Here's another suggestion when choosing a byway: Don't be afraid to make it even better. It's tough to go wrong in terms of scenery in most of the gorgeous state of Utah. It seems that with every turn you bump into another national park or monument. But where you bump into it – in this case the northern or southern end of the long Capitol Reef National Park – can be important, especially if you're a little pressed for time.
In good weather (there's a dirt road ahead), you can turn off Scenic Byway 12 at the tiny town of Boulder and head due east toward the remarkable downhill traverse of the Burr Trail switchbacks through a geologic wonder called the Waterpocket Fold. Even after hiking through the crazy slot canyons and around the colorful limestone spires ("hoodoos") of Bryce Canyon National Park (also on this byway), the fold is a treat.