Route 12 Scenic Byway is designated as an "All-American Road". It is also registered by the U.S. Department of Transportation on the National Scenic Byway. Just to show you its importance, there is a beautiful color brochure just to promote it as a visitor attraction.
Route 12 serves as the link between Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the Dixie National Forest. The entire route is approximately 124 miles long. The wonderful thing is that the entire route is paved and maintained in excellent condition. The elevation constantly changes between 5,000 to 9,700 ft. It took us approximately 3 1/2 hours to drive with only a couple of short breaks in between.
One of the challenging things about traveling on this route is a section where you drive through the top of a mountain crest with sheer cliffs on both sides of the road. We were grateful that the weather was clear with visibility nearly at 100%. I must admit that during several occasions the road reminded me of a roller coaster ride and I whispered to J.J., "Could you please slow down." I even had my eyes closed and did my meditation chants under my breath.
The Tour of Utah is a professional bicycle race that takes place in early August. The race is in three stages and for Stage 1, the route starts from Cedar City. We encountered a number of bikers getting their last practice before the race.
Our drive was from Torrey to Cedar City. http://www.scenicbyway12.com/
Aloha -- Cathi