Along Scenic Byway 12, you will be exposed to rolling slickrock, variegated buttes and mesas, snaking canyons, and rock walls varnished with mineral stains. You may see hawks, eagles, and vultures soaring overhead; deer or elk grazing in a high alpine meadow; or even an elusive coyote slipping furtively through a patch of rabbit brush.
Around each bend, there are surprises: wind- and water-shaped towers and ramparts as ornate as medieval castles; dense forests of aspen and fir that yield to grassy meadows; mingled scents of pinyon or sagebrush that define the open spaces of the American Southwest; and turbulent storms that spill over distant vistas, painting the formerly blue sky an indescribable shade of purple.
Fortunately, this rich trove of scenery along Scenic Byway 12 belongs to each of us.
Most of the lands surrounding the byway are public, meaning they are owned by the American people and managed by different federal and state agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and Utah State Parks. Each agency’s mission differs, but all share a common objective of caring for the lands and protecting them for future generations to enjoy.