With miles upon miles of scenic byways, Bryce Canyon Country is the ideal location for your next road ride.
Scenic Byway 12 offers beauty and adventure for cycling enthusiasts. Often referred to as the most scenic road in America, Scenic Byway 12 navigates west-east for more than 120 miles through the heart of Bryce Canyon Country, from Panguitch to just beyond Boulder.
The paved Scenic Byway 12 traverses through diverse, ruggedly beautiful scenery, including historic Panguitch surrounded by Dixie National Forest, the red rock landscape of Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon, Escalante’s slickrock canyons, and Boulder’s alpine backdrop.
Scenic Byway 12 is one of two paved roads through Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. While there’s plenty to see not everything is accessible by bicycle. Steep grades and switchbacks make it wise to pick a safe starting point and ride within your personal limits. Spectacular Red Canyon has a paved bike path that parallels Scenic Byway 12 from the Thunder Mountain Trailhead to Coyote Hollow Road and ranges in elevation from 7,200 to 8,000 feet. Maps, supplies, and food can be picked up at towns along Scenic Byway 12, including Panguitch, Tropic, Cannonville, Henrieville, Escalante, and Boulder.
Panguitch is Bryce Canyon Country’s gateway to Scenic Highway 89, Utah’s Heritage Highway. While Scenic Highway 89 runs north-south through much of Utah, the Heritage Highway section runs through the southern section of the state.
Evidence of Utah’s pioneer heritage is reflected all along the route, with access to historic sites, local foods, and Old West scenery. From the Headwaters area of Utah Heritage Highway 89, which includes Panguitch and Hatch, continuing south on Utah Heritage Highway 89 will take you to Boulder Loop, which begins and ends on Highway 89, and the Under the Rim area known for its red rock landscape and movie backdrops.
Panguitch is also the entry point for the Desperado Dual Bicycle Rally, held each year in August, open to hundreds of cyclists from all over the country. The ride features loops on scenic Highway 89 toward Scenic Byway 12 and Red Canyon. This section of Scenic Highway 89 offers easy access to Scenic Byway 12 and Scenic Byway 143. Food, lodging, and supplies are available in Panguitch and Hatch.
Scenic Byway 143, Utah’s Patchwork Parkway Scenic Byway, is a 51-mile road between the historic communities of Panguitch and Parowan and connects to Scenic Byway 12 and Scenic Highway 89.
Also known as Utah’s Patchwork Parkway, Scenic Byway 143 follows the general route taken by determined pioneers who laid quilts on top of the snow-covered plateau as they went in search of food and supplies.
Scenic Byway 143 is as rich in beauty as it is in history, traversing Utah’s high plateau and giving access to Hidden Haven, Brian Head (Utah’s highest elevation community), Cedar Breaks’ 2,000-foot deep amphitheater, the Markagunt Lava Flows, and Panguitch Lake on the way to historic Panguitch City.
Scenic Byway 143 is incredibly popular with cyclists, with thousands riding the paved scenic mountain route each year; a designated bike path runs parallel to Scenic Byway 143 in Brian Head Town. Scenic Byway 143 presents exciting and unique challenges to cyclists, including a 4,500-foot elevation change across six major life zones.
A few things to keep in mind when cycling Scenic Byway 143: narrow shoulders, limited sight distances, and mountainous terrain. There are no fees to drive the byway. Gas, food, and supplies can be picked up along the way at Brian Head and Panguitch.