Nasty Flat

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5/5 (2 reviews)
Hanksville, Utah (Garfield County)
Last Updated: 01/08/2023

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  • 12 waypoints
  • 38 photos
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With a name like Nasty Flat, you might not expect 360-degree world-class views of most of southern Utah or picturesque canyons with creeks lined by aspen and bigtooth maples amongst the pines and junipers. That the road curves, climbs and dips along the side canyons of an ancient granite mountain range might seem incongruous. Nasty Flat is neither nasty nor flat. It is, in a single word, extraordinary. Running along the western slopes of Utah's Henry Mountains, Nasty Flat offers a new eye-popping view around each of its innumerable curves. The multi-hued Waterpocket Fold snakes along far below with its toothy monocline uplifts of pink, gray, yellow, and red sandstone. Beyond the Fold lies the vast and magical Escalante. To the south rises the mammoth and majestic Mount Pennell, the stony Horn below it. Ragged Mountain sits off to the east. Don't forget to look up and behind you to see the smooth bare slope of Mount Ellen rising into the skyline. It's easy to get lost in the epic grandeur surrounding the Nasty Flat, but look closer to see the shy deer peeking out from brush thickets or scattering off the trail as you round yet another tight curve along the many heartstoppingly sheer sections of shelf road suspended precariously on the slopes of the Henrys. Nasty Flat ain't flat or nasty. But it is certainly worth venturing deep into the remote Henry Mountains to enjoy its many offerings.

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