The Smithsonian Butte Scenic Byway

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For the next month we’ll be parked at Zion River Resort, just outside of Zion National Park. When we were here two years ago, we saw lots of the park and the surrounding areas, so we’re looking for new territory we haven’t discovered yet.  This adventure was to the tiny historical “town” of Grafton, and along the designated byway circumventing the Smithsonian Butte. 
The road to Grafton starts in Rockville, turning off Rt. 9 at Bridge Rd. It’s pretty easy to miss – there’s only a tiny sign pointing to Grafton. It passes through a residential neighborhood, over Virgin River, and then through a ranching area. Great views of Mount Kinesava…
…and other interesting rock formations along the way.

The town has a few buildings and a lot of beautiful old farm land along the river.

After poking around just a bit we headed back to the road that passes around Smithsonian Butte and then heads straight south to join Rt. 59 at Apple Valley or maybe Big Plain Junction, depending on which map you’re reading.  While still in Grafton you get some good views of what I think are Eagle Crags.

The rough dirt road increases in elevation dramatically for the first mile or…