How to Drive Zion National Park

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How to Drive Zion National Park. Zion National Park is located near Interstate 15 in Southern Utah. You can enjoy an adventuresome drive through the south portion of the park and follow external scenic routes back to the highway. Follow these steps.

Exit I-15 onto Highway 9 to access Zion National Park if heading north. Travelers heading south should exit I-15 at Highway 14 and follow it to Highway 89 south and then to Highway 9 where you enter the park from the east. All of these roads are scenic routes.

Enter the park at the south entrance if driving in from the west. The Zion Human History Museum and the Visitors Center are located near this entrance.

Get out of your car if you have time. Take a ride on a shuttle bus provided by the park. The shuttle is time consuming, but it is the only way to travel Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. To save the park from pollution and overuse, they require you to get out of your car and use the shuttles.

Follow Highway 9, known as the Zion Mount Carmel Highway, to get across the southern portion of the park. Continue along this route and stop as time allows. Erosion has created dizzying geometric patterns on the surface of the area's rock formations.

Exit the park at the east entrance and follow Highway 9 to Highway 89. Take this scenic highway north to Highway 14 west. This route leads you back to I-15.

Tips & Warnings

  • Exercise patience on the Zion Mount Carmel Highway. The road goes through a 1.1-mile tunnel. Rangers often stop traffic to allow oversized vehicles safe passage. Hop out and take pictures while you wait instead of watching the clock.
  • Follow Kolob Terrace Road for a different view of the park. This road does not cross the park or go anywhere near the visitors center. In fact, you have to come out the way you went in. But the view on the narrow, winding and steep road is worth the trip. The stretch is accessible from Highway 9 in the town of Virgin, Utah.

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