Smithsonian Butte Scenic Back Country Byway | Zion National Park

Smithsonian Butte National Back Country Byway extends for 9.25 miles between Rockville, Utah on State Route 9 and Apple Valley, Utah on State Route 59 just south of Zion National Park.

Zion Campgrounds
Smithsonian Butte National Back Country Byway
Rockville, UT 84763

Type: BLM
Season: Open year-round

Type: BLM
Season: Open year-round

NOTE: CAMPING IS PROHIBITED ON FEDERALLY MANAGED LANDS WITHIN 1/2 MILE OF EITHER SIDE OF THE BACK COUNTRY BYWAY. CAMPING IS PROHIBITED WITHIN THE TOWN OF ROCKVILLE AND IN GRAFTON. Please note that camping is not allowed until you reach the top of the butte. Please obey local posted information.

Note 2: Road is impassable when wet and can be very rutted after a rain storm. The steep grade from Grafton Rd. to the top of the mesa is NOT recommended for low clearance vehicles, RV's and vehicles towing trailers. The road from SR-59 to Wire Mesa Trailhead is suitable for most vehicles when dry. Inquire at the local BLM office for road updates. St. George BLM Office (435) 688-3200.

Not many travelers know about this secret scenic byway--it's sort of a hush-hush "locals only" spot (sorry, locals!). There's a reason people want to keep this Virgin River floodplain all to themselves--it's gorgeous, quiet, serene and away from the crowds that swarm Zion National Park.

Views from the byway: Smithsonian Butte, Eagle Crags, Vermillion Cliffs

BONUS: Visit Grafton ghost town, located along the byway.

After turning left from Grafton Rd. on to Smithsonian Butte, day use parking is available on left, but camping is not permitted until you have reached the top of the mesa and can be at least 1/2 mile from the Byway.


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