Utah Trips February 15, 2023
by Courtnie Erickson The 9 Best Backroads In Utah For A Long Scenic Drive
You don’t have to hike, camp, or even head to the lake to enjoy Utah’s natural beauty. The Beehive State is home to dozens of scenic backroads that take you to the greatest views in the entire state. Check out this list of the nine best backroads in Utah that are breathtaking in every way. On these long scenic drives, you definitely won’t want to forget your camera!
1. Nebo Loop
The Nebo Loop is only 38 miles one way, but every single mile is beautiful. This is one of the
best backroads in Utah
that features forest, mountain, and city landscapes. If you love the outdoors, this is an excellent road to explore as you’ll pass campgrounds, hiking trails, and unique natural features along your way.
Nebo Loop Road, Nebo Loop Rd, Payson, UT, USA
2. Big Cottonwood Canyon
Big Cottonwood Canyon
is the perfect drive to get you out of the city and into nature. Along this road, you will pass two ski resorts, numerous trails, and the most incredible mountain views. This drive is one that is accessible all year long and every season offers some of the most stunning Utah scenery.
Big Cottonwood Canyon, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121, USA
3. Capitol Reef Scenic Byway
Capitol Reef Scenic Byway is one of the shorter scenic drives on our list but you will want to go slowly to enjoy all that it has to offer. This backroad features a paved road as well as two dirt road spurs. The dirt roads lead to trailheads and Utah landscapes that you won’t want to miss. Be aware that there is an entrance fee to access this road and it does close for inclement weather and flash floods. You can learn more on the
National Park Service website
Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey, UT 84775, USA
4. Logan Canyon Scenic Byway
Logan Canyon Scenic Byway is easily one of the
best scenic drives in northern Utah
. This road will take you from Logan to Garden City. You’ll wind through the canyon, which is absolutely stunning during the fall months.
Logan Canyon, Logan, UT 84321, USA
5. Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway
Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway is the road to take if you want an extremely long scenic drive. This highway is 512 miles and takes you through Utah and parts of Colorado. You will travel through many small towns, past active quarries, and to the fascinating
Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument, 11625 E 1500 S, Jensen, UT 84035, USA
6. Mirror Lake Scenic Byway
Mirror Lake Scenic Byway is a popular backroad, especially in the summer months. This stunning scenic drive will take you into the Unita Mountains and past numerous lakes, campgrounds, waterfalls, picnic areas, and so much more. Before you begin your drive, spend some time in the small town of
, which is a charming day trip destination.
Utah 150, UT-150, Kamas, UT, USA
7. State Route 143
State Route 143, also known as Brian Head-Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway, is 51 miles and takes you from the small town of Panguitch all the way to Parowan. You will pass many southern Utah gems including Panguitch Lake, Brian Head Resort, and Cedar Breaks National Monument.
Utah 143, UT-143, Panguitch, UT, USA
8. Guardsman Pass Scenic Byway
Guardsman Pass Scenic Byway is easily one of the best backroads in Utah. This scenic drive will take you from Park City to Brighton or Midway. This road is best traveled in a high-clearance vehicle as portions of the road are gravel. In the summer, you’ll see fields of wildflowers and in the autumn, you'll drive through vibrant fall foliage. This road is closed during the winter.
Guardsman Pass, Utah 84121, USA
9. Scenic Byway 12
Scenic Byway 12
is more than 120 miles of pure beauty. This backroad is located in southern Utah and will take you from Bryce Canyon National Park to Capitol Reef National Park. This popular scenic drive can take all day to explore as you’ll want to stop in the small towns and at local businesses. Plus, the red rock views are a photographer's dream.
Utah 12, UT-12, Escalante, UT, USA
What are some scenic drives in Utah that deserve to be on this list? What do you think are the best backroads in Utah? Share with us in the comments!
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