Southern Utah Backways in the Zion National Park Area
All the national parks and national monuments in the East Zion area offer scenic drives through their boundaries and are sure to please.
Kolob Terrace - The turn off for the primitive Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park, is in the town of Virgin. Drive 15 miles, south of the main section of Zion. Watch for the small "Kolob" road sign. Follow the Kolob Reservoir Road for 21 miles to remote and primitive Lava Point.
Cedar Mountain in Dixie National Forest
Strawberry Point Ridge - A nice drive off the beaten path is the 9-mile long Strawberry Point road in Dixie National Forest on Cedar Mountain. Travel down the graded dirt road to find a view point overlooking the Markagunt Plateau. From the point, a distant view of the Arizona Strip and Zion National Park an be seen. There are many others roads that you can travel in this area as well that take off from U-14.
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Backways
Skutumpah Road - As long as the bentonite soil is dry on the 34 mile graded road, Skutumpah Road is an easy drive to some beautiful slot canyons. It begins in Glendale, Utah which is about 21 miles from the east entrance to Zion National Park and 9 miles from Mt. Carmel Jct. and ends near Cannyonville where there is a Visitor Center. There is a GSENM kiosk and map near the entrance. When in Glendale, still on SR-9, look for the Bench Road (300 N) which is directly across from the Historic Smith Hotel and Buffalo Bistro. The Bistro is a real gem in the desert, where Chef Ron Terry will cook you up some rattlesnake or a buffalo burger.
Johnson Canyon Road - You can also enter Skutumpah Road 11 miles east of Kanab, Utah, but the homes and such are lacking the charm of the Glendale entrance. The initial section is called Johnson Canyon Road and is a 24 mile paved road, then meets up with dirt Skutumpah Road.
Cottonwood Canyon Road – This 46 mile dirt road runs from the Big Water area to Cannyonville. Like Skutumpah, the road is impassible when wet.
Zion National Park, Utah
History of the Thunderbird
This is my new favorite quote:
"I don't know who Tanya Milligan is, but I mean www.zionnational-park.com
It's a better site than the NPS's anyway."
Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park