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Hell's Backbone Road, Escalante

#5 of 6 in Outdoors in Escalante
Scenic Drive · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Hell's Backbone Road is a 38-mile (61 km) gravel road that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and connects the towns of Boulder, Utah and Escalante, Utah. Halfway along the road is Hell's Backbone Bridge, which is 109 feet (33 m) long, and 14 feet (4.3 m) wide. A 1,500-foot (460 m) drop is on either side. Near the bridge are views of the Box-Death Hollow Wilderness. From late spring to autumn, the road, which climbs to more than 9,000 feet (2,750 m) elevation, is passable by ordinary passenger vehicles, but it is very narrow and winding.

Hell's Backbone Road is a high-country alternative to the paved Utah Scenic Byway 12, which also connects Boulder and Escalante, 27 road miles (44 km) apart.

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Hell's Backbone Road reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
73 reviews
  • The snow had just cleared so that we could take this side trip. The scenery was great and the drive was easy.  more »
  • Especially after handling the horribly uncomfortable, dusty Hole in the Rock road, this is a very easy scenic drive on a good road. It's initially paved, then turns to a well-maintained dirt road...  more »

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