Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Reopens
As of Saturday, April 27th, 2019, Zion-Mount Carmel Highway is open again. After closing on April 9th, 2019, for road repairs as well as a new culvert, retaining wall, etc. – the highway reopened ahead of schedule. Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, along the Utah State Route 9, is an experience all in itself.
One of America’s Greatest Highways
The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, which connects Springdale to the Mount Carmel Junction of Highway 89, is the gateway from Zion to Bryce Canyon. This is one of America’s most scenic, exciting drives. Curling up switchbacks, you’ll climb from the bottom floor of Zion canyon at 4,000 feet t0 5,000 feet. Though these twists and turns may inflict carsickness on some passengers, you’ll all be rewarded by incredible views of the Park.
As you near the top of the canyon, the road vanishes into the darkness of the 1.1 mile long Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. Several giant windows in the tunnel open up through the cliffs, offering more incredible views (but don’t stop, just enjoy it in passing). Many visitors open their windows and honk or scream into the deep, cool tunnel. Once you get to the light at the end of the tunnel, literally, you find yourself 1,000 feet higher in elevation on the East side of Zion National Park.
From here you’ll drive through the winding Pine Creek canyon. Several hikes, such as the Canyon Overlook, Keyhole Canyon, The Barracks and more can be found just off the road. You’ll also see the famous Checkerboard Mesa. As you continue on this unique drive, you’ll come upon the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Whether you’re staying in one of their giant luxury cabins, cowboy cabins, glamping tents or not – you’ll definitely want to stop and check this place out. You might even make friends with one of the grazing buffalo.
Closed for Construction/Repairs
Due to heavy rainfall and snowmelt, the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, also known as the State Route 9 Connector, closed on April 9th 2019 and construction began to make repairs. As part of these repairs, a section of the road was completely removed and replaced. The slope was stabilized and a retaining wall was rebuilt. A new culvert was placed under the road, to divert future road damage due to excessive water. This project was expected to take three weeks, but a Federal Highways contractor finished four days ahead of schedule.
Zion-Mount Carmel Highway is Open
The highway was reopened at 8 AM on Saturday, April 27th, 2019. Oversized vehicles will still need an escort through the tunnel. For more info on the reopening, visit www.nps.org