Are you looking for the best things to do in Zion National Park? With hiking, canyoneering, horseback riding, and more, this park has something for everyone. You’ll find all the information you need here to have an amazing time!
Introduction to Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a wonderland of stunning landscapes, geological wonders, and outdoor adventure opportunities. With so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start in this iconic natural playground.
Here are some of the top things to do in Zion National Park:
- Hiking: Zion offers some of the most breathtaking and diverse hiking trails in the country, ranging from easy walks to strenuous hikes.
- Scenic drives: Discover the park’s beauty on a scenic drive along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, offering stunning vistas of the park’s natural wonders.
- Rock climbing: Zion’s towering sandstone cliffs and canyons make it a world-class rock climbing destination.
- Wildlife spotting: Keep an eye out for Zion’s fascinating wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, and California condors.
- Camping: Experience the park’s natural beauty up close by camping in one of its many campgrounds.
Whether you want to explore the great outdoors, test your limits with adventurous activities, or simply take in the awe-inspiring scenery, Zion National Park has something for everyone.
Best Places to Visit in Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a stunning natural wonder full of breathtaking sights and outdoor activities. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Zion National Park.
Angels Landing: This is a thrilling hike that offers sweeping views of the park, but it’s not for the faint of heart. With steep switchbacks and narrow paths, it’s a strenuous hike that requires surefootedness and a head for heights.
The Narrows: Hiking in the Virgin River Narrows is a unique and refreshing experience. The hike is done in the river itself, with scenic canyon walls as the backdrop. This hike requires proper footwear and a walking stick.
Emerald Pools: The Emerald Pools are a serene and picturesque oasis amidst the rugged terrain of Zion. There are three pools to explore, each with a different level of difficulty.
Watchman Trail: The Watchman Trail is an easy-to-moderate hike that offers stunning views of the Watchman Tower and the Virgin River. The hike is especially beautiful during sunset.
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive: This is a scenic drive through the heart of Zion National Park. The drive is 6 miles long and offers breathtaking views of the park’s majestic landscape.
Whatever activity you choose, Zion National Park is sure to leave you awestruck with its beauty and wonder.
Popular Hiking Trails in Zion National Park
Zion National Park offers some of the best hiking trails in the world. There are hikes for every skill level, ranging from easy walks to challenging climbs.
Here are some of the most popular hiking trails in Zion National Park that should be on your list:
The Narrows: This hike takes you through the narrowest sections of Zion Canyon, with walls that soar up to 1,000 feet tall. You will be walking in the Virgin River for most of the hike and the views are breathtaking.
Angels Landing: This hike provides you with some of the most stunning views in the park. However, it also requires some serious endurance and courage as you will have to climb steep switchbacks and navigate narrow paths with cliff-drop offs.
Emerald Pools: An easy to moderate hike, Emerald Pools has several trails and offers a range of options for hikers. With beautiful waterfalls and glistening pools, this trail is one of the most popular in Zion National Park.
The Subway: This hike is known for its unique terrain as it takes you through a tunnel-like formation in the rock. The Subway requires canyoneering equipment and proper training since it involves swimming, wading, and scrambling on slick rock.
Observation Point: The hike to Observation Point begins with a moderate, uphill trail to the top of the mesa. However, the end result is worth the effort, with a stunning view of Zion Canyon from above.
Pro Tip: It is highly recommended to wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring plenty of water on any hike in Zion National Park. It’s also important to check the current trail conditions and weather forecast before setting out on your hike.
Lodging & Accommodation Options in Zion National Park
Zion National Park has several lodging and accommodation options offering unique experiences for travelers, ranging from camping to luxury stays.
The lodging options inside the park include:
- Zion Lodge: This historic hotel provides a rustic experience with modern amenities, including cabins and suites.
- Camping: Zion has three campgrounds offering both tent and RV camping, including Watchman Campground, South Campground, and Lava Point Campground.
- Backpacking: Zion’s backcountry has several picturesque campsites accessible only by hiking, requiring a permit to access.
Outside of the park, there are many other options to choose from, including bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and hotels. Springdale is the closest town to the park, offering visitors a variety of dining, lodging, and shopping options.
Pro tip: Advance reservations at the park’s lodging facilities can fill up quickly, so plan your trip well in advance.
Camping in Zion National Park
Camping in Zion National Park is a fantastic way to experience the beauty and grandeur of this iconic park. Along with exploring the outdoors, there are many exciting and engaging things to do while camping in the park.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Zion National Park; Angels Landing, The Narrows, and Observation Point are some of the top trails you must hike while camping in the park.
Canyoneering, horseback riding, and bicycling are other outdoor activities you can indulge in while camping in the park.
Don’t miss the opportunity to stargaze at night; the bright constellations and the Milky Way are sure to leave you in awe.
Lastly, you can always relax and unwind by the campfire, enjoying the natural sounds and tranquility of the park.
Pro tip: Plan ahead for your camping trip and reserve your campsite in advance since campsites fill up quickly, especially during peak season.
Dining & Shopping in Zion National Park
Dining and shopping in Zion National Park offer a unique experience, allowing visitors to enjoy delicious food and local craftsmanship surrounded by breathtaking views.
The Zion National Park Lodge and the Red Rock Grill both offer excellent dining options. From gourmet meals to quick bites, visitors can enjoy a wide range of food options while gazing out onto stunning vistas.
There are also several souvenir shops and stores, including the Zion Canyon Gift and Deli and the Park Forever Project, that sell locally made crafts, artwork, and souvenirs. These shops provide a great opportunity to take a piece of Zion back home with you.
Pro tip: Make sure to try the homemade fudge or ice cream at the Zion Canyon Gift and Deli–you won’t regret it!
Things to do Zion National Park
Zion National Park offers nature lovers a range of exciting activities and events all year round. From hiking and rock climbing to wildlife watching, there’s something for everyone at Zion National Park.
Here are some of the top things to do in Zion National Park:
1. Hiking: With over 90 miles of trails, Zion National Park is a hiker’s paradise. From easy walks like the Riverside Walk to challenging trails like the Angels Landing, there’s a hike for every skill level.
2. Rock Climbing: With its towering sandstone cliffs, Zion is a popular destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. The park offers guided climbs and a variety of climbing routes for all levels.
3. Canyoneering: Zion’s narrow canyons are perfect for canyoneering, a thrilling activity that involves rappelling, swimming, and navigating through narrow slots.
4. Wildlife Watching: From bighorn sheep to golden eagles, Zion is home to a variety of wildlife. Take a guided tour or explore on your own and keep your eyes peeled for these beautiful creatures.
5. Ranger-led Programs: The park offers a range of ranger-led programs, including guided hikes, campfire talks, and stargazing events. Pro tip: Check the park’s event calendar to plan your visit around these programs.
Tips for Visiting Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a majestic and awe-inspiring place to visit with a range of activities for all types of travelers. Here are some tips for things to do in Zion National Park:
Hike the Narrows: One of Zion’s most renowned hikes, the Narrows, is a 16-mile round-trip trek on the Virgin River through a narrow canyon that can soar up to 1,000 feet tall. Wear water-resistant shoes, and check the weather conditions before starting.
Take the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway: This 25-mile stretch of road features several points of interest, including the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, Checkerboard Mesa, and Canyon Overlook Trail. Plan your drive early in the morning to avoid traffic.
Watch the sunrise from the Canyon Overlook Trail: The Canyon Overlook is one of the most iconic viewpoints in the park, offering breathtaking views of Zion Canyon and the Virgin River. The trail requires a moderate level of fitness and takes about 1-2 hours.
Visit the Emerald Pools: The Emerald Pools are a series of three interconnected pools and waterfalls, offering a relaxing and rewarding hike for visitors of all levels. Plan to visit in the morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds.
Pro tip: Bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen on your visit to Zion National Park, and respect the park’s rules and regulations to preserve its natural beauty for generations to come.