Potash Scenic Byway | Moab

Maybe you just biked Slickrock or hiked through Arches. You’re tired but the red rock still beckons. Spend a couple hours driving this 44-mile byway northeast out of Moab that takes you along the Colorado River Gorge to the ghost town of Cisco. Stop along the way for Fisher Towers’ majestic red rock spires set against the snowy La more

Nearby Lodging

Area Guides & Rentals

2. Mirror Lake Scenic Byway | Heber Valley

Utah’s mountains are pretty to look at, but they’re even better to look from. Pack up your clan and hit 10,000 feet on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, a 56-mile drive from Kamas through the Uintas to the Wyoming state line. Watch the Provo River fall down canyon walls and look out over endless alpine forest from Bald Mountain more

Nearby Lodging

Area Guides & Rentals

1. Highway 12 | Southern Utah

If you had to see Utah in an afternoon, this would be the road to take. Starting in Panguitch, SR-12 runs 122 miles east through Dixie National Forest, Bryce Canyon National Park, past Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and ends in Torrey. Over rivers and sandstone bluffs, through forests and tunnels cut through mountains. Pack lunch and more

Nearby Lodging

Area Guides & Rentals

Other Scenic Drives in Utah

Alpine Loop - Northern Utah County

Cedar Breaks - Cedar City

Logan Canyon - Cache Valley

Nebo Loop - Southern Utah County

Dead Horse Point - Moab

Travel Tip - Timing is Everything

Timing is important with scenic drives. Think about the best time of year (for changing leaves, ideal temperatures, etc.) and the best time of day to take your drive. Make sure you’re in the right spot to maximize the magic of sunrise or sunset. Plan enough time for side-trips and pit stops, then add an extra half hour. Cuz there’s nothing worse than rushing through a leisurely drive.

Related Articles

Bryce Canyon National Park

Plan a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park with information like nearby airports, driving directions, and places to stay. View photos of Bryce Canyon and a list of the best hikes. Find guides and equipment rentals for your excursions as well as discounts and packages.


Moab, Utah information for planning your visit. Including Moab lodging, biking trails, camping, things to do, national parks, river rafting, and more.

Heber Valley

The Heber Valley, Utah has many outdoor recreation opportunities including golf courses, fly fishing streams, ski resorts and shopping in nearby Park City.

Flaming Gorge

Flaming Gorge reservoir is one of the most popular attractions in Utah where people enjoy boating, fishing, skiing, and other water sports.

Back To Top