ESCALANTE — A popular scenic spot in southern Utah has received an overhaul.
The Head of the Rocks overlook, along Scenic Byway 12 between Escalante and Boulder, Utah, provides views over the Escalante Canyons region of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and beyond to portions of Dixie National Forest, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Capitol Reef National Park and the Henry Mountains.
The site has been affected by storm drainage that created deeply eroded gullies around the edges of the site. Also, traffic flow and parking were disorganized and haphazard, and the site did not meet national accessibility standards.
Loa-based construction firm Harward & Rees built a natural stone-veneered retaining wall with integrated seating and interpretive panels and a universally accessible viewing platform; delineated parking for passenger and oversize vehicles; performed erosion remediation and constructed control features; and put in a vegetated median to separate the overlook from highway travel lanes.
Work was completed in mid-December.
The BLM planned and designed the project and provided construction oversight. The Federal Highways Administration, via the Utah Department of Transportation, provided Transportation Enhancement Funds to pay for the $150,000 project.