Skyline Drive Scenic Backway

Skyline Drive Scenic Backway, one of the highest roads of UT

Skyline Drive Scenic Backway is the name of a high-altitude mountain road that follows the spine of the Wasatch Plateau running 80 miles or so in Sanpete County, in the U.S. state of Utah. Most of it is above 10,000 feet. It’s one of the highest roads of Utah. 

Is Skyline Drive Scenic Backway paved?

Set high in central Utah, the drive ranks among the highest elevation roads in America. This dirt road (also known as FR150), provides access to forested mountains, alpine meadows and numerous lakes, streams and camping areas. Although many sections are suitable for passenger cars, high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicles are required for rougher parts. The northern section of this road can be driven in a passenger car year round. The southern parts are only recommended for high clearance or four-wheel drive vehicles.

Is Skyline Drive Scenic Backway open?

Located within Manti-La Sal National Forest, this dirt road that runs along the western ridgeline of the Wasatch Plateau meanders its way along the Wasatch Plateau. With its altitude, it is impassable even by four wheel drive due to snow during all but a few summer and fall months of the year and can become impassable during summer storms. It is accessible July through September. Wet conditions may make for tough driving along the muddy road. 

Is Skyline Drive Scenic Backway worth it?

The road is also known as the Utah Adventure Highway. Cell service is unreliable. Be prepared for such conditions. The elevation of this scenic drive ranges from 9,000 to 10,935 feet (3.333m) which is the highest point. The drive is especially beautiful in the fall when leaves begin to change. Sections of the road have been in place since the 1880s. You can see the Oquirrh Range, the Tavaputs, Mount Nebo, and the spectacular Roan Plateau from the peak.

Where does Skyline Drive Scenic Backway start and end?

Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. Stay away if you're scared of heights. Keep your eye on the road though, as you traverse 10,000-foot high ridges barely wider than the road itself. Varied driving conditions through a forested high-mountain setting, with abundant wildlife. Expect a trail pretty steep. This road has a gravel surface between the Tucker Rest Area US Hwy 6 and Utah Hwy 264, a distance of 24 miles. It then switches to a rough native surface road suitable for high clearance vehicles during the dry season for the next 63 miles south to Interstate 70.

How long does it take to drive the Skyline Drive Scenic Backway?

The whole drive takes around 3 and a half hours without stops. This road provides scenic views and offers great opportunity for camping, fishing and hunting. 


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