Route 9 through Zion

Start your journey along Utah’s Route 9 in the city of Hurricane. A couple of great, quick detours there – presumably on your way to Zion National Park – are Quail Creek and Sand Hollow state parks.

Driving east then north, you’ll head east again on your way to the town of Virgin, which follows the Virgin River into Zion. Here’s where you’ll find a good set of RV parks, hotels and campgrounds for your trip. Further down the route, you’ll find a tour company offering helicopter rides over Zion. 

As you pass through Grafton (a ghost town) and the tiny town of Rockville, inns, lodges and other accommodations will become more plentiful.

Photo by James Marvin Phelps (

From Springdale, you’ll hit arguably the most beautiful stretch of road in the West. Zion National Park is a heavily-visited park for a reason. After a day or more hiking and camping in the park, the road east switchbacks up and up and up until you get some insanely amazing views from the Pine Creek Canyon Overlook. There are hiking trails in this area as well that give you a different perspective on Zion. 

Continuing east on Route 9, you’ll eventually reach max elevation and then make your descent to Mt. Carmel Junction, where the historic Thunderbird Restaurant is. Give it a try and head north to Bryce Canyon or south to Kanab and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. What a spectacular trip either way!