Utah State Route 20

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State Route 20 marker

State Route 20
Route information
Defined by Utah Code §72-4-107
Maintained by UDOT
Length: 20.492 mi[1] (32.979 km)
Existed: 1917 as a state highway; 1927 as SR-20 – present
Major junctions
West end: I-15 near Paragonah
East end: US-89 near Panguitch
Highway system
  • State highways in Utah
SR-19 SR-21

State Route 20 (SR-20) is a state highway in southern Utah, running 20.492 miles (32.979 km) in Iron and Garfield Counties, without directly serving or connecting any cities. It serves as a truck connection between I-15 and US-89 and an access to Bryce Canyon National Park. It may also be used to travel between Salt Lake City and Phoenix, Arizona. The highway follows the route of the Old Spanish Trail.[2]

Route description[edit]

View east from the west end of SR-20
Midway along Utah State Route 20

SR-20 begins at I-15, Exit 95, 14 miles (23 km) north of Paragonah, and heads east and southeast through a pass between the Markagunt Plateau and the Tushar Mountains. It ends at an intersection with US-89 at Bear Valley Junction. Trucks are routed from I-15 and US-89 onto SR-20 in preference to SR-9 and SR-14 to avoid steep grades and switchbacks required to cross the Markagunt Plateau. SR-20 itself is a difficult route, featuring 7% grades on the approaches to the 7,910-foot (2,410 m) summit, and oversize vehicles are required to have a pilot escort.[1][3]


The route of SR-20 was first used by non-Native Americans in 1864, by the settlers of Panguitch.[4] It crosses the Tushar Mountains just south of the Old Spanish Trail's crossing.

The road from SR-1 (by 1926 US-91, now SR-271) in Paragonah to SR-11 (by 1926 US-89) at Bear Valley Junction was added to the state highway system in 1917.[5] In 1927, the legislature assigned the State Route 20 designation to it,[6] and in 1953 the west end was moved north to the present junction with I-15,[5] removing Little Creek Canyon Road and Upper Bear Valley Road from the state highway system.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Iron Paragonah 0.000–
I-15 – Cedar City, Salt Lake City Exit 95 on I-15; western terminus
Garfield Bear Valley Junction 20.492 32.979 US-89 – Panguitch, Junction Eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c "Route Description 0020" (pdf). Utah Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ Official Highway Map, Utah Department of Transportation, 1995 edition, coordinates I-3
  3. ^ "State of Utah, Secondary Highways with Additional Restrictions" (PDF). Utah Motor Carrier Division / Utah Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2007-11-17. 
  4. ^ "Utah History Encyclopedia". University of Utah Press. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  5. ^ a b Utah Department of Transportation, State Route History, accessed July 2007
  6. ^ Utah State Legislature (1927). Chapter 21: Designation of State Roads. Session Laws of Utah. 20. From Paragoonah easterly to Orton, Garfield county. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata

Media related to Utah State Route 20 at Wikimedia Commons