Kanab to Sevier
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.
Basin and Range
Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area
For 250 miles along US Route 89, the history and culture of the Mormon Pioneers are celebrated. From the Arizona-Utah border north to Fairview, you will pass through small towns founded in the late 19th century as colonies of the Church of Latter-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
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 and 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 canyon’s bottom 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 deterioration of the soft rock has left a spectacular array of red, orange and white hoodoos below the plateau’s rim. 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…
Towns, Cities and Reservations
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
Three Lakes Canyon
The Sand Hills
East Fork of the Virgin River
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