Hell’s Backbone Sunrise – Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante - Hells Backbone (70A10)

Hell’s Backbone Road (Forest Road 153) is a 38-mile mostly unpaved road that 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.

The road was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in the 1930’s. A side road branches off to an excellent campground at Posey Lake.

The overlook is best at sunrise which means getting up early to allow for travel on a winding unpaved road. The high point elevation is over 9,000 feet with drop offs of 500 feet down on both sides of a bridge that crosses Death Hollow.

Feature Image Details

I checked out the best shooting location one afternoon then waited for a day when there was supposed to be clouds at sunrise and was rewarded with this image.


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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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