Scenic Highway 12 travels from Highway 89 just outside Panguitch across to Torrey on highway 24 it is one heck of a drive, but parts of it are definitely not for those of a nervous disposition!
John Wesley Powell and his expedition came this way and from Henrieville to Head of Rocks east of Escalante highway 12 follows their exact route.
On one section of the road the remains of an Ancestral Puebloan Granary can be seen tucked into an alcove high above.
Past Escalante the road gets, interesting, this is the view from Head of Rocks, yes, there is a road down there.
From here the road dives down into Escalante Canyon before making its way up to the hogsback.
Yes, we really did meet a fifth wheel coming down the hogsback, it’s actually the second one we met, I was so surprised I didn’t even think to photograph the first one.
The hogsback is a very narrow strip of road there is practically no shoulder on either side, in fact the upright post in the photograph below is the end of the road!
Highway 12 continues down into the small town of Boulder on a road built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, they started work in 1935, it took, them 5 years and tons of dynamite to complete the road.
Before that the only way to get to Boulder was either by wagon through Escalante canyons, or during the summer over Hell’s Backbone a dirt road created by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933.
From Boulder highway 12 climbs up through quaking aspens travelling over Boulder Mountain.
This section of the road was only opened as recently as 1985, before that the only way over the mountain was an unpaved road that was impassable during the winter.
Highway 12 goes from desert to alpine in a matter of miles and has great views across the surrounding areas, it’s a great drive, but I don’t think we’ll ever take the Cougar that way!
Have fun, we are!