Road Trip America’s Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips (Zion)

by Rick Quinn

Virgin River in Zion

This image is from Part 3 of the book, SST 13—St. George, Utah to Flagstaff, Arizona. Pictured is the Virgin River in Zion National Park.

It is said that Zion is Yosemite dressed in red. 

Zion is the fifth most visited national park in the U.S., drawing more visitors than Yellowstone and almost as many as Yosemite; if you visit during the high season, from April through September, there will be crowds. Take a good look around as you’re waiting in line. There’s nothing subtle about Zion National Park: soaring cliffs; waterfalls that spring from clefts in the mountainsides; slot canyons that twist through a wonderland of multicolored stone. Zion has all that and more, and there are views, even from the road, that will take your breath away.

Zion is fabulous, but only the beginning of this incredible side trip that packs in some the best scenery that Utah and northern Arizona have to offer.

Author picture

Rick Quinn was born and raised in Arizona, earned a degree in anthropology, then hit the road, indulging an admittedly peculiar whim by hitch-hiking to Tierra del Fuego. In one way or another, he’s been on the road ever since, living in a dozen diverse locales, from Paris to Peru, San Francisco to Washington D.C., working as a photographer, a coffee farmer, a magazine writer, a postman, a novelist, and, until his recent retirement, a corporate-level financial systems expert with the Postal Service. Rick is a veteran road tripper who has driven both the Alaska Highway and the Pan American. Currently, he’s a travel blogger, a landscape photographer, and a contributing writer for