BRYCE CANYON COUNTRY Boulder Mountain Scenic backways itinerary

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1 BRYCE CANYON COUNTRY Boulder Mountain Scenic backways itinerary Boulder Mountain Area The high plateaus of the Aquarius Plateau (Boulder Mountain), are heavily forested and covered in countless winding roads that showcase the rugged beauty of this dramatic landscape. The area is one of only two major high-elevation lake areas in Utah, containing approximately 80 small lakes, giving travelers not only the chance to experience the highest wooded plateau in North America, but ample opportunity for fishing, photography, hiking, ATV riding or other outdoor experiences. Main back-roads through this area are well graded but if you venture off the beaten path expect some roads to be rough which may require high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles. These roads are accessible during the summer months and spring and fall depending on weather conditions.

2 Travel to Area. Hotel Check-in, Relax Just getting to Bryce Canyon Country is a scenic drive in itself, so allow yourself a day to travel to the area and check-in to your choice of lodging. Travelers will find a variety of lodging options in local communities that surround Boulder Mountain from country style cabins to full service hotels. Be sure to check out the area s local restaurants. Visitors can access the back-ways on this itinerary from Interstate 15 or Highway 89 to Scenic Byway 12, or from Scenic Byway 24 from Interstate 70. Check out the maps shown on our web-site (see web-address below) to gain an overview of the best route for you. Day 1 Check In

3 Hell s Backbone - Scenic Backway Start your desert exploration with one of the most scenic and remote back roads in southern Utah. Hell s Backbone is a narrow, winding gravel road that travels through the Grand Staircase and Waterpocket Fold. This 38 mile road acquaints travelers with deathdefying drops, staggering switchbacks, and arid desert plant life. Built in 1933 as an access for vehicles to drive between Boulder and Escalante, Hell s Backbone continued to be used by mule for mail and other goods until 1940, this secret back road is still rarely traveled. Hikers will enjoy the nine mile, mountain view hike to box canyon. Expect rough terrain. Most travelers avoid the road in bad weather. This gravel road is 44 miles (one way). Closed in winter. Day 2 Hell s Backbone - Scenic Backway

4 Explore Box Death Hollow or Boulder Mountain Box Death Hollow feels as if you ve stepped into an Old Testament desert in Jerusalem. This is deep canyon country full of grey rocks, wild cypress and juniper, and the lonely echoes of a ghostly wildlife. The areas fault lines have carved sharp layers of stacked rock, revealing multi-colored sediment and a staggered desert backdrop. The vertical gray-orange walls of Navajo sandstone stand above two canyon tributaries of the Escalante River in Box-Death Hollow Wilderness. Named for the number of livestock that plunged to their death in attempt to cross the steep canyon, this landscape is hollow isolation resounds with ghosts of the lives it has consumed. Fast running waters often flood these narrow canyon carves after rainfall, filling the steep diving monoclines of Pine Creek and Death Hollow Creek (east of the box ). Brown and rainbow trout are plentiful in Pine Creek and in portions of Sand Creek. Hiking along the creek banks, travelers glimpse mule deer, an occasional cougar, and even elk in winter. The Box trail weaves around nine miles of the area. Further hiking in this vast wilderness area requires following drainages or undesignated routes. Day 3 Explore Box Death Hollow or Boulder Mountain

5 Boulder Mountain This mountain is crisscrossed with many connecting roads that are just waiting to be explored and these roads provide access to the 80+ lakes that are found here. Some lakes are within hiking distance of the nearest roads. You ll find ample opportunities for hiking, sight-seeing, classic photography spots, and plenty of fishing. Four-wheel drive high-clearance vehicles are recommended exploring many of Boulder Mountain s scenic back-country roads. Scenic Byway 12 crosses the high plateau on the eastern edge of Boulder Mountain. Use Highway 22 to access roads on the western edge of the mountain. Day 3 Explore Box Death Hollow or Boulder Mountain

6 Posey Lake/Pine Creek Road - Scenic Backway This 40 mile gravel road ventures north from Escalante and journeys far onto the mountain. Meandering around areas of the Dixie Nation Forest, this backway provides travelers access to Posey Lake and it s campgrounds. Their are many lakes to enjoy on Boulder Mountain with a variety of the area s native fish, and the nearby forests gives the adventurous travelers the chance to hike through remote desert wilderness under the canopy of pine. ATV and mountain bikes are excellent ways to enjoy the magic of this mountain plateau. Connect to other roads that provide opportunities to loop toward other lakes and communities in the valleys. Day 4 Posey Lake/Pine Creek Road - Scenic Backway

7 Griffin Top - Scenic Backway You have the option each night of staying in nearby local communities and venturing on mountain forays each day. You can connect to the Griffin top from Posey Lake or from the western edge of Boulder Mountain and Johns Valley. Pine Lake sits on a western bench of Boulder Mountain and from here you will ascend an enchanting road that climbs to the top of the Aquarius Plateau, displaying a panoramic view of open meadows and towering scatterings of spruce and fir. Weaving through the trails travelers enjoy more pristine mountain lakes, elk sightings, and more interaction with desert wildlife. Griffin Top is a climatic ending to a perfect desert vacation. Day 5 Griffin Top - Scenic Backway

8 Departure Depending on your schedule and your point of origin, you can again experience various Scenic Byways as you depart Bryce Canyon Country. After relishing in the remote pleasure of Boulder Mountain and the Aquarius Plateau, take a day to have a late breakfast, gather up your belongings, and begin your journey home. Scenic Byway 12 can carry you north toward Capitol Reef or southwest toward Highway 89 and Interstate 15. On Scenic Byway 12 you ll enjoy options to catch Kodachrome Basin State Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Red Canyon, Anasazi Museum State Park, Escalante Petrified Forest, Calf Creek Falls, Use the maps and other resources on our web-site to complete your planning process for this multi-day vacation experience in Utah s Bryce Canyon Country. Day 6 Departure

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