Kanab to Sevier

Colorado Plateau

Distance (miles)

Kanab Elevation (feet)

Sevier Elevation (feet)

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

Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Utah

For 250 miles along US Route 89 the history and culture of the Mormon Pioneers is celebrated. From the Arizona-Utah border north to Fairview, you will pass through small towns that were founded in the late 19th century as colonies of the Church of Later Day Saints. These farming and ranching communities settled this region and provided food for the people of Salt Lake City. View the Page to Kanab and Sevier to Spanish Fork Road Trip Guides for more highlights of the Mormon Pioneer NHA.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Utah

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, scuttle 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

Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah

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.

View photo galleries of special attractions along US Route 89 between Kanab and Sevier…

The Kanab to Sevier Road Trip Guide is sponsored by

Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area—Utah’s heritage highway

pin icon

Towns, Cities and Reservations

Kanab
Mt. Carmel
Orderville
Glendale
Hatch
Panguitch
Circleville
Marysville
Sevier

buffalo icon

Public Lands and Historic Places

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Zion National Park
Dixie National Forest
Bryce Canyon National Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Fishlake National Forest
Piute State Park

mountain

Landmarks

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

View these articles to find out more about…

A Western Journey by Thomas Wolfe

Thomas Wolfe was an acclaimed author best know for Look Homeward, Angel. In early 1938, he had just delivered two lengthy manuscripts to his publisher. He was 38 and needed a break from writing so he decided to make a trip out west to a part of the country he had...

US Route 89 Roadside Attraction: Big Rock Candy Mountain

When Harry McClintock wrote the lyrics to Big Rock Candy Mountain, he didn’t have a specific place in mind. His song, first recorded in 1928, is about a hobo’s idea of paradise. Every child who grew up in the 1950s remembers Burl Ives singing the chorus: Oh the...

Kanab to Ephraim on US Route 89

We have been camped at Palisade State Park in Sanpete County, Utah, for the last three days. We will be moving on to the Salt Lake valley later today. Here is a summary in photographs of what we have been seen and done between Kanab and Ephraim. We spent Thursday...