Utah Route 9 and Zion National Park [Locator Map]

Utah 9
& Zion National Park

Otherwordly and spectacular color-canyon-country scenery and a dash of good twisties to boot.

Section Covered:
Hurricane, UT to Mt. Carmel, UT

80 km (48 miles)

Ratings:   Rankings:
Scenic Impact 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Overall Score: 8.1
Twistiness 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Fun-to-Drive: 7.4
Surface Quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  
Traffic 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rankings and ratings explained

Utah Route 9 and Zion National Park [Detail Map]
All parts of the Colorado Plateau offer spectacular desert scenery. The area around Zion National Park, in the southwest of Utah, is no exception. Incredibly-colored sedimentary cliffs of all shapes and textures and sizes form a look that is as stunning as anything in the world.

This road is first and foremost a premier scenic route. It is very-well paved for its entire length, and has quite a lot of slow-moving tourist traffic as well.
Approaching Zion NP on UT9
Spectacular UT 9
S2000 on UT9 twisty
For most of its length, UT 9 is not really that twisty, so the slow-moving traffic doesn't really matter that much. However, the 20 kilometre stretch of the route inside Zion National Park's boundaries is superbly twisty. There are two distinct sub-sections to this twisty portion: the lower part winds spectacularly up from the floor of Zion canyon via many switchbacks to a neat 1.5km long tunnel hewn out of the Navaho sandstone cliffs. Beyond this tunnel, the road changes character, winding tightly through rounded hills and domes of sandstone. And all of it wonderfully scenic.
Utah 9
Another view of UT9 twisties
Utah 9 hairpin
The 20km stretch of UT9 from the Zion NP's east boundary to Mt. Carmel is not that twisty nor scenic (at least in comparison to the rest of the road).

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