With our 2 week road trip through America we decided to take Scenic State Route 89A from Cedar City Utah to Page Arizona. By the time we were on this route, our driving experience had improved and we were enjoying the landscape and long winding roads through the nature, stopping at each viewpoint along the way. This post shares our stops at the Vermillion Cliffs and the Navajo Bridge before heading to Horseshoe Bend and ending in Page, Arizona.
Our planning was to stay the night at Cedar City, wake up early and go hiking in Zion National Park. However we woke up at 12:00am exactly to the loudest lightning and thunderstorms we have ever heard. By morning it was still raining and expected to rain (including more thunderstorms) all day. So while eating our free breakfast at the Knights Inn Motel we decided that we would drive straight to our next motel in Page Arizona, and then come back to Zion the next day as weather would be sunny, dry and better for hiking.
Cedar City was a good stop off in between Salt Lake City and Page due to the amount of driving it took. Cedar City is big enough to be able to stock up on snacks and drinks at Walmart and fill up on gas before we left. There seemed to be plenty of things to do in the city and around the area, which was just not in our planning. But if we were ever in the area again, we would definitely consider a few more nights here.
Scenic State Route 89A
Taking the Scenic State Route 89A road south of Fredonia was an amazing road to drive on. First we drove through the storms south of the Zion mountains towards the Vermillion Cliffs. These cliffs were so impressive to see, driving around a blind corner and arriving at a view point with now perfect blue skies and distances you cant even imagine seeing. You could spend ages there enjoying the view and chatting with other road trippers like we did. We tried to see where the road went below us and along the cliffs but we couldn’t spot a single car!
There are multiple viewing stopping points along this road, with memorials and information regarding animals and the plants. We stopped at a few for more photos and enjoyed the drive along the endless straight road. Be aware if you take this route as there wasn’t any petrol stations for fuel or food for a good distance.
Following the road through the Kaibab National Forest we arrived back with views of orange rock and took the turning to Lees Ferry. We thought about doing one of the smaller hikes here but in the end took a break with some snacks and watched the Colorado River water rush past. Plus we didn’t want to hike too much with the next day plans of going back to Zion.
Before the drive further to Page we stopped at the original Navajo Bridge, where the sun managed to shine through the thunderstorms, showing off the very muddy river below. We walked from one side to the other and back to stretch our legs from the car journey and visited the little visitor centre. There is parking on both sides that you can stop at so don’t worry about missing the turning.
Built in 1972 the original bridge (on the left) was used for only pedestrians and horses. Parallel to it is the newer road bridge, that was built in 1995 in the same style making it identical, which you drive over on the scenic state route 89A. For the full history see here.
Before arriving at our motel we stopped at Horseshoe Bend before sunset, which you can read all about here! This is on the main road from the scenic state route 89A into Page, Arizona.
Ending the night in the Motel 6 Page was a good choice, there was plenty of parking, and we had booked a room with private toilet and shower. Never had time to try the swimming pool facilities as we were knackered already from the drive. We did have a decent night’s sleep here though, ready for our trip the next day back to Zion National Park.
*This route was part of our 2 Week US Road Trip!
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Have you also driven on these roads and visited these places? Share with us your stories and tips in the comments!