Best Places to Ride in Las Vegas: Utah Scenic Route 12
This weekend is the unofficial start to summer. Here in Nevada, that means only one thing: the temperature will be hitting the triple digits here shortly. All of us here at Las Vegas Harley-Davidson, Red Rock Harley-Davidson and Zion Harley-Davidson want to help you cool down.
This summer head out on the open road to destinations that will have you feeling refreshed. Trust us, you don’t want to miss a single mile of Nevada and Utah’s beauty on your next trip, which is why we’ve brought you some of our picks for the best places to ride. So let’s pack those bags and get out there.
Cool Down on the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway
State Route 12 or Scenic Byway 12, is an all-American road and a great place to ride that great all-American Harley. This highway starts just south of Panguitch, Utah, at the intersection of US-89. Its 122 miles of gorgeous curves, twists and turns as it passes through Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and over Boulder Mountain into Dixie National Forest ending near the entrance to Capitol Reef National Park.
From the seat of your bike, you will take in the wide-open ranges, huge canyons and breathtaking red rock views. Now the road has two lanes with little traffic. It is a fantastic climb and descends through turns and switchbacks. This is a great road for riders of all levels.
History of the Road
In 1914, the road from Bryce Canyon Junction to Tropic was added to the state highway system. By 1923 a branch from Tropic Junction to Bryce Canyon was added. A few years later the state named both branches State Route 12.
When traveling along SR-12, you will need to make a few must-see stops and detours.
- Zion National Park – We have already featured Zion in this series and we love this park. Don’t miss the breathtaking sandstone cliffs that dot the horizon. It is truly a magical place to ride.
- Bryce Canyon – Often referred to as the “world’s largest pothole,” Bryce Canyon will completely entice your senses with breathtaking views. This park is ideal to visit during the summer months when you need to escape the heat. The campgrounds here are a great stopping point along your journey on Utah S.R. 12.
- Cottonwood Canyon Road (Road 400) – This scenic 47-mile dirt road, connects U.S Highway 89 with Utah S.R. 12. It offers a unique view into the center of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. One fair warning, do not attempt this road when wet; rain makes the clay very difficult for travel.