Scenery along Utah‚Äôs Patchwork Parkway changes at every twist and turn of the highway.¬† The variety of the scenic landscape contributes¬† to a myriad of¬† unique qualities and makes the journey one of the most scenic in Utah. The Parkway begins and ends in historic pioneer-era communities set in a scenic wonderland that changes with each of the four seasons. The journey up Parowan Canyon encompasses the traveler in a tight corridor of evergreen forests and tall rockwalls. Brian Head marks the arrival at the top of the plateau where vistas open up to allow views of more than 100 miles in any direction.¬†¬† Shortly down the road Cedar Breaks National Monument offers views of a huge natural amphitheater eroded out of the variegated Pink Cliffs.¬† Sedimentation, uplift and erosion created this deep canyon of rock walls, fins, spires and columns spanning approximately three miles, is more than2,000 feet deep.
The elevation of the rim overlooking the canyon is more than 10,000 feet above sea level. The plateau is forested with islands of Englemann spruce, sub-alpine fir and aspen separated by broad meadows of brilliant summertime wildflowers. During 2006, local officials began discussing the feasibility of gaining designation of Cedar Breaks as a National Park.¬† This initiative was driven by the desire to include an outstanding natural arch and lower-elevation access into the area.¬† A task force was organized, and is pursuing political and financial support On the way toward Panguitch, after leaving Cedar Breaks, one finds views as far as Powell Point and the Escalante Mountains,Sevier Plateau, Paunsaugunt Plateau, and the Sunset cliffs.¬† Wide expanses of basalt deposited by volcanic eruptions not more than 1000 years old are evident near Panguitch Lake.¬† Native American legends note ‚Äúsmoking hills‚ÄĚ near the lake.¬† These lava flows surround unique islands of flora and fauna separated from the rest of the plateau. South Canyon leads downward through Ponderosa pine and Pinyon/Juniperforests into Panguitch Valley where the Sevier river flows northward on its journey to the Great Basin.