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The Top 10 Can’t-Miss Scenic Drives in Utah

Here's what you need to know...
  • Utah is an interesting and beautiful state
  • There are some picturesque scenic drives you won’t want to miss
  • Always check your vehicle and update your insurance before traveling in a new area

Utah is a beautiful state that holds many treasures for the road warrior. There are beautiful mountains and desert areas, as well as high plateaus and unique formations that complete the landscape.

There is a place in Utah called the Four Corners where Utah meets Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. This is an interesting place to visit because it is one of the few places where four states actually intersect.

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Driving in Utah

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Driving in Utah you will notice a number of unique highlights, including a place you go at one of the highest peaks of Salt Lake City, Utah and look over the city below. Utah’s Salt Lake, for which the city is named, is a real landmark too.

There are several skiing areas that are prominent in Utah that will capture the eye of the avid skier as well.

Preparing for Your Scenic Drive

When planning for a scenic drive across Utah, you will want to plan accordingly. Utah is a vast state and there are places that you will be between any stores or gas stations. Plan when you refuel wisely so that you will not be caught between locations without adequate fuel.

Here are some other tips you will want to keep in mind as well.

What you need to do beforehand

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Think about these things as you prepare for your trip to Utah to make sure you have allowed for everything:

– Roadtrip Checklist

Here are some things you should pack to make sure you’ve thought of everything:

  • Pack extra clothing and medication if needed
  • Take extra batteries and device chargers
  • Take maps and update GPS
  • Secure all child safety seats and other equipment
  • Pack plenty of snacks and water bottles

– Vehicle Inspection

Make sure to check your car to make sure it’s safe before you set out on your journey. Here are some specific things to do.

  • Check engine and engine fluids
  • Check tire tread and condition
  • Check oil and anti-freeze levels.
  • Check tire tread and condition

– Essentials to have in your car

Having an Emergency kit in your car is important to keep you safe as you drive. Here are some of the things you should include in your emergency kit:

  • Water (one gallon per day for three days)
  • Food (a three-day supply)
  • First Aid kit
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers

The Top 10 Scenic Drives in Utah

When traveling the byways and highways of Utah, here are the top 10 scenic drives in Utah that you will want to check out and plan to see.

#1 – Guardsman Pass

Guardsman Pass is one of the beautiful scenic highways in the Park City to Brighton area. This is a steep but lovely track that you can take to view beautiful Fall scenery or to view the city below.

You will want to plan this road only during the summer or fall months, due to the fact that there is no winter route and it would be dangerous to travel it during this time.

You’ll see beautiful Aspens and other kinds of trees along the way that will inspire you. During the Fall, you’ll see reds, oranges, and yellows. At the Pass, the elevations is around 9,700 feet above sea level.

#2 – Scenic Byway 12

The Scenic Byway 12 spans a route of 124 miles that travels through some of the most beautiful and remote landscapes in the country. It goes through Utah’s Garfield and Wayne Counties and features landmarks such as Bryce Canyon and the Capital Reef National Parks.

The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is there, as well as the Grand Staircase, all of which are huge landmarks and historical areas.

#3 – Mount Carmel Highway

The Mount Carmel Highway route will take you on a ten-mile stretch from Zio to Mt. Carmel, where they hook up to Hwy. 89. You’ll view seasonal waterfalls and various vistas of breathtaking beauty that you’ll enjoy.

You’ll see landmarks and Hoodoos that line the way as you go and Checkerboard Mesa can be seen at the eastern boundary along Hwy. 9.

#4 – Huntington-Eccles Canyons Scenic Byway

Huntington-Eccles Canyons Scenic Byway is a journey into the historical past of the Native Americans, as well as Spanish explorers, as well as Mormon settlers’ history that is evident throughout the land.

This area divides the Great Basin from the Colorado Plateau.

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#5 – Indian Creek Scenic Byway

Indian Creek Scenic Byway goes along SR-211. It begins about 14 miles north of Monticello and ends at The Needles section. You’ll see narrow valleys, rugged canyons, and all sorts of interesting places as you sojourn.

Some of the key points to investigate include Newspaper Rock Recreation Site, which is a 50-foot high wall of rock covered with petroglyphs from ancient peoples.

It also passes by Indian Creek Canyon that features more beautiful red rock walls. Rock climbers are often seen in these areas and hiking is popular.

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#6 – Trail of the Ancients

Trail of the Ancients Natural Scenic Byway travels through the southeastern Utah area where you’ll see some important structures like Natural Bridges and Hovenweekp National Monuments, as well as the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, and much more.

You’ll find plenty of unique photo opportunities that you’ll enjoy and want to keep forever.

#7 – Zion Canyon Loop

Zion Canyon Loop holds some of the most beautiful scenery of Utah along the Zion Canyon, one of the most impressive canyons in the Utah area. There are stately monoliths that change color constantly and water that enlightens and inspires.

This area takes you through Zion National Park that begins in the outskirts of Hurricane, from exit 16 from I-15 or UT-9.

#8 – Colorado River Scenic Byway

The Colorado River Scenic Byway functions as a route to connect motorists who are traveling from Moab to the national parks in the area. One landmark is the Negro Bill Canyon that leads to the Morning Glory Natural Bridge. There is a picnic area close by where you can see this area up close.

#9 – Logan Canyon Scenic Byway

Logan Canyon Scenic Byway takes you along the beautiful Logan River and Logan Canyon, which is one of the most popular areas of Utah for road warriors. You’ll see the terrain of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest near the Bear Lake waters that are the color of light blue.

This area is also popular in the Winter months for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Be sure to dress warmly in the Winter months.

#10 – Monument Valley

Monument Valley is a scenic stretch from the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the border of Utah and Arizona. You’ll see red rock formations and beautiful western scenes that will impress and inspire you.

If you get up a little earlier in the morning, you’ll get a chance to take some breathtaking pictures.

Photographers love to visit this area for the excellent and unique western vistas of the sunrise and sunset.

What kind of car insurance do you need in Utah?

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It’s important to know the minimum requirements for insurance when driving in Utah. Study the minimum requirements to know the facts.

Here is a rundown of the basic mandatory coverage in Utah:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $65,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $15,000 per accident for property

Additional Coverage Options in Utah

Your basic policy will include the above mandatory coverage on bodily injury and property damage. Utah is a fault state, which means your insurer will be liable for damages if you are negligent — or at-fault — in the accident. Other coverages you may want to look into include:

  • Collision– Collision insurance covers the cost of repairs for your car even if it is your fault.
  • Comprehensive– Comprehensive insurance covers anything other than accidents such as natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and such like.
  • Personal injury protection– Personal injury protection covers any expenses that might go beyond the expenses that your insurance covers in an insurance settlement.
  • Uninsured/underinsured– Uninsured and underinsured coverage covers damage or liability to yourself if the other party was not insured.

Comparison Shopping in Utah

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When you compare policies as you shop, you will be more likely to get the best deal with your insurance and feel safer while traveling.

Safety and security are the number one reason for obtaining coverage. Then you can feel safe as you travel, no matter where you are.

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