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Utah Scenic Drives: Nebo Loop Scenic Byway

Highlights of Nebo Loop Scenic Byway

Majestic Mount Nebo is one of the highlights of Nebo Loop Scenic Byway.
Majestic Mount Nebo is one of the highlights of Nebo Loop Scenic Byway.

A rare spectrum of crisp, vibrant views is packed into this relatively short byway, where jagged, frozen mountains are infused with vigorous colors. The diversity spreads across the byway's flat bottomlands, mid-elevation scrub oak, high alpine fir and aspen, snow-covered peaks, red rock formations, gray sandstone cliffs, and salt flats.

Devil's Kitchen typifies this diversity: The short trail to Devil's Kitchen is towered over by dark green pine, but just a short walk later, the green disappears, and the huge red rock spires that are Devil's Kitchen jab into the deep blue sky.

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The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is an essay in color: Wildflowers paint blossom mosaics in the spring, and trees explode with color in the fall. If you get up onto one of the byway's many overlooks, you can view other diverse scenes, such as the urban sprawl of the Wasatch Front and the Utah Lake, the largest body of fresh water in the region.

As you travel the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway from Payson, consider following this itinerary.

Peteetneet Academy: The school was built in 1901 by well-known architect Richard C. Watkins and consists of a three-story building with a bell tower and a red sandstone accent on brick walls. Peteetneet is still used for classes in the fine arts and public meetings and events.

Maple Dell Scout Camp: Since 1947, this camp has given scouts a chance to take in vivid scenery and participate in outdoor recreation. In 1960, a large lodge was constructed, along with a dance hall, cottages, and a swimming pool.

Payson Lakes: Payson Lakes has trailer camping and disabled-accessible sites and features, a shoreline nature trail, two beaches, and a universal access pier.

Blackhawk Campground: This popular campground has group and individual campsites as well as a horse camping facility. The area accommodates equestrian users by featuring tie racks, double-wide camping spurs, and easy access to the trails.

Mount Nebo Overlook: Much of the geologic base of Mount Nebo is derived from the Oquirrh formation, which includes quartzite, limestone, and sandstone. The multiple advances and retreats of mountain glaciers formed cirque-shape basins predominantly found in Bald Mountain and Mount Nebo. Many legends are associated with Mount Nebo and its Native American history.

Devil's Kitchen: Devil's Kitchen is one of the highlights of the byway. Eroded layers of red-tinted river gravel and silt form spires and sharp ridges. Visitors viewing this unique feature will marvel at its brilliant contrast to the surrounding mountain greenery. There is a restroom and a disabled-accessible picnic area.

With all the incredible sights dotting this roadway, it's near impossible not to enjoy the view as you travel the beautiful Nebo Loop Scenic Byway.

Find more useful information related to Utah's Nebo Loop Scenic Byway:

  • Utah Scenic Drives: Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is just one of the scenic byways in Utah. Check out the others.
  • How to Drive Economically: Fuel economy is a major concern when you're on a driving trip. Learn how to get better gas mileage.