Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (SR-9)

Zion National Park - Bo Beck at Canyon Overlook

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The Zion-Mt. Carmel Hwy as seen from Canyon Overlook

Zion National Park

Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway

Utah National Parks are gaining popularity every year, as visitors spread the word of how truly spectacular there are, and the most popular of all is Zion National Park. This gem is located in the far Southwest corner of Utah. Enjoy State Route 9 from the south entrance of Zion to its end in Mt. Carmel Junction where it meets with US-89, also known as the Heritage Highway. Travel the scenic byways and small communities that connect the magnificent parks and monuments of the Southwest.

One Park - Many Views

You might think you know what to expect in Zion by viewing a few photographs, but this area is so diverse, that is next to impossible. Consider the Zion Narrows with its towering canyon walls and the North Fork of the Virgin River flowing at the bottom which hikers will wade and swim through to explore the famous slot canyon. While a short jaunt away Angels Landing rises high to the clouds beckoning hikers to dare to travel it's narrow path to its summit.  From this point one can look down upon Zion Canyon.  You would have to leave the canyon however and get into your car, drive through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel to see the magnificent east side of the park where dunes of sand seem to stand frozen in time.  Again to your car to drive to the Kolob Terrace and experience this scenic drive which again looks like you are on a whole different place of the earth than you did on the east side of Zion or in Zion Canyon.  One more car trip will take you to the Kolob Canyons section of Zion where again a scenic drive makes you feel as if you have stepped into a wonderland of fanciful rock structures that could not be more different from those in the main section of the park.

You Have to Be There

Photographs of Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks can only serve to tease the vacationer. The only way to appreciate the true beautify of these National wonders is to stand at the edge of  one the high points and look down. In Zion, Angels Landing is the perfect spot.  In Bryce and Cedar Breaks one only need to park the car and walk a few steps where you can look over the rim. For those that enjoy hiking there is absolutely no better way to see these wonders than to set out on foot and find their hidden treasures.

Zion National Park Vacation: Canyon Country

Zion National Park Map Red Canyon - Dixie National Forest Cedar Mountain - Dixie National Forest Zion National Park Coral Pink Sand Dunes North Rim of the Grand Canyon Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument East Zion Welcome Center Bryce Canyon National Park Cedar Breaks National Monument Scenic Byway 89 Scenic Byway 14 Scenic Byway 143 Scenic Byway 12 Scenic Byway 9 - Zion Mt. Carmel Hwy Zion National Park Lodging Zion National Park Lodging
Private vehicles can travel SR-9, from Zion's south entrance, out the east entrance (or visa versa) to the junction of SR-9 & US-89 year-round, 24 hours a day. See tunnel restrictions for Oversized Vehicles. In summer, the only access to the Scenic Zion Canyon Drive is via Zion's shuttle, but during the winter private vehicles can travel in the canyon. Exact dates the shuttle runs may vary
.

Zion National ParkNature Notes

Best Hiking by The Discovery Channel

The Discovery Channel lists Zion National Park as the 4th best place to hiking in the United States. If my hiking partner, Bo Beck and myself (Tanya Milligan who is also the author of this website) took them out to see the parts of Zion that few ever do see, I am pretty sure Zion would quickly be ranked number one! Bo and Tanya have just published their first book of the Zion National Park area which should be on shelves this fall.

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