We start out today for a brief bit driving through a 4 KM section in the Northern part of Bryce Canyon National Park..
We leave the park and drive along Utah 12 heading towards Grand Staircase – Escalante National Park. This is a part of the National Park that we have not visited. A few days ago we were visiting the Southern section of GSENP and now we are in the Northern section. As we drive along Utah 12, it weaves in and out of the northern border of the park about 5 times. If we are not in the park, then we are in the Dixie National Forest. I did not differentiate between the two when naming the photos. That was just too complicated a process.
Here is the welcome sign and the visitor center.
At this point of the trip, we are definitely out of the Park and are now driving on Utah 12 Scenic Byway.
The wildflowers are in bloom in this meadow.
It was a short drive today, only 180 KM but it was a very scenic and enjoyable. It is impossible to duplicate the beauty of yesterdays drive, but this is a close 2nd. Here is some of the scenery that we saw.
This next little bit of the road was actually a bit scary. My heart skipped a beat or two as we drove this section. We are at about 8000 feet altitude and are just cresting the peak of the mountain that we have been driving up. The road crests at the top and then for about 500 feet we are literally driving on the peak of the mountain. On either side of the road, the edges drop away into nothingness. If you were to drive off the pavement, you would be careening down the mountain side till you wound up at the bottom several thousand feet below. When building this road, they literally just graded off the peak of the mountain wide enough for 2 cars to drive on.
I have driven on many roads these last few road trips, where one side of the road or the other side of the road dropped off dramatically and dangerously, but this was my first time driving on a road where both sides dropped off. No guardrail and no one would even know you left the road. One wrong move, or someone not sharing the road and you would not live to tell the tale.
Safely across the mountain peak we are heading back downhill.
We saw some cattle wandering near the road.
And spotted a Mule Deer in the forest.
Then one dashed across the road in front of us.
We arrived at our hotel in Torrey UT, went out for a nice pizza dinner and called it a day.
If you would like to see all of our photos from today, you can find them on my FLICKR site.