This is a very scenic route, passing dramatic rock cliffs and pink rock hoodoos that echo the formations at Zion  and Bryce Canyon National Parks , but it's also a slow drive, especially if you get caught behind a lumbering RV. The route also passes a number of wooded campgrounds and small mountain resorts, which are especially popular with snowmobilers and ATV riders (though cross-country skiing and mountain biking are tolerated).
Because of their elevations (mostly 8,000-9,000 feet) these high mountain getaways are popular when the temperatures in the desert basin towns begin to bake. The route ends at the Long Valley Junction, at Highway 89, 41 miles from Cedar City.
At the Zion Overlook, a sweeping panorama takes in the deep canyons and monuments of Zion National Park to the south. Zion Overlook is 16.5 miles east of Cedar City on the south side of the road.
The easy Bristlecone Pine Trail (0.5-mile loop), graded for wheelchair access, leads to the rim of the Markagunt Plateau and excellent views. A dense spruce and fir forest opens up near the rim, where storm-battered limber and bristlecone pines cling precariously near the edge. You can identify the bristlecone pines by their short-needled, "bottle brush" branches. The trailhead is 17 miles east of Cedar City  on the south side of Highway 14.
Lava flows dammed this unusual 3.5-mile-long lake, which has no surface outlet. Instead, water drains through sinkholes in the limestone underneath and emerges as Cascade Falls (in the Pacific Ocean drainage) and Duck Creek (Great Basin drainage). From a pullout along the highway, 24 miles east of Cedar City, you can sometimes see three of the sinkholes at the east end; a dam prevents the lake from draining into them.
Anglers catch rainbow trout and occasionally some Eastern brook and brown trout; ice fishing is possible in winter. You can hand-launch small boats at Navajo Campground or from boat ramps at Navajo Lake Lodge and Behmer Lodge and Landing. An 11.5-mile trail circles the lake; it's also open to mountain bikes. Take the Navajo Lake turnoff, 25.5 miles east of Cedar City, for the campgrounds, marina, and lodge along the south shore.
The Virgin River Rim Trail stretches about 38 miles along the rim between Deer Haven Group Campground and Strawberry Point. Beautiful panoramas of Zion National Park  and the headwaters of the Virgin River reward trail users. You can also reach it at Te-Ah Campground, from Navajo Lake via short spur trails (0.5-0.75 mile) and at the start of the Cascade Falls National Recreation Trail. The entire length is open to hikers and mountain bikers. Off-highway vehicles can use the section from Deer Haven to Te-Ah Campground.
Splendid views and a waterfall make the Cascade Falls National Recreation Trail an exciting trip. The easy trail is 1.6 miles round-trip with some ups and downs. It begins at the south rim of the Markagunt Plateau , drops a short way down the Pink Cliffs, then winds along the cliffs to the falls. The falls gush from a cave and bounce their way down to the North Fork of the Virgin River and Zion Canyon. The flow peaks during spring runoff.
Take the Navajo Lake turnoff from Highway 14. Go 0.3 mile on Forest Service Road 30053, then turn left in three miles, onto Forest Service Road 30370. Follow this road to the junction with Forest Service Road 30054 and turn right. The road dead-ends at the trailhead.
You'll see why Duck Lake got its name. The creek and lake offer trout fishing. A visitor center (435/682-2432, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily in summer) is across the highway from the campground turnoff. Singing Pines Interpretive Trail, just east of the visitor center, makes a 0.5-mile loop and Old Ranger Interpretive Trail makes a shorter loop from Duck Creek Campground; look for a large pullout on the left where the main campground road makes a curve to the right (near the amphitheater). Pick up information sheets for both trails from the visitor center.
The Lost Hunter Trail makes a three-mile loop from the same trailhead in Duck Creek Campground to the top of Duck Creek Bench; elevation gain is about 600 feet with many fine views. Turn north from Highway 14 at Duck Lake, about 28 miles east of Cedar City.
Cool off inside the small Ice Cave, where the lava rock insulates ice throughout the summer. The road may be too rough for cars—ask about conditions at the visitor center (435/682-2432, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily in summer). Turn south on the dirt road beside the visitor center, keep left at the fork 0.2 mile in, keep right at another fork 0.8 mile farther, and continue 0.4 mile to the cave at the end of the road; signs mark the way.
Hollywood has used this area since the 1940s to film such productions as How the West Was Won, My Friend Flicka, and the Daniel Boone TV series. This handsome village—a collection of lodges, cabins, and log-built homes—lies at the edge of a large meadow (elev. 8,400 feet) about 30 miles east of Cedar City . The surrounding countryside is excellent for snowmobiling, a popular winter sport here.
A big snowmobile race takes place on the weekend closest to Valentine's Day. Cross-country skiing is good, too, on meadow, forest, and bowl terrain. The snow season lasts from about late November to late March. Blue Pine Tours (800/848-2525), at Pinewoods Resort, offers snowmobile and ATV tours and rentals.
Trout and scenic beauty attract visitors to pretty Aspen Mirror Lake. The turnoff (signed Movie Ranch Rd.) is on the north side of Highway 14, about midway between Duck Creek Campground and Duck Creek Village. Park, then walk the 0.25-mile level trail.
A magnificent panorama takes in countless ridges, canyons, and mountains south of the Markagunt Plateau . You can spot Zion National Park  and even the Arizona Strip from this lofty perch (elev. 9,016 feet). Erosion has cut delicate pinnacles and narrow canyons into the Pink Cliffs on either side below the viewpoint.
Turn south from Highway 14 between Mileposts 32 and 33 (32.5 miles east of Cedar City) onto a gravel road and go nine miles to its end. A 500-foot path continues to Strawberry Point. Take care near the edge—the rock is crumbly and there are no guardrails.
In Duck Creek Village, Falcon's Nest (60 Movie Ranch Rd., 435/682-2556, www.falconsnestcabins.com , year-round, $85-115, two-night minimum weekends, three-night minimum holidays) offers A-frame cabins with kitchens.
Pinewoods Resort (121 Duck Creek Ridge Rd., 435/682-2512 or 800/848-2525, www.pinewoodsresort.com , $65-425) offers accommodations ranging from motel rooms to a house that sleeps up to 15. The resort also has a coffee shop and a sit-down restaurant.
Duck Creek Village Inn (Duck Creek Village, 435/682-2565, www.duckcreekvillageinn.com , $65 and up motel room, $115 and up cabin) has similar accommodations.
All of the campgrounds in the area have water and a few sites for reservation (877/444-6777, www.recreation.gov , early June-Labor Day, $8 reservation fee, $12 camping). Sites in the Cedar Canyon Campground (elev. 8,100 feet) lie along Crow Creek among aspen, fir, and spruce in a pretty canyon setting, 12 miles east of Cedar City on Highway 14.
Spruces and Navajo Campgrounds are on Navajo Lake, where all of the spruce trees have been removed due to bark beetle infestations, leaving little shade.
Te-Ah Campground is in an aspen grove 1.5 miles west of Navajo Lake; expect cool nights at the 9,200-foot elevation.
Duck Creek Campground is north from Highway 14 at Duck Lake (elev. 8,600 feet).