by Tony Huegel (Wilderness Press)
This picturesque drive through a range of plant zones, including grassy hills, pinyon-juniper woodlands and forests of aspen, fir and towering ponderosa pine has fantastic views of the Great Basin and Zion National Park’s west side. It’s best in spring and fall. The road surface ranges from maintained dirt and gravel to two-lane asphalt. The dirt segments can be impassable in wet weather. The road is closed from late November to May or June.
Most of the road passes through private land. The first 8 miles coming from the north are paved and forested as you ascend the Cretaceous (66.4–144 million years ago) seabed deposits of Upper Kolob Plateau. The name Kolob derives from the star in the center of the universe which, according to Mormon Church doctrine, is closest to the throne of God. As you curve around the west side of Lone Tree Mountain and cross Cedar Mountain, you will have tremendous views of the vast Great Basin, with its waves of mountain ranges and expanse of pale desert. Rolling hills, aspen groves, grazing sheep and log fences add to the charm of this undulating country road as it climbs to over 9,300 feet.
© Tony Huegel/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.