Places to Visit: Cedar City

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Cedar City

Known as the 'Festival City', Cedar City is conveniently located an hour north of Zion National Park and offers a variety of amenities, cultural attractions, and access to outdoor activities.

  • If traveling to Zion National Park during the summer months, experience Cedar City's annual Tony-award winning Shakespeare Festival.
  • Chose the scenic route travel option and combine a visit to Cedar Breaks National Monument with your Zion vacation.
  • Experience the area's history at nearby Parowan Gap Petroglyphs and the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum.

Overview

Known by locals as the 'Festival City', Cedar City is conveniently located an hour north of Zion National Park.  Visitors will not only find a variety of amenities, but will also enjoy local attractions and access to outdoor activities.

Location

Located 250 miles south of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15, visitors to southern Utah's pass through Cedar City on the way to Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and St. George.  If driving to Zion from Cedar City, plan for a one hour drive (60 miles) to Zion's main western entrance in Springdale and a shorter 17 mile trip south to Zion National Park's Kolob Canyon's District. 

Services and Amenities

The home of Southern Utah University with a population of 20,0000, Cedar City offers an array of services and amenities.  Lodging choices include bed and breakfast establishments, chain hotels and motels, and nearby campgrounds in Frontier Homestead State Park.  Restaurants, grocery stores, and fuel are located throughout the city.

Activities and Attractions

Visitors to Cedar City not only have opportunity to explore the nearby national parks and monuments, but also can enjoy historical and cultural attractions. One of Cedar City's 17 annual events, Utah's annual Shakespearean Festival features productions from Shakespeare to contemporary theater.  To learn more about the area's history, visit the nearby Parowan Gap Petroglyphs and Frontier Homestead State Park Museum.

Nearby outdoor activities include hiking, fishing, and camping in Dixie National Forest, visiting Cedar Breaks National Monument, and exploring Zion's Kolob Canyon.

Getting Here

The Kolob Canyon District
From Cedar City, drive south on Interstate 15. Take Exit 40 and turn left at Kolob Canyons Road. This twisting road gains 1,110 feet in five miles, culminating at the appropriately named Kolob Canyons Viewpoint

Zion National Park's Main Entrance - Shortest Route
To reach the park's main western entrance continue south on I-15 to Exit 27. Turn left on Route 17 and follow into the town of Leeds. Here, turn left (east) on Route 9 and follow into Zion National Park.

Before reaching the park's western entrance consider turning north on the Kolob Terrace Road in the town of Virgin. This two-lane road accesses some of the least visited sections of the park. The Lava Point Viewpoint, at 7,760 feet, provides dramatic views of the park.

If interested in the area's history, consider an excursion to Grafton's ghost town.  At Rockville, take a side road to Grafton, home to a well-preserved ghost town used in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Scenic Route
For a scenic, but longer drive, consider accessing Zion's eastern entrance via Route 14.  From Cedar City, take Route 14 through through aspen and evergreen forests and past lava rock formations to Long Valley Junction, 42 miles away. Turn south on Route 89 for 23 miles to Mt. Carmel Junction and Route 9.  Continue on Route 9 into Zion's East Entrance.