Our part of Zions has some of the most beautiful, and least traveled, scenic drives in Southern Utah. In this article, we describe three of our favorite off-the-beaten-path routes. All three will give you perspectives of Zions National Park that you simply can't get anywhere else. If you need more information on scenic drives in our area, give us a call. We'll be glad to help

Kolob Terrace Road (Kolob Reservoir Road)

  • Length: 25 miles
  • Distance from us: 33 miles
  • Main attraction: Views of Zion

Kolob Terrace Road runs from Virgin, Utah to Kolob Reservoir. The entire point-to-point paved route is about 25 miles. Elevation ranges from 3,550 feet to almost 8,000 feet. This is one of the least traveled roads in Zion, but it offers fantastic views of the park.

The beginning of Kolob Terrace Road parallels North Creek and it runs by woodlands and green pastures, but the route gains altitude quickly, and the surroundings become much more rugged.

The road winds in and out of Zion as you pass by Great West Canyon (which leads to The Subway) and Pine Spring Wash. At about the 20-mile point, you'll see Lava Point Overlook, one of the highest locations in the Zion area. This is arguably the single best place to watch a Zion National Park sunset.

At the 25-mile point, and the end of the pavement, is Kolob Reservoir. This is technically the end of the scenic route, but you do have the option of continuing on the unpaved road that runs almost to Cedar City. (The entire paved and unpaved road is about 45 miles.) At Kolob Reservoir, you can enjoy fishing, swimming, and boating.

Kolob Canyons Road

  • Length: 5 miles
  • Distance from us: 7 miles
  • Main attraction: Finger canyons

Located in Zion's northwest corner, Kolob Canyons Road runs from the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center to Kolob Canyon Viewpoint, which is also the trailhead for Timber Creek Overlook Trail. The scenic drive is five miles long and has an elevation gain of over 1,100 feet.

Along the way, you'll get beautiful views of a number of Kolob finger canyons. The route has numerous pullouts for photographing the area and plenty of hiking opportunities. Just an FYI: During the drive, keep an eye out for wildlife, especially deer. When you get to Kolob Canyons Viewpoint, you can take a short hike on Timber Creek Overlook Trail to get additional views of the surrounding areas.

Like other parts of Kolob Canyons, Kolob Canyons Road is one of Zion's least visited stretches of highway, so you may have most of the route all to yourself. Note that you will need to stop at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center and pay an entrance fee. If you have an Interagency Park Pass, the fee is covered.

Zion Mount Carmel Highway

Length: 25 miles
Distance from us: 44 miles
Main attraction: Zion Mount Carmel tunnel

Zion Mount Carmel Highway runs 25 miles, from Springdale, Utah to Mount Carmel Junction at US Route 89. The route heads east, passing through part of Zion National Park. Along the way, you go over bridges, through a couple of tunnels, and around a number of tight switchbacks. In general, driving the route is as enjoyable as seeing sights.

The 1.1 mile Zion Mount Carmel tunnel is particularly impressive. The tunnel is cut through sandstone and has six windows with fantastic views of the area. The tunnel is historically significant and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It's also a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.