The Hogback Ridge & UT 12
Day 26—Thursday June 21, 2018
This was our third visit to the Grand Staircase area. We first visited the area in the fall of 1986 (before the area was designated a National Monument) with Maryann’s mother and a friend from Alabama. Our second visit was in 2009.
The National Monument was created in 1996 and is the first monument under the Bureau of Land Management. The area is remote—the last area in the continental US to be mapped. Most of the roads in the monument are gravel, dirt or clay and high clearance vehicles are recommended.
Utah State Highway 12 (designated a National Scenic Byway in 2002) is the primary avenue through one of the most scenic and remote areas of the United States. The road extends 124 miles from Capitol Reef National Park at the eastern end (Torrey, Utah) to Bryce Canyon National Park at western end (intersection with US 89 near Panguitch, Utah).
The road provides access to nine communities, two national parks: Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon; Grand Staircase National Monument; Grand Canyon National Recreation Area, and three Utah State Parks.
Highway 12 was constructed in segments: The first provided access to Bryce Canyon, which was then extended in several steps to include access to Kodachrome Basin State Park and other communities. The final segment, designated as the “Million Dollar Highway”, between Escalante and Torrey was completed in 1933; and includes the Hogback Ridge.
Although we came across the Hogback Ridge on the way to our stop in Escalante, we went back as our “side trip” for the day. The primary objective was to explore the Calf Creek Recreation Area as well as taking time to photograph selected sites along the way with emphasis on the ridge.
NOTE: We are in Munds Park (about 15 miles south of Flagstaff on I-17) and enjoying the cool(about 20 degrees less than Mesa) weather with afternoon thunderstorms most days and other times too).
Brian has neglected the journal because of other activities and distractions (naps too). Recent inquiries about status from several friends revived his interest which amplified the emphasis provided by his adult supervisor.