Zion History & Museums: Mount Carmel Church, Utah

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Historic Rock Church

Stop for a quick detour in Cedar City or Mount Carmel to take a look at a historic church, reminding visitors of the pioneering history of the area and their early struggles to survive. Read More

  • The Mt. Carmel Church and School was originally built in 1880 as a log cabin.
  • The Cedar City Rock Church was built in 1931, using stone and metal from the local mines.
  • These historic buildings fulfilled many roles for the community, including town gatherings and dances.
  • Most of the construction was completed by local volunteers.


Given the Mormon Church's long involvement in the area, it's no surprise to find a number of historic churches around Zion National Park. 

Cedar City Historic Rock Church

Religious and secular visitors alike come to Cedar City to take a tour of the Historic Rock Church. The stalwart building from 1931 was built by LDS members' hands and efforts, a fact that is shown through the dedication and care taken during construction.

The front entrance around the keystone is a great example of the design and effort put into the building. Copper and silver run through much of the stone used in construction, and the workers matched shapes colors symmetrically, making for a balanced and beautiful entrance. 

The carpets were woven in Provo from Iron County sheep, the lumber felled and milled from local Juniper trees, and the chandeliers made with iron from the local mine. The church is an astounding example of how the pioneers had to use the locally available natural resources.

  • Location - Cedar City is at Exit 59 of I-15 to the north of Zion. The church is at 73 East Center Street.
  • Hours - Tours are given by appointment only. Call (435) 586-6759 to schedule an appointment.
  • Cost - A tour of the church is free.
Mount Carmel Church and School

Mount Carmel was one of the early settlements in the area, starting in 1864 as Windsor, before changing names. The area was being rapidly settled by the Mormon Church, who was regularly sending church members to the area.

The development of the surrounding mining communities eventually caused Mt. Carmel's slow atrophy, but for a time during the late 19th, early 20th century, it had a bustling community, independent of Orderville.

The Mt. Carmel Church and School was built in 1880, then reconstructed with stone in 1890. The building also served as a recreation center and general meeting hall for the community. 

  • Location - Mt. Carmel is easily accessible from Zion, heading east on Hwy 9 until turning north onto Hwy 89.
  • Hours - Tours are by appointment only, given by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in Orderville.
  • Fee - A tour of the church is free.