Scenic Drives Inside Zion Park

Zion Canyon Scenic Drive

This is a six-and-a-half-mile-long scenic drive that is a must-do on your Zion Park trip. The scenic stretch of road parallels the Virgin River on the floor of Zion Canyon. It is a spectacular drive in Zion National Park and provides stunning views of Zion Canyon. Among other sights, red rock towers loom 2,000 feet overhead.

Sometimes You Can Check Off Two Bucket List Items at One Time.

Like driving a 1968 HEMI Charger through Zion. Watch and enjoy.

Kolob Terrace Road

Running 14-miles up steep inclines and switchbacks, this relatively untraveled road begins in Virgin, outside of park boundaries, and rises to elevations of 8,000 feet within the narrow neck of the park. The upper ends of the road are unplowed in winter and often covered with snow. Below 6,000 feet, the surface is typically snow free.  The park service plows the road up to the base of Maloney Hill, just past the Hop Valley Trailhead, leaving large berms of snow that will prevent cars from traveling further.  Snowmobiles may go beyond, but the trekking isn’t ideal, with large bare patches and dirty berms. The road through Black Canyon and Lava Point often has more snow.  Even during the best of times, June through October, this stretch is best considered a backcountry road suited for high clearance vehicles. For those who can make it, however, the open vistas and relative isolation of the area make this a favorite for many, as it leads to Lava Point, the highest elevation in the park, where one can view the Cedar Breaks area, the Pink Cliffs and the Zion Narrows.

Kolob Canyons Road

Kolob Canyons Road. Photo by NPS.

Kolob Canyon Road

The final road within the park is accessed off exit 40 on U.S. Highway 15.  Stop by the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center before climbing 1,000 feet in the 5-miles to the Kolob Canyon Viewpoint. The road is plowed, but can be temporarily closed after a snowstorm. This is one of the least visited sections of the park accessible by car.

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Top Ten Things to do in Zion Park

1. Explore a Slot Canyon

Zion possesses one of the areas richest treasure troves for intrepid explorers willing to match their wits, their legs and their fingers against Mother Nature.

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2. Look for Rock Arches in Utah’s National Parks

These geological phenomena are formed when water percolates through cracks, and it freezes and expands, cracking and carving rock into natural arches.

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3. Delve into Zion History

There are tens of thousands of ruins, artifacts, petroglyphs and pictographs throughout the region. One of the most fun things you can do is find an ancient artifact on your own.

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4. Listen to the Experts

Varied ranger-led programs are meant to inspire and educate visitors of Zion National Park. These varied programs can feature film, slides, and other forms of presentation.

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5. Explore The Narrows

The Narrows are easily accessed by everyone. The hike begins at Temple of Sinawava, then winds along the paved pathway of Riverside Walk to the beginning of the area where the canyon walls narrow.

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6. Watch Wildlife

Utah has some amazing animal populations– big cats, buffalo, bears, and more. With a little persistence you can catch a glimpse of many of Utah’s native residents.

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7. Drive the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway

With switchbacks, slickrock and sweeping views with seasonal waterfalls, the approach has numerous spots where you can pull off the road for a better view or to take a short hike, encapsulating many of the highlights seen elsewhere in this most scenic of areas.

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8. Soak in fabulous scenery

Utah is know for its striking scenery, but Zion stands above the rest. With breathtaking waterfalls, towering cliffs, narrow canyons and numerous water features, it is hard to image a place more beautiful.

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9. Visit a Museum

The Southwest is dotted with small museums set up by an individual or a small group who really wanted to tell people about something. These mini-gems of museums are worth the time and money.

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10. Go Where the Locals Go – Kanab, Snow Canyon, Red Cliffs

With 15 miles of trails through coral-colored Navajo sandstone interspersed with snow white cliffs, dark lava flows and bright red sand dunes, the five-mile Snow Canyon Park draws rock climbers, photographers, spelunkers, RVers and hikers.

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