It’s not too often that we recommend a scenic drive, but Utah really does have spectacular roads. We made our way up the Brian Head Summit during Fall, and it was gorgeous with deep greens and sparkling yellows. This road is short and drivable by most vehicles.
Just north of Cedar Breaks National Monument, is a very scenic area known as Brian Head. There is a small village in this place, which is notable for the best skiing in southern Utah. Just south of the village on Hwy-143 is a turn-off for the Brian Head Summit. The road is rocky and rough, but a careful driver can get a car to the summit when the road is dry. Even in wet conditions, the road has a solid base and would be passable. Snow on the road, which is common at this elevation, would make it 4-wheel drive only.
There is a sign for the turnoff to the Brian Head summit. The road is a narrow, but only three miles long. It wraps its way around the mountain as it climbs steadily to the summit. There is a relatively large parking lot just below the peak. A pit toilet and a trailhead are the only things there. Continue up the road for another quarter mile to reach the summit. There is a sign that informs you that you are 11,302 feet in elevation.
Once at the top, you can walk around and look off in each direction. The top of the mountain is flat, so you can easily explore it. The views of the area are spectacular and you can even see Cedar Breaks National Monument in the distance. In the center of the summit is a small rock shelter built by the CCC nearly a hundred years ago. It offers a nice respite from the wind. We especially loved visiting in Fall when the leaves were a lovely golden yellow.
This drive is easy and beautiful. If you are in the Brian Head area, and it’s dry, you should definitely give the Brian Head Summit a try.