The State of Utah contains some of the most interesting and unique pieces of nature’s artwork in the United States. From the magnificent red spires and arches of Bryce Canyon National Park to Zion’s soaring sandstone cliffs and slot canyons to the incomparable magnificence of the Grand Canyon, this state offers mile after mile of gorgeous scenic roads and places to visit. In addition, Utah also boasts some very nice mountainous areas that boast fun rolling rides.
The Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument Ride or Scenic Byway 12 is not just 124 miles of some of the most incredible scenery that can be found in the United States, it is also a technical route that snakes through a number of Utah’s most scenic national and state parks, as well as the 1.8-million-acre Dixie National Forest. Riders can start this route in Panguitch and take US-89 south until they reach Route 12, where they will then head east towards Torrey. Some of the parks that riders will travel through include Bryce Canyon National Park and Capital Reef National Parks, as well as the Petrified Forest State Park and Kodachrome Basin. The terrain in this area is extremely diverse, ranging from open stretches of arid sagebrush flats to incredible canyons to the world’s highest alpine forests.
As for the road, it is mile after mile of twisting asphalt with some straightaways thrown in around Escalante. Not only is this challenging road narrow and twisting, but it is also has steep drop-offs, no guardrails and lots of elevation changes. This can be an especially scary road for those who have a fear of heights, particularly if ridden from north to south, as this will put most of the drop-offs on the rider’s side. In addition, motorcyclists will have to cross Boulder Mountain, which contains a section known as the Hogbacks, which are five curves set high on a ridgeline with drop-offs on both sides of the road. Bikers should definitely be cautious on Route 12, as they may encounter sand and gravel on this road, as well as frightened tourists in motor homes inching through the scary parts.
Riders looking for a fast ride through pretty scenery of a different sort will enjoy the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway, which has stunning views of the Wasatch Range and its tallest mountain, 11,928-foot Mount Nebo. To get to this route, riders should start in Payson, which is at exit 254 off of I-15. Turn left onto Payson Main Street, which is also known as R-77, and take this road until it intersects with 100 North, also known as SR-198. Once again, riders will turn left and travel to 600 East, where they will make a right. This road eventually becomes Canyon Road, which will take them to the beginning of the byway. The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway has a lot of nice switchbacks and steep inclines and declines that will keep a rider entertained, as well as gorgeous mountain scenery.
Utah-148 is a beautiful technical road that runs through the Cedar Break National Monument. Again, this is just beautiful unique country that riders won’t find in many other places in the United States. The Native Americans who used to live in this area called it the Circle of Painted Cliffs. Utah-148, which runs along the cliff edges to give visitors a good view of the park’s stunning brightly colored limestone formations, boasts lots of descending and ascending corners and elevation changes that should keep a rider on his toes.
Bikers in Utah also have numerous rallies, rides, races and other motorcycle events that they can attend, including Thunder on the Mountain in Brian Head. This annual rally is held in July and features plenty of fun events, including a poker run and live entertainment.
Disclaimer: All information is provided as a service to motorcycle riders, and the opinions expressed here are subjective. Although we have tried to research this information thoroughly, it is possible that changing circumstances can cause this information to become inaccurate. In addition, the conditions and roads described can change without notice for a number of reasons, including closings, weather conditions and maintenance. Motorcycle events such as rallies and rides may also be cancelled or dates changed without notice, as well. This site is not responsible for these types of circumstances, which are beyond our control, and riders relying on this information will be doing so at their own risk. This site is not liable for any actions a rider takes based on the information provided here. Please consult other sources before heading out on these roads and do not use the directions given here as a map, as again, circumstances may have affected their accuracy.
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