Just about any travel route in the west can be considered to be a scenic drive, because this is the land of majestic wide open spaces. A scenic drive can be a tourism corridor that goes from one great destination to the next or the road can be a gateway to adventure on its own. There are roads out west that offer so many vacation destination options, that it would literally take months to experience it all. A good example is the Hurricane, Utah to Fredonia, Arizona travel route. This tourism corridor connects Zion National Park with the Grand Canyon National Park North Rim and there are several other great destinations nearby!
For those who like to maintain a photo journal during a vacation excursion, some scenic drives offer more opportunities to capture images than others. Some travel routes have plenty of scenic overlooks and roadside parking spots to take the views in. Unfortunately, the travel route between Hurricane and Fredonia is not one of these roads. There are very few places to safely pull off the road to take pictures from Hurricane to Fredonia, so this scenic drive will be for your eyes only.
Realizing whether a long scenic drive is a good opportunity for a photo journal tour or whether the scenic drive will be best for “your eyes only” can help to alleviate frustration. Usually it only takes driving a few miles to figure this out. A long two lane highway that has narrow shoulders is not a good place to constantly park on the edge of the road to take pictures because this would create a safety hazard, which a highway patrol officer will likely investigate. Instead of being a hazard and possibly being cited, it is best to set the camera aside and just enjoy the scenic eye candy as it passes by.
The travel route between Hurricane and Fredonia is a major tourism corridor and some drivers do tend to speed, which is not a good thing because the police use aircraft in this area. Another item to note is that this is a high elevation travel route, so winter rain can quickly turn into slush and snow. I actually drove this road in a 4×4 Jeep when it was covered with slush in December and there were at least 20 major accidents and vehicle rollovers along the way, because the drivers were speeding in unsafe conditions. It is best to keep this in mind if traveling between Hurricane and Fredonia during the winter season is in the plans.
In Utah, the road to look for is State Road 59 and in Arizona it is State Road 389. This Road connects Zion with the Grand Canyon, so the road actually parallels the Colorado River going east or west. The start and end points on this travel route definitely are gateways to adventure. Hurricane, Utah is the gateway to Zion country and Fredonia is the gateway to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Fredonia is located next to Kanab, Utah, which is also the gateway to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Red Cliffs National Monument and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The Red Cliffs National Monument and Lee's Ferry can also be accessed by following 89A east from Fredonia.
There are also plenty more options between the end points when touring SR 59 and SR 389. When traveling on the Utah side of the line, tourists that have a 4×4 vehicle can do the Smithsonian Butte Back Country Byway to Zion or follow the long dirt roads south to the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument. On the Arizona SR 389 section of the road, more Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument access roads can be found. The vast Paiute Reservation is located along SR 389 and this where the Pipe Springs National Monument is located.
In this region, a visitor can see where the high mesa land of the Grand Canyon Basin meets the geological Grand Staircase of Escalante. Close to Zion is where the Grand Wash begins and this ancient gigantic dry wash drains into the Colorado River about 100 miles downhill. The red rock region of Red Cliffs and Glen Canyon come into view during this drive too, so as far as scenic drives go, the experience is as picturesque as can be!
Fredonia is a small town that has limited accommodation options, because the larger city of Kanab is right next door. Fredonia does have RV parks and campgrounds, so this is something for the land yacht cruisers to note. This town also has some old fashioned native artisan trading posts that are well worth checking out when seeking an authentic one of a kind memento of the journey.
Traveling between Hurricane and Fredonia on SR 59 and SR 389 sure does present many options. It is best to keep in mind that this can be a dangerous road, so this scenic drive is mostly for the eyes only. The travel route that parallels the north side of the Grand Canyon through the Arizona Strip certainly is a scenic drive like no other and it is a gateway to endless adventures!
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