Friday, May 29, 2020

Utah Route 12 - An All American Road

Thanks to Butler Maps, we decided to ride north a few miles out of Hatch, Utah where we're staying for 3 nights, then head east on Route 12 - a scenic byway known as an All American Road. All American roads offer unique landscapes that aren't seen anywhere else, and we enjoyed a wide variety of them today on our 200 mile ride.

The ride started off with a huge 'wow' factor as we rode past the red stone hoodoos in Red Canyon., which is part of Bryce Canyon National Park. The hoodoos are unique rock formations that have been weathered and eroded into fantastic shapes. Route 12 goes through two tunnels as it twists and turns.

As we continued east, the view opened up and the colors of the rocks changed to creamy white.

Once we rode through the small town of Escalante, named after Silvestre Velez de Escalante, a Franciscan missionary and a member of the first European expedition into southern Utah in 1776 from Santa Fe, New Mexico, the landscape changed again into huge, rounded weathered boulders that extended as far as we could see.

This part of Route 12 is a motorcyclist's dream - lots of twisting, winding turns, elevation changes including a 14% grade at one point, and almost no traffic.

We stopped for lunch at our half-way point in the small town of Boulder at the base of Boulder Mountain. The Burr Trail Grill is nestled under cottonwood trees that provided a shady outdoor dining patio for a cool spot to enjoy lunch.

After lunch we retraced our route heading west on Route 12 watching the changing scenery and the storm clouds building off in the distance.

We stopped in Red Canyon for a photo opp with the motorcycle.

We definitely plan to ride through this area again, exploring more of the scenic byways on our BMW.

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