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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Southern Utah’s Highway 12

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Clattertruck

Centennial Colorado

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Posted: 12/17/09 03:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Southern Utah has fascinated us since 1966. Over the years we have traveled 4x4 roads and highways two three and four times a year. Many places are fading from memory. This year we made a reprise trip to Highway12. one of the great Scenic Byways. The cold weather we have been having made me think about this trip of last June.

Green River, UT KOA was our first stop from home near Denver.
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Going west on I-70 from Green River the road collides with the San Rafael Swell. It was not until the 1980s that all four lanes were finished.
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The Sevier River flows along HWY 89, which we followed from Sevier Jct. to Panguitch. A little south of the town is the turn east on HWY 12
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The first sight on famous HWY12 is Red Canyon.
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Red Canyon
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We by passed Bryce NP because it was too crowded and visited .Kodachrome State Park. The campground had nice pads.
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Brightly colored Jurassic sedimentary rocks decorate Kodachrome Basin.
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Kodachrome Basin is a spectacle of massive sandstone chimneys, ever-changing from gray and white to shades of red. There are hiking trails to various sights.
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Morning light in the basin.
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The entry road in the park
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Looking west from the Kodachrome road where the Claron formation of Bryce is seen.
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Powell's explorations were more than adventures. They provided valuable information about unmapped regions. Powell Point was used as a landmark survey point by the Powell Expedition. Powell Point dominates the landscape, rising 10,188 feet above sea level.
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View from the Hole -in-the-Rock Road looking at the Kaiparowits Plateau. We are in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Late light on the windblown sand.
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In the fall of 1879, the Mormon San Juan Expedition used this route from south-central Utah to their proposed colony in the far southeastern corner of the state. The undertaking proved extraordinarily difficult when they came to the Colorado River. They came to the 1200-foot (400 m) sandstone cliffs that surround Glen Canyon, they needed a way to cross to the eastern rim. They found (and named) Hole-in-the-Rock, a narrow, steep, and rocky crevice.
We camped here at about 10 miles down the road.
[image]

Back on HWY 12. When you reach the Boynton Overlook be certain to stop for this view. Entering the Escalante River Canyon you will descend to the Escalante River Bridge near its confluence with Calf Creek. The Escalante carves its way east to the Colorado River through the last region of the Untied States to be mapped.
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Looking down on Calf Creek Canyon from HWY 12 Hogsback section. The Hogsback gets its descriptive name from the narrow section of Scenic Byway 12 that winds along the ridge between Calf Creek and Boulder Creek.
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Boulder. The first white settlement began in 1889, with Boulder incorporated as a town in 1958. Boulder claims to be the last community in the continental United States to receive its mail by mule train. Completion of a year-round road in 1939 opened Boulder to car traffic from the south/west.
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Highway 12 ends at Torrey. We took 24 to Capitol Reef visitor Center
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Old trees.
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Scenic Park Road. Capitol Reef is named because of the resemblance of the many whitish Navajo sandstone domes to the US Capitol building; the 'Reef' refers to the high uplifted ridge running north-south along the fold which presented a considerable barrier to early settlers.
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We took the hike into Capitol Gorge. Margot and I took the trail, which is about a mile each way.
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Early settlers used the gorge. There is a signature on the rock inscribed by Cass Hite in 1888. Cass Hite was a miner who explored southern Utah he started a ferry service at Dandy Crossing and a new town called Hite City. Cass built a ranch where a creek upstream of Dandy Crossing flows into the Colorado River. It is all under Lake Powell now.
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We left Capitol Gorge, retuning to the Scenic Road.
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We spent the night at Hanksville and then took HWY 95 southeast towards Natural Bridges NM. This is North Wahs leading to the Colorado River.
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The bridge over the Colorado River is in the far distance where the river narrows. Not seen is the place where the Dirty Devil River comes in on the left.
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At Natural Bridges we meet our friends, Steve and Vonna. They also have a Snowriver TC.
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The bridges are in White Canyon. The ever present Cass Hite explored the canyon in the 1880s.
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Vonna and Margot start down the trail to Omachono Bridge.
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I had to quit and return to the top. My old knees would n
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Down the trail
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Paintbrush
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Margot at the bottom.
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Vonna and Steve set up a corral for the three dogs that travel with them.
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Dogs, One Labradoodle and two Corgis.
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We had a quiet night on a back road on Cedar Mesa.
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Leaving Cedar Mesa and starting for home.
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Coming down the Moki Dugway. The three miles of unpaved switchbacks descend 1100 feet from the top of Cedar Mesa.
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* This post was last edited 12/18/09 07:18am by Clattertruck *   View edit history


Clattertruck
2008 SD F450 Pickup PSD 6.4L CC 4X4 DRW, Lariat Auto trans 4.30 LS, 2013 Lance TT 1885, Toyota 2014 Tundra Crew Max 5.7.


DannyG

Vail, Colorado

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Posted: 12/17/09 04:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Living in Colorado, We are fortunate to be able to spend just a few hours driving and end up in Canyonland Country... The whole Southern Half of Utah is absolutely amazing... Most only get to see it in magazines.. Thank you for posting these photo's...


Danny

Eugarps

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Posted: 12/17/09 05:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Man does that bring back memories! My favorite part is the Hogsback and Haymaker Bench.

Thanks, Clattertruck


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trxcr

elko nv

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Posted: 12/17/09 05:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, the lake (river now ) at Hite don't look much better than the last time I saw it.


Lord, grant me the senility to not recognize the people I don't like, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference

skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

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Posted: 12/17/09 04:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Route 12 is one of our favorites too. Thanks for sharing the great photos.


2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
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US Govt survey shows three out of four people make up 75% of the total population


Ductape

On the Road

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Posted: 12/17/09 06:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Shhhhh... (please delete this post and don't telll anyone! [emoticon]


49 States, 6 Provinces, 2 Territories...

zigzagrv

Nazareth, PA

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Posted: 12/17/09 06:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ductape wrote:

Shhhhh... (please delete this post and don't telll anyone! [emoticon]


Too Late! Its already marked on my map.

Great travelogue, Clattertruck.


Ron

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clinthia

Flathead County, Montana

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Posted: 12/17/09 06:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clattertruck, is your photo titled "old trees" Fruita Campgrounds?
Clint


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Clattertruck

Centennial Colorado

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Posted: 12/17/09 07:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

clinthia wrote:

Clattertruck, is your photo titled "old trees" Fruita Campgrounds?
Clint

Those are not in the CG. The campground is in a old orchard that was part of Fuita not far from the vistor center. There are some 2600 trees in the area if I remember correctly.
Ron

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adk mts.

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Posted: 12/17/09 07:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

is that the Gifford homestead ??????


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