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Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway

The main road east and west through the park is UT-9, which is known as the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway within the park. It links the south entrance in Springdale with the east entrance. Unlike the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, private vehicles are allowed on it year-round. It passes through a long tunnel at one point, which is normally operated one-way. There can be delays waiting for your turn.

Mile 0.0 – South Entrance

South Entrance Sign in Zion National Park in Utah

The road passes the entrance sign and through the south entrance station, immediately beyond the town of Springdale.

Mile 0.1 – Zion Canyon Visitor Center & Watchman Campground

Zion Canyon Visitor Center in Zion National Park in Utah

A side road leads to the right, to the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and the Watchman Campground. The main shuttle points are here as well. Shuttles leave from here, Stop #1, to go up Zion Canyon, and to go into the town of Springdale. The parking lot at the visitor center is massive, but fills quickly during the busy season. The Pa’rus Trail begins or ends at the visitor center. For more details on Watchman Campground, see Zion Camping.

Mile 0.3 – South Campground

South Campground in Zion National Park in Utah

The entrance road to South Campground is on the right. For details, see Zion Camping.

Mile 0.7 – Zion Human History Museum

Zion Human History Museum in Zion National Park in Utah

The Zion Human History Museum is on the left. This is also shuttle stop #2. The Pa’rus Trail passes through here, leading to either the visitor center or Canyon Junction, stop #3.

Mile 1.4 – Zion Canyon Scenic Drive

Canyon Junction in Zion National Park in Utah

The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive heads off to the left. During most of the year, unless you are staying at Zion Lodge and have the appropriate permit, you may not turn on to this road.

Mile 4.9 – Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel

Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel in Zion National Park in Utah

After ascending a series of switchbacks, the road enters the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. This tunnel is just over a mile long and was completed in 1930. The tunnel is narrow, and is usually operated one direction at a time. There can be delays here while waiting for the signal to go.

Mile 6.0 – Canyon Overlook Trailhead

Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park in Utah

Shortly after exiting the tunnel is a small parking area on the left side. Park here for the Canyon Overlook Trail, a relatively short, but steep hike to a view of eastern Zion Canyon. See Zion Hiking for more information.

Mile 11.1 – Checkerboard Mesa

Checkerboard Mesa in Zion National Park in Utah

A small parking area is on the left, for a good view back towards Checkerboard Mesa. This mesa is like many others in the area except for its distinctive cross-cut design.

Mile 11.4 – East Entrance Station

East Entrance Station in Zion National Park in Utah

The road passes through the east entrance station.

Mile 12.0 – East Entrance

East Entrance Sign in Zion National Park in Utah

The road passes the east entrance sign as it leaves the park.

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