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Ut12 summit(u): Henrieville - Escalante 

This unsigned, gradual, yet for the cyclist definitely noticable summit stands in the shadow of a single land feature, Table Cliff Plateau with its named overlook Powell Point. The route crosses dessert cliffs between the Kaiparowits Plateau extending southeastwards to the Colorado River and the Escalante Mountains, which is another name for Table Cliff Plateau.
 

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1.(6000ft,mile00) START-END WEST: Henryville
2.(7582ft,mile12) TOP
3.(6110ft,mile26) dirt road on left goes to Main Canyon Summit and Barney Top
4.(5800ft,mile31) START-END EAST: Escalante

Approaches

From West. As Ut12 turns north out of Henrieville, it begins to climb and seems to head straight for an escarpment, which the U-12 cyclist has already had many miles to contemplate, the roof like structure of Table Cliff Plateau. But the vista is quickly hidden by lower badland cliffs, which are now part of the Grand Escalante Staircase area. When Table Cliff Plateau emerges into view again, it appears poised on dessert hills, which themselves are stacked like stories of a house. This also appears to be the summit. But it is not to be. More climbing is to be done after a short descent. Now the road enters a low dessert gap with switchbacks visible above, the road appearing as truncated  zig zags by a U shaped  window that gradually opens up. At the top waits another view of Table Cliff Plateau, this time the last. And this time it is the summit too.

From East. The approach is described in a downward direction. A long shallow downhill waits - no need for brakes here. Instead it is tempting to peddle as hard as possible for a fast descent. Upper Valley Creek and Ut12 soon enter a canyon, which blocks views onto the Escalante Mountains. The town of Escalante has a single moderately well stocked grocery store, unless you happen to be looking for such improbable luxuries as actually baked bread, or real brewed beer. Escalante has an incredible wealth of natural beauty in every direction.

 

Tours

Dayrides. (unpaved+paved): A loop ride, crossing F143 summit: Barney Top from the east, returning via the eastern side of Red Canyon summit and this summit, measured 88 miles with 6900ft of climbing in 7:4 hours (m3:06.09.26).

 






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