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Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

Vermont
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Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

After leaving Bryce Canyon NP on Sept. 16, we will take 1 day to travel Highway 12, spending the night either at Capitol Reef or in the Torrey area. What sights along the way should we not miss?

I couldn't decide which forum to use -- Utah, Bryce or another. If anyone has suggestions for me reposting to another, please let me know.

Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

You won't miss any sights, the question is how many stops and for what?

If you want a good hike, then Lower Calf Creek Falls is about a 5 mile trip on mostly level but sandy ground.

Other favorite stops in addition to great views and photos are at Kiva Koffee House and Anasazi Ruins Museum.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

Hwy 12 is the gateway to the Grand Staircase Escalante NM. While just driving the road is marvelous you can plan to leave the road along the way to visit some of the other sights.

There is a visitors Center in Cannonville which will have information about the Cottonwood Road. Down that road you could visit Kodachrome State park and Grosvenor Arch as well as see the Coxscomb before turning around. It is dirt after the Kodachrome and could be difficult to impossible if wet.

Before Escalante you will pass the Escalante State park with its hike to a petrified forest.

Then another visitors center in Escalante will give you information about that area. There is the maintained dirt Hole in the Rock road. 10 miles down is the Devil's Garden and fun picnic place. Further down at the Spooky and peekaboo slot canyons.

There are also hikes along the Escalante river, the Hell's Backbone backway.

Calf Creek hike and the Calf Creek overlook are nice.

Then there is the Burr trail. If you go through it about 15 miles it will take you through Long Canyon and past the Circle Cliffs. Really wonderful country.

Rental cars usually are not covered for dirt road travel, so if you are renting go down them at your own risk. (but the ones I gave you are good with a passenger car unless wet.)

See: http://www.scenicbyway12.com/

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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3. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

Depending on what kind of car you have Hole in the Rock road is good.Lots of it is passable in a regular car,unless it gets wet.

Burr trail is fun.Starts in Boulder,take it until the pavement ends.There are slot canyons off both these roads.

Calf Creek falls is good.6 miles r/t.

A stop at Kiva Koffeehouse in Escalante is a nice break,as is Hells Backbone Grill in Boulder.

At Cap reef,I like the Pioneer Register at the end of the gorge.

Charleston, South...
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4. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

Here is an interactive map with 19 potential things to see and do along Scenic Hwy 12:

www.scenicbyway12.com

Illinois
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5. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

Are there outfitters that will take you back to the slot canyons off Hole in the Rock Road? We visited there on our own a few years ago and would like to return.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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6. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

illinitraveler: I'm not sure what they each offer, but here is the best reference I've found for guides in the area.

www.escalante-cc.com/visitor/guides.htm

Vermont
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7. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

Thank you all for your advice. I had found the interactive map of Rt. 12 a while ago & thought all sights sound great. That's why I needed the help of experts like all of you to help me choose the best. We will have all day to travel to Capitol Reef from Bryce & will be driving in a "normal" compact rental car. Slot canyons, the petrified forest & stunning views are high on our list.

A number of the places we will be visiting in Utah are state parks. If there is an entrance fee for the state parks, is there an option to purchase a pass which will allow us into all for one fee?

Our itinerary starts at Zion then on to Bryce, Hwy 12, Capitol Reef, Arches & Canyonland. Would you recommend Cedar Breaks?

Steamboat Springs...
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8. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

My choice for 1st stop in the AM would be a really nice walk thru Willis Cr Narrows just south of Cannonville. Get directions in town. Park and walk right into an easy access mostly flat hike thru beautiful colored walls.(a sleeper slot canyon) It should be dry walking downstream ,even if it's running it should be a very tiny stream. Or... go for broke and head down Hole in the Rock Rd and do Spooky and Peek a Boo. Both are close enuf to each other to explore in the same day. Spooky's so tight you have to turn sideways to get thru (very cool).

Either one of these stops on the way to Torrey would be worthy. There's a lot to see along this rd especially between Escalante and Boulder, youll probably want to pull over and scramble around on the multi colored rocks and formations. I'd probably avoid the state parks just to have enuf time to see the other things. Very scenic ride spiced with a little adventure.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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9. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

Unfortunately the state parks would need to be paid individually, no passes worth mentioning.

Torrey, Utah
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10. Re: Highway 12 Top Sights Not to Miss

Kbec is right about 'useful passes' for the one day visitor, the annual pass is $75. An interesting side not however, Utah library card holders can check out a state pass for a day and visit a park for free!