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Hell's Backbone Road, Escalante

4.2
#5 of 6 in Outdoors in Escalante
Scenic Drive · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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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
77 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Wow! This is an amazing drive on top of the ridgeline, with a lot of twists and turns, but some of the best scenery in Utah off each side of your car. Be warned, however, there are no guardrails... 
    Wow! This is an amazing drive on top of the ridgeline, with a lot of twists and turns, but some of the best scenery in Utah off each side of your car. Be warned, however, there are no guardrails...  more »
  • It takes a bit of nerve to drive sections of this road because it drops off several thousand feet on either side. Spectacular views if you dare to take your eyes off the road. 
    It takes a bit of nerve to drive sections of this road because it drops off several thousand feet on either side. Spectacular views if you dare to take your eyes off the road.  more »

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