US Route 89-The West
US Route 89 Road Trip Guide-Zion

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Kanab to Sevier Road Trip Guide

Distance: 127 miles • Elevation Change: Kanab 4970 ft-Sevier 5595 ft.

This section of US Route 89 is the part of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area called The Headwaters. North of Kanab, the highway runs along Kanab Creek, a tributary of the Colorado. At Mt. Carmel Junction, 89 enters the Long Valley and parallels the East Fork of the Virgin River flowing west to join the Virgin River near Zion National Park. To reach Zion, turn west on Utah Route 9 at Mt. Carmel Junction.

At Long Valley Junction, US Route 89 reaches a divide and crosses into the valley of the Sevier River which the road follows all the way north to Gunnison. Utah’s scenic highway 12 intersects with 89 south of Panguitch. Turn east to reach Bryce Canyon National Park and Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Because of the abundance of water, this stretch of US 89 is dotted with small towns settled by Mormon pioneers who established farms and ranches to supply the needs of the growing population of Salt Lake City. The broad valleys are hemmed in by mountains on the east and west at the very western edge of the Colorado Plateau.

Special Attractions:
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park: The only major sand dune field on the Colorado Plateau, the park is a short dive west of US 89 north of Kanab. The area is a popular place to ride off-road vehicles. However, part of the park is reserved for foot traffic only. To avoid the often crowded state park campground, check out the BLM operated Ponderosa Grove camping area located across from the park fourteen miles from highway 89 on Hancock Road. From there it is short hike into the dune field.
Zion National Park: The highlight of a road trip to southern Utah is spending time in Zion Canyon. The twenty-five mile drive  from Mt. Carmel Junction along Utah Route 9 is a spectacular descent to the park entrance. In the summer, shuttle buses take visitors into the canyon. Because Zion lies at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert, it offers the visitor a diverse collection of plants and animals along with its unique topography. Carved by the North Fork of the Virgin River, Zion Canyon is fifteen miles long and up to a half mile deep. The bottom of the canyon is filled with stream side vegetation and many hiking trails lead into side canyons with hanging gardens and waterfalls.
Bryce Canyon National Park: The entrance to Bryce Canyon is about fifteen miles east of US 89 on Utah Route 12. Despite the name, Bryce Canyon is not a canyon but an amphitheater created by erosion on the eastern edge of a high plateau. The erosion of the soft rock has left a spectacular array of red, orange and white hoodoos below the rim of the plateau. Explore Bryce at viewpoints along the rim drive and hike one of the many trails to experience it up close.

US Route 89 Kanab to Sevier Map




Towns, Cities & Reservations:
Mt. Carmel
Long Valley Junction
Panguitch Main Street, East SidePanguitch Main Steet, West Side
Bronco Bobbi'sInside Cowboy's Smokehouse CafeThe Smoker & GrillCowboy's Smokehouse Café

Garfield County Fair-2008
Lunch at the Garfield County FairRoasting Corn at the Garfield County FairLunchtime at the Garfield County Fair
The Porter FamilyQuilts On DisplayWin a Chance to Drive This Car in the Demolition Derby


Public Lands & Historic Places:
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Zion National Park
Checkerboard Mesa, Zion National ParkThe cliffs of Zion National Park
The Virgin River, Zion National ParkWaterfall, Zion National ParkThe Great White Throne, Zion National Park
Ephemeral Waterfall, Zion National ParkWest Temple and Towers of the Virgin, Zion National Park
Dixie National Forest
Bryce Canyon National Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Fishlake National Forest
Piute State Park

Vermilion Cliffs
Kanab Creek
Three Lakes Canyon
The Sand Hills
East Fork of the Virgin River
Long Valley
Sevier River
Red Canyon
Circleville Canyon
Piute Reservoir
Tushar Mountains

User Contributed Stories
Add A New Story

Title: It's a Mistake to Miss the Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Photographs and story about visiting Utah's Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park by Darrell Berkheimer of Butte, Montana
Created By: Berky   Last Modified: 11/9/2010 5:27:08 PM
Darrell Berkheimer
View Story

2010 Spring Road Trip

Robert & Aida Wick

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