Scenic Drives

Experience Utah's breathtaking mountain beauty on a fun scenic drive in the surround Wasatch Mountains surround Salt Lake. Plan your next scenic drive using this helpful guide of where to see the best fall colors and mountain grandeur.

Bountiful-Farmington Loop Road Scenic Backway

This scenic backway provides great views over the Great Salt Lake. Most of the route is through scrub brush but there is some more substantial timber. The road is comprised of three, sometimes steep, gravel forest service roads that can be rough and washboarded. It is passable in cars in summer and fall. The route is a 3/4 loop connecting the towns of Bountiful and Farmington.

Length: 24 miles one way
Time: 2-1/2 hours
Time: Drivable May to November
Surface(s): Maintained Dirt or Gravel
Suitability: Passenger Car, High-Clearance Vehicle, 4WD Vehicle
Location: Between Salt Lake City and Ogden in the Wasatch Mountains east of I-15

Guardsman Pass Road

Length: 14 to 22 miles
Time: 1 hour
Time: Drivable May to October
Surface(s): Rough Dirt or Gravel
Suitability: Passenger Car
Location: Connects Big Cottonwood Canyon southeast of Salt Lake City to Park City

Little Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway

This scenic byway takes you from the edge of Salt Lake City up into the beautiful mountain scenery of the Wasatch Mountains. Along the 11-mile drive are picnic areas and campgrounds, the ski resorts of Snowbird and Alta and access to hiking trails. Albion Basin at the top of the canyon is renowned for its wildflowers, which are generally in bloom mid- to late- summer. A tram at Snowbird takes visitors year round to a panoramic view atop the 11,000 foot Hidden Peak.

Length: 22 mile round-trip
Time: 1-1/2 hours
Time: Drivable year round to Alta
Surface(s): Paved
Suitability: Any Vehicle
Location: U-210, beginning at eastern border of the Salt Lake Valley

Middle Canyon Road

Length: 25 miles one way
Time: 1-1/2 hours
Time: Drivable May to October
Surface(s): Paved Rough Dirt or Gravel, Paved east of the pass, rough dirt road west of pass
Suitability: High Clearance Vehicle, 4WD Vehicle
Location: Through the Oquirrh Mountains between Tooele and south suburban Salt Lake City

Millcreek Canyon Road

This wonderfully pleasant and easy drive winds through heavy forests past lots of picnic areas and hiking trails. Wildflowers crowd the road in late summer. A small fee per car is charged for access to Millcreek Canyon.

Length: 18 mile round-trip
Time: 45 min.
Time: Drivable May to November
Surface(s): Paved
Suitability: Any Vehicle
Location: Through Millcreek Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City

South Willow Road

Length: 16 mile round-trip
Time: 1 hour
Time: Closed in the winter
Surface(s): Paved Maintained Dirt or Gravel
Suitability: Passenger Car, High-Clearance Vehicle, 4WD Vehicle
Location: 6 miles south of Grantsville west of Tooele

Big Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway

This 14-mile long scenic drive offers pretty mountain scenery similar to Little Cottonwood Canyon. As in Little Cottonwood, there are picnic areas and campgrounds and access to numerous hiking trails. The ski resorts of Solitude and Brighton are at the top of the canyon. In summer and fall only, a maintained dirt road (Guardsman Pass Road) can be taken over the top of the mountains to Park City.

Length: 14 miles one way
Time: 45 min.
Time: Drivable year round
Surface(s): Paved
Suitability: Any Vehicle
Location: In Big Cottonwood Canyon 23 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City

Pioneer Memorial Scenic Backway

This backway follows the original route of the Donner-Reed Expedition of 1846. It climbs through Emigration Canyon east fo Salt Lake City and then descends to Hwy 65. It ends at popular 680 acre East Canyon Reservoir.

Length: 34 miles one way
Time: 1 hour
Time: Closed in the winter
Surface(s): Paved
Suitability: Any Vehicle
Location: Through Emigration Canyon east of Salt Lake City to Hwy 65