For those coming to Utah’s Patchwork Parkway from the south on I-15, a stop at Zion/Kolob National Park entrance at Utah Exit 40 on I-15 is a well-worth visit as you drive the twisting 10-mile section through the finger-like cliffs and red rock canyons of Kolob (northern part of Zion National Park) to the top which overlooks Zion to the south and the New Harmony/Pine Valley Mountain range to the west. There are several trails ranging from easy to experienced that take you deep into the heart of the Kolob fingers and arches.
I would have to put Zion on my top 10 list of national parks. Even if you just take the 12-mile scenic drive through the park you will seen incredible scenery. We entered through the east side which takes you through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, a 1.1 mile tunnel through rock wall. The unique aspect of this tunnel is that it has "windows" carved into the rock along the way. My guess is when this tunnel was built in 1930, it allowed drivers to stop and check out the scenery since there's also a pull out - which is now blocked off. During our visit we hiked up the Canyon Overlook Trail which starts just outside the tunnel. The trail does pass a few long drop-offs, but the most dangerous sections have fencing along the edges. One interesting spot along the way is the bridge you have to cross. It hugs a cliff face, below an overhang, before leading into a fairly large alcove. Once at the top, you'll have views of Pine Creek Canyon, lower Zion Canyon and the winding road below and if you look closely at the wall on your left while standing at the overlook, you may notice a window in the rock. For more details and pictures of our hike, go to our blog on our trip to Zion: