If you ever find yourself in Southwestern Utah, you would be an absolute fool if you didn’t visit Zion National Park.
Not only is it one of the most scenic parks you will ever lay eyes on, but it is also Utah’s first national park. The park lies within a canyon and easily provides a unique perspective from the scenic drive that cuts through it.
There are plenty of things to do and see within the park, so you should be sure to plan ahead to determine what you will have time for. You might find that you would rather ride through on the shuttles, or you might prefer to challenge yourself with a hike or mountain climb.
No matter what you choose to do, it would be very beneficial for you to stop by the visitor center before taking off into the park. In the visitor center, you can obtain maps and brochures, take guided tours, and speak with rangers who can provide you with recommendations and directions to help make the most of your trip.
I highly recommend that you speak with a ranger if you are planning on hiking especially if you are a novice or are planning to hike some of the more difficult trails as they may require a permit.
1. Hiking in Zion
There is no shortage of hiking trails for all skill levels, and there is even a trail that is wheelchair accessible.
Some of the more popular trails in Zion are also some of the more difficult trails: Angels Landing, the Narrows, and the Subway. Some of the more popular trails for families and novice hikers include the Emerald Pools, the Grotto, and the Riverside Walk. The park shuttles take you to the beginning of the trails, so you should make sure you obtain a map that will tell you which shuttle stop takes you to which trail.
The maps from the visitor center are also helpful because they will tell you the difficulty level of each trail, the length of the trail in hours and miles, the change in elevation, and any other information pertinent to your safety.
After spending a day in the park, you will more than likely work up an appetite.
Within the park, you can dine at the Red Rock Grille Dining Room in the Zion Lodge. If you would like to eat there, it is highly recommended that you make reservations, especially during the peak seasons.
If you didn’t make reservations or you would like something quick and informal, you might prefer to eat at the Castle Dome Cafe in the lodge instead. You will also find a wide variety of dining and cuisine options outside of the park in Springdale.
You can make your experience even more incredible by making reservations to stay in the Zion Lodge, which has suites, rooms, and cabins, or you could venture outside of the park into Springdale.
Springdale also lies within the canyons and is the closest neighbor to the park. There are several hotels and campgrounds with access to the shuttle that goes through the town to the park. If camping is more your speed and you have enough time to make reservations well in advance, you might like to stay in one of the three campgrounds within the park.
The hiking trails, gorgeous, red cliffs, and wildlife will leave you breathless, and in the end, it won’t matter where you stay or eat. The beauty that Zion National Park offers will be enough to create memories that will certainly last a lifetime.