Highway 9 - Zion Canyon + ADD NEW ROUTE
7 in Utah Utah45 Miles
By Eric Young
on June 1, 2009
- Trip Toolbox
Highway 9 actually picks up at I-15 at the Hurricane exit. But the fun starts at La Verkin. The road ends at a junction of Highway 89 north of Kanab, Utah, that taken north will lead to Bryce Canyon and south to the Grand Canyon.
Just outside of La Verkin, Highway 9 ascends a fault abduction and drops into a valley surrounded by mesas with Zion Canyon's spires in the background. The Virgin River winds with the lanes on the south side. Stunning scenery and great history including the film location of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Drop into Rockville and see a slice of preserved western Americana, round a bend past an impeccable apple orchard, up and over a rise and Springdale fills all the senses. Once in Zion National Park, vision is overloaded with a geological and natural variety found only here. On the off season riders can take the canyon road into its terminus at one of the most picturesque points of America. Continue on 9 and mount the switchbacks to the mile tunnel carved into the cliffs of Zion. The road winds through landscape of Kaibab limestone with wind and water formations. From the east entrance to Mt. Carmel Junction, 9 meanders through high desert terrain and forest.
Photo contributed by visitor in Jun 09 - "Picture entering the second (and longest) tunnel."
Photo contributed by visitor in Jun 09 - "Zion National Park ."
State road 9 is adequately maintained and is open all year. Long straights eventually give way to sweeping curves and mild elevation changes. In Zion NP, 9 is the color red made from indigenous materials that seem to be harder to maintain. It's a twisty ride, especially up the switchbacks to the tunnel and through the east side of the park. The state road picks up with straights into sweeping turns with a couple of medium grades and sharp corners into Mt. Carmel Junction. Off-season is the best time to tour, otherwise it's crowded.
Zion National Park is an international tourist destination, forcing the local commerce to reach a higher level of hospitality and food service. Some succeed like Oscar's or the Zion Pizza/Noodle Factory in Springdale. Lodging is plentiful and caters to various budgets. Camping in Zion or in private grounds flanking the park. HD riders will enjoy the shop at the junction of 9 and I-15.
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Nickname (optional) : Eric Young