Mt. Carmel Junction, Utah

Grand Staircase National Monument

In 1931, immediately after the completion of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, a young couple began homesteading the area known today as Mt. Carmel Junction. Though the land was initially prone to violent flash floods and was filled with gullies, quicksand, and layers of sand, the couple, Fern and Jack Hanson, successfully overcame these obstacles. They built the Thunderbird restaurant and lodge, the first restaurant and hotel in town. Today there is much to do and see in Mt. Carmel Junction, making it an ideal stop for tourists visiting Zion National Park. In addition to the historic Thunderbird establishment, Mt. Carmel Junction offers a golf course, ATV guided tours, horseback riding, and the Zion Ponderosa Resort. Magnificent slot canyons also dot the area, including the Upper and Lower Red Caves, Peek-a-Boo Slot Canyon, East Fork Slot Canyon, and Red and Spring Hollows. Checkerboard Mesa, an impressive mesa with unique cross bedding, and the Great Arch can be seen from the nearby highway. Also near the highway is Pine Creek Waterfall, a short hike and an inviting family respite.

Grand Staircase National Monument