Patchwork Parkway, one of the most scenic drives in America

Located in the heart of Utah’s southwest the Patchwork Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in America. The road connects Heritage Highway 89 and Scenic Byway 12, following a 55 mile long course that rises from 6,000 feet on the western slope to elevations over 10,000 feet on a majestic plateau, and eventually descends again to 6,500 feet along the eastern slope.

Patchwork Parkway

The road is paved. It’s known as Utah's Patchwork Parkway, Scenicy Byway 143, Utah State Route 143 and Brian Head-Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway. At just over 51 miles (82 km) long, it connects Parowan to Panguitch while providing access to Brian Head, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Panguitch Lake. It is also the second-highest paved road in the state at 10,626ft (3,239m) above sea level, after the Mirror Lake HighwayIt serves as the western gateway from the arid Great Basin of western Utah to a breathtaking route across Utah’s high plateaus, connecting to Heritage Highway 89 and Scenic Byway 12. Connecting Parowan and Panguitch, the 55-mile Patchwork Parkway takes drivers through Dixie National Forest, where majestic geological rock formations, lakes, and streams abound. The road hugs the eastern edge of Panguitch Lake, a glistening body of water known for its excellent fishing. Make a pit stop between Milepost 8 and 9 for a mile hike to the Hidden Haven, where a secret oasis awaits with a waterfall and rock climbing. Despite its short distance, the route offers a surprisingly dense collection of ecological experiences. Be sure to make your way 30 miles south from Panguitch to Bryce Canyon. The spectacular rock formations (known as hoodoos) create a mesmerizing stone forest.

This road is very exciting and sometimes very exposed and unsecured driveway in innumerable twists and turns. It takes about two hours to drive. With historic pioneer communities at either end, you can drive this route once traveled by Native Americans and American Pioneers as they hunted and gathered. In fact, officials named the road after the pioneers who used to lay quilts on top of the snow in order to protect their feet from the freezing cold as they traversed the area. The drive features overlooks and pullover areas where visitors can admire various peaks and plateaus, lakes, lava fields and canyons. Route 143 reaches an elevation of 10,626ft (3,239m) at Cedar Breaks National Monument, making it one of the highest paved roads in Utah. The scenery on Patchwork Parkway, as with most of Utah, is breathtaking. Mother Nature puts on a show with brilliant orange and red canyons, silt cliffs and plateaus covered with forests of pine, fir and spruce. The plateaus in particular offer remarkable stargazing opportunities.