Essay

4 Most Stunningly Scenic Drives in Zion National Park

Over 230 square miles of cliffs, plateaus, and sandstone canyons make up Zion National Park, which is situated in the beautiful canyon country of southeast Utah. The park offers several hiking, rock climbing, and camping alternatives in addition to some incredibly beautiful drives. Discover the four most exquisite and picturesque drives in Zion National Park by continuing to read.

4. Kolob Canyon Road

Kolb Canyons Road is a picturesque five-mile road with breathtaking vistas that is situated in the northwest section of Zion National Park. The Kolob gorges are box-shaped, narrow gorges with 2,000-foot steep cliffs on either side.

At the end of the road, there is a picturesque viewing area with access to other paths. The Kabob valleys Viewpoint is the starting point of the one-mile Timber Creek Overlook Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Pine Valley Mountains and valleys. Hikers can reach the Double Arch Alcove on the five-mile, out-and-back Taylor Creek Trail by passing through a small canyon.

From Cedar City, take I-15 south to Kolob Canyons Road. After taking the Kolob Canyon exit (number 40), make a left onto Kolob Canyon Road. It is possible that Kabob Canyon Road will be blocked in the winter.

3. Kolob Terrace Road

Kolob Terrace Road starts in the town of Virgin, close to the southwest boundary of the park, and travels 25 kilometres northeast to the Kolob Reservoir. This lovely drive passes through high-altitude mountain forests and arid landscapes.

Kolob Terrace Road follows North Creek for the first few kilometres as it reaches the Kolob Plateau. Trailheads for the Left Fork, Grapevine, and Right Fork trails can be found when the road enters the park from the west.

From there, the road momentarily leaves the park and heads north. Kolob Terrace Road crosses the Connector Trail and returns to the park. Access to other neighbouring trails is provided by the Hop Valley Trailhead here. After that, the route keeps going uphill until it reaches an elevation of 8,000 feet.

Kolob Terrace Road leaves the park once more, but tourists can reenter Zion and access the Lava Point Overlook and primitive campers by turning onto Lava Point Road. Travellers can soon arrive at Kolob Reservoir, a well-liked location for boating, swimming, and fishing, by continuing on Kolob Terrace Road.

2. Zion Mount-Carmel Highway

Highway 9, sometimes referred to as the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, is the primary route for accessing Zion National Park from the east. The 14-mile route, which starts at Mount Carmel Junction, follows Pine Creek through magnificent gorges that at every bend show distinctive geological formations and stunning vistas.

Look for the Checkerboard Mesa pull-off location to see the amazing rock formations about the midway point of the route. Climbers can explore Keyhole Canyon a short distance away by rappelling off a Ponderosa pine tree.

This drive’s main attraction is the 1.1-mile Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. Constructed between 1927 and 1930, the tunnel has several windows providing views of the surrounding canyon. A tunnel permit is required for drivers of campers or larger cars, allowing park rangers to restrict traffic so that drivers can remain safe.

1. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive

During the busiest time of year, this route is off-limits to private automobiles, but guests may still enjoy the gorgeous 7.7-mile trip by using one of the park’s free shuttles. Depending on the weather, private vehicles may be permitted in the winter and early spring.

The Zion Canyon shuttle departs from the tourist centre and travels 7.7 miles northeast into the canyon. There are nine stops on the shuttle, which drop off passengers at places including the Zion Human History Museum. Numerous well-known trails, including the Narrows and the Emerald Pools Trail, are accessible via this path. The shuttle arrives at its destination, the Temple of Sinawava, after around 45 minutes of travel.

Zion Canyon Village, the park’s major southern gate, and the town of Springdale are connected by a second shuttle line known as the Springdale Line. There are nine stops on the Springdale Line in the town, including multiple hotels.

Highlights of the Most Scenic Drives in Zion National Park

Drive Distance
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive 7.7 miles
Zion-Mount Carmel Highway 14 miles
Kolob Terrace Road 25 miles
Kolob Canyons Road 5 miles