St George Area Byways & Backways
These scenic routes are recognized as National Scenic Byways or Backways.
Zion Park Scenic Byway
U-9 from I-15 to Mt. Carmel Junction
This is the main highway through Zion National Park. From the west, you can get on the road at I-15 and travel through Hurricane before climbing up toward the park. If you are coming from the north you can take Hwy 17 to La Verkin and then get on U-9 as it heads east toward the park. On the east side of the park, U9 connects with Hwy 89 at Mt Carmel Junction.
The highway follows the Virgin River and provides outstanding scenery, both inside and outside of the park. Other points of interest along the route include Quail Creek State Park west of Hurricane and Grafton ghost town near Rockville.
Smithsonian Butte National Back Country Byway
This unpaved route cuts between Gooseberry Mesa and Smithsonian Butte, just southwest of Zion National Park. Access points are Hwy 9 near Rockville and Hwy 59 near Hildale. There are no facilities along this road. The road may be impassible after heavy snowfall. Four-wheel drive may be needed during winter and early spring.
This byway provides spectacular views into Zion National Park, including views of the East and West Temples and North Guardian Angel. From the high point of the road, you can see out over the Virgin River Valley, with the Eagle Crags to the east. It also provides views of Canaan Mountain, an extremely scenic area that is not yet well known.
For more information about the surrounding area:
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