Facts about Zion National Park

  • The Main Canyon is 15 miles long.
  • The original name of the park was Mukuntuweap which means "straight canyon".
  • The name: Zion in ancient Hebrew means sanctuary.
  • The canyon was carved over millions of years by the elements.
  • Zion is a home to the California Condor which is an endangered species. 
  • Home to Kolob Arch, one of the largest freestanding natural arches.

Where is Zion National Park - How to Get There

Zion National Park is located in the southwest corner of Utah.
Remember that various states in the west are in different time-zones, so adjust your anticipated arrival times accordingly.
Directions to Zion National Park from various locations. 
Las Vegas, Nevada:
Distance: Approximately 160 miles (257 kilometers)
Route: Take I-15 north from Las Vegas.
Driving Time: About 2.5 to 3 hours.
Specifics: Follow I-15 north, passing through the towns of Mesquite and St. George. Take exit 16 for State Route 9 east, and follow the signs to Zion National Park.

Salt Lake City, Utah:
Distance: Approximately 308 miles (495 kilometers)
Route: Take I-15 south from Salt Lake City.
Driving Time: About 4.5 to 5 hours.
Specifics: Drive south on I-15, passing through towns such as Provo and Cedar City. Take exit 27 for State Route 17, and follow the signs to Zion National Park.

Denver, Colorado:
Distance: Approximately 600 miles (965 kilometers)
Route: Take I-70 west from Denver, then I-15 south.
Driving Time: About 9 to 10 hours.
Specifics: Drive west on I-70, passing through Grand Junction, Colorado. Merge onto I-15 south in Utah and continue until you reach exit 27 for State Route 17. Follow the signs to Zion National Park.

Phoenix, Arizona:
Distance: Approximately 390 miles (627 kilometers)
Route: Take I-17 north, then I-40 east, and finally I-15 north.
Driving Time: About 6 to 7 hours.
Specifics: Drive north on I-17 from Phoenix until you reach I-40. Head east on I-40, and then merge onto I-15 north. Continue on I-15 until you reach exit 16 for State Route 9, following the signs to Zion National Park.
Always check for real-time traffic updates and road conditions, as they may affect travel times. Additionally, it's advisable to have a reliable GPS system or map to navigate the specific roads leading to Zion National Park from these locations.
Zion Ponderosa

Zion National Park Q&A

Top 10 most asked questions about Utah's Zion National Park.
The best time to visit Zion National Park is weekdays during the spring (March to May), and in the fall (September to early November), when temperatures are mild, and the park is sometimes less crowded. Summer is a popular time but can be very hot in the main canyon, and is likely to be crowded. The upper east side of the park, at 6,000+ feet in elevation, can be a little cooler in the summer. Resorts such as Zion Ponderosa, which borders the upper east side of the park, may be the best place to stay during hot summer month visits.
Yes, Zion National Park operates a shuttle system in the main canyon to manage traffic congestion. The shuttle is mandatory during peak seasons (approximately 10 months of the year). The park also provides a Springdale town shuttle for transportation between the park and nearby accommodations.
Some popular hiking trails in Zion include Angels Landing, The Narrows, Observation Point, Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock, and Canyon Overlook. Each trail offers unique perspectives of the park's stunning scenery.
Permits are required for certain hikes, including Angels Landing, The Subway, The full length of The Narrows, and overnight backpacking trips. Check with the park's official website or visitor center for specific permit requirements and availability.
Yes, there are three campgrounds in Zion: South Campground, Watchman Campground, and Lava Point Campground (on the Kolob Terrace). Reservations are recommended, especially during the peak season.
Common wildlife in Zion includes mule deer, bighorn sheep, rock squirrels, various bird species including California condors, ravens, hawks, turkey vultures, and eagles.
Yes, Zion is renowned for its rock climbing opportunities. Permits are required for climbing the park's peaks, and climbers should be experienced due to the height and technical nature of the routes.
The Narrows is a famous hike in Zion, where hikers wade through the Virgin River within a wide slot canyon. The Narrows hike is known for its towering walls and is one of the most unique and popular trails in the park. The water is warm enough to walk through in summer, without warm gear, but protective thermal shoes and pants should be worn in colder months. This waterway trail is generally not accessible during spring snow-melt run-off.
The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is the main road in the park. During most of the year you must drive to the park's south entrance, park your vehicle, and then ride a park-provided shuttle into the main canyon.
It is not recommended as pets are generally not allowed on most trails in Zion National Park. This restriction is in place to protect wildlife and preserve the park's natural environment. However, pets are allowed in certain areas, including developed campgrounds and specific paved walking trail areas such as the Pahrus trail. Always check current regulations before bringing a pet.
Zion Ponderosa

Zion National Park Trails