I’d been feeling a bit crazy being cooped up in our townhouse in Orem, Utah; planning an extensive trip abroad but not actually going on it. On a Saturday morning when Ben asked me what I wanted to do I said, “Just take me somewhere beautiful.” I needed to get out of the house. I needed to escape the low strip malls, wide highways, and smog. Luckily for me, Ben lived in Utah for college and still remembers some excellent short road trips! Utah can be very beautiful, but so far I feel like you have to avoid cities to find the gorgeous spots. I would say it was selfish for the lush landscape to hide itself, but that’s not really fair, since most of these areas are on ever-visible mountains. Oh well.
The Nebo Loop
At almost 12,000 ft. elevation, Mt. Nebo is the tallest peak in the Wasatch mountain range. The winding road leading up the mountain reaches a staggering 9,000 ft., making it one of the most popular scenic byways in Utah. The drive provides stunning views of the Utah Valley landscape, and, for me, an overall feeling of peace and contentment. Get more info on the Nebo Loop Here.
Driving the Nebo Loop
It took us about an hour to reach the beginning of the Nebo Loop Road outside of Nephi, Utah. Not long after reaching the scenic road our cell service was unreachable, leaving us to quietly ponder and enjoy each other’s company, the scenery, and our son chattering in the backseat. We rolled the windows down to take advantage of the fresh mountain air and let our cares fly away.
After driving past a few cattle farms, we stopped first at Devil’s Kitchen. A short, directed walk from the parking lot leads you to incredible, gated views of red rock formations. It’s been called a “Mini Bryce Canyon”. I didn’t find it as spectacular as Bryce Canyon, but seeing red rock hoo doos in Utah was still incredible! We had a great conversation (thanks to the information plaque) on iron ore, which Whit actually listened to about half of!
We made some other quick stops at designated scenic overlooks, and were surprised to find very few other spectators on our path. It was a Saturday in August- where are all of the people? It did take us around 90 minutes to completely drive the Nebo Loop, so perhaps that deters most people?
All-in-all, I’m grateful to be surrounded by beautiful areas like the Nebo Loop within a short drive, and especially grateful for a husband who not only listens when I request a mental health day but who also knows exactly what I need.