Home to Angels Landing, The Subway, and The Narrows.
4,000 to 8,500 Feet
Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah is an iconic destination located in southwestern Utah. It is a stunning landscape filled with dramatic canyons, majestic mountains, and remarkable hikes. This national park was established in 1909 and covers 229 square miles of extraordinary beauty.
One of the most popular attractions here is Zion Canyon. This spectacular area offers some of the best views of Zion National Park. This 16-mile stretch of canyon walls towers up to 2,000 feet high and is carved with stunning colors and shapes. The canyon is home to numerous species of animals, plants, and birds that make it a great place for bird-watching enthusiasts.
Visitors can explore Zion Canyon by taking one of the many hiking trails that stretch through the canyon. Popular hikes include Angel’s Landing, The Great White Throne Trail, and The Narrows. Each one offers its own unique beauty and breathtaking views of Zion National Park.
Zion National Park also offers exceptional camping opportunities. There are several campgrounds located in the park, including South Campground and Watchman Campground. These campsites provide stunning views and easy access to trails, making them ideal spots for a peaceful getaway.
Zion National Park is also home to some of the most beautiful rock formations in the world. The Court of the Patriarchs, located in Zion Canyon, features three imposing sandstone towers many of which are 2,000 to 3,000 feet tall. Further along the canyon walls are the Checkerboard Mesa and The Sentinel, two other remarkable rock formations that tower over the landscape.
Zion National Park is known for its remarkable geological features. It contains some of the oldest rocks in the world, dating back to more than 200 million years ago. The park is home to an impressive array of sedimentary rock formations, including sandstone arches and canyons as well as hoodoos and other interesting structures. There are also many impressive geological features created by the forces of erosion, such as slot canyons and waterfalls. Visitors to Zion National Park will be amazed at the powerful forces of nature that created this beautiful landscape.
Kolob Arch is another popular destination in Zion National Park. This remarkable arch stands 306 feet tall and stretches 331 feet long, making it one of the world’s longest natural arches. It is accessed by foot via the Kolob Canyons Trailhead, and is a 14-mile round-trip hike. In terms of geology, Kolob Arch is a striking example of the forces of erosion and how it has shaped the landscape over millions of years. Its spectacular expanse and height make it a great spot for photography and sightseeing, making it one of Zion National Park's must-see attractions.
Zion National Park is a beloved destination that has been around for over 100 years. It was first established as Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909 and then became Zion National Park in 1919 when the U.S. Congress passed the Act of Dedication creating it. In 1930, the mile-long tunnel was completed in one of the canyon walls, which was a significant event in Zion's history. Over the years, Zion has seen a steady increase in popularity as tourists from all over the world flock to this beautiful area. Today, Zion National Park offers visitors spectacular scenery, incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, and unforgettable adventures.
Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah is home to a wide variety of wildlife. It is an important sanctuary for mountain lions, bighorn sheep, deer, and other mammals. There are also numerous species of birds that can be seen here, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, falcons and American kestrels. There are also many reptiles, amphibians and fish that call Zion their home.
Highway 9 is the main road through the park is open year round. Occasional winter snow storms may temporarily close the road but crews are great at quickly clearing the roads.
Guest services such as lodging, shuttles, and visitor centers have varying hours, depending on the season. The Zion National Park visitor centers are open each day (please check the park web-site for seasonal hours).
KOLOB FINGERS SECTION
This road is just five miles long and visitors can drive in and out to view the five major canyons that are found here. Visitor center hours are more limited to this lesser visited area. There is a few to enter this section of the park.
The main section of Zion National Park is accessible from the southwest and from the east via Interstate 15 (west), and Scenic Highway 89 (east).
Access to the Kolob Canyons (often referred to as the Kolob Fingers) section of the park is from Interstate 15, and is located approximately 20 miles south of Cedar City, Utah.
Access to the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park is from the town of Virgin on Highway 9.
Which airport is best for a visit Zion National Park?
LAS VEGAS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
This is the nearest major airport that offers direct flights to and from many major destinations. This airport is a three-hour drive to/from Zion National Park.
ST. GEORGE REGIONAL AIRPORT
This is the closest airport to Zion that offers limited commercial flights via several major cities in the west and is less than a one-hour drive to/from the park.
SALT LAKE CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
This airport offers direct flights to/from many foreign and domestic destinations and is an approximate four-hour drive to the park.
Things to do at Zion National Park
There are dozens of trails that traverse the park, ranging from short, easy hikes to strenuous backpacking trips. Two of the world’s most unique hiking trails are found in Utah’s Zion National Park; The Narrows and Angels Landing. Other activities include biking, horseback riding, bird watching, camping and rock climbing.
Zion National Park also offers visitors a unique experience with its ranger-led programs. These programs provide visitors with an in-depth look into the park’s history, wildlife and geology.
Camping at Zion National Park is a popular way to experience the park’s beauty. There are several campgrounds located within the park, most of which offer stunning views and easy access to trails. Campers can choose between primitive sites and more developed sites with amenities such as picnic tables and fire grates.
Horseback riding is another popular way to explore Zion National Park. Horseback riders can take guided tours through the park or enjoy a peaceful ride along one of the many trails. The park also offers horse corrals for those who wish to bring their own horses. Horseback riding is a great way to get up close and personal with Zion’s stunning scenery.
Canyoneering is a popular activity in Zion National Park. This form of exploration involves rappelling, climbing and swimming through the unique canyons and slot canyons that are found throughout the park. Canyoners must have specialized gear and experience for this activity, as well as permits from the park service.
Guided horseback riding, canyoneering, Jeep Tours, hiking, and slot canyon tours are provided outside Zion National Park by companies such as East Zion Adventures.
Zion National Park offers ranger-led activities that provide visitors with an in-depth look into the park’s history, geology and wildlife. These programs include guided hikes, night sky tours and nature walks. Rangers also lead educational programs and presentations that focus on the area’s geology and natural history. The park rangers are knowledgeable, passionate and friendly and provide visitors with a unique experience. Ranger-led activities are a great way to explore Zion National Park in an interactive and informative setting while learning more about the park’s ecology and history.
Planning your trip to Zion National Park
With its stunning scenery, incredible wildlife and wide range of activities, Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah offers something for everyone. There are many options for visitors to plan their trip, from arranging a guided tour to renting a car and exploring the park on their own. Be sure to research the park thoroughly before planning your trip, as there are a variety of activities and attractions that can be enjoyed. It’s important to plan ahead and book any necessary reservations early in order to ensure availability. With proper planning, Zion National Park is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
East Zion is the area east of Zion National park and encompasses the upper plateau from the east gate of Zion National Park and the adjacent valley. Within the valley are the communities of Mt. Carmel Junction, Mt. Carmel, Orderville, and Glendale. Lodging, dining, and outdoor outfitters operate in this area and are anchored by such operations as Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort,Zion Mountain Ranch, and East Zion Adventure company.
The community of Springdale is found on the southwest boundary of Zion National Park and this town offers, lodging, dining, and recreation services. The Visitor Center for the park is located on the edge of town, just inside the park, and it is from here that the shuttles into the main canyon of Zion depart.
Hurricane / La Verkin
These two neighboring communities lie approximately 20-25 minutes west of Zion National Park along Scenic Route 9. Both also offer lodging, dining services. Outdoor recreation companies may be found in Hurricane, Utah.
This community is found approximately 30 minutes southeast of Zion National Park and hotels, motels, vacation rentals, along with restaurants and outdoor adventure experiences are offered from here. Kanab sits at the crossroads for travelers moving between Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon North Rim, and Lake Powell.
St. George, Utah is far and away the largest community south of Utah's metro areas (Wasatch Front). With a regional airport, and all other travel services, St. George is an optional staging area for exploration of Zion National Park.
For those wanting to stay overnight, there are a variety of lodging options available. These range from standard hotels within the park to rustic campsites and cabins. There are also several private accommodations located nearby for those interested in more amenities. For those who prefer camping, there are ample opportunities throughout the park as well as numerous backcountry sites for those looking for a more remote experience.
For groups looking for a more luxurious stay, East Zion, Springdale, Utah, Hurricane, Utah and St. George, Utah have plenty of hotels and motels to choose from. These towns are located near the park and offer a variety of amenities such as restaurants, shops and entertainment. Destination resorts such as Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offer full service lodging, dining, and recreation experiences for visitors to Utah’s Zion National Park.
When it comes to dining, there are several restaurants and cafes located near the park. Many of these establishments offer regional cuisine and memorable views of the surrounding area. There are also several grocery stores located nearby if you prefer to bring your own food. Many of the campgrounds in Zion National Park also offer grills for visitors who want to bring their own meals.
There are fees for driving, walking and riding a motorcycle into the park. There are also fees for commercial tours that can be accessed when you come into the park or by booking in advance. For more information about fees and permits, visit the national park website for all amounts for Zion National Park.
Pets are not allowed anywhere in the park other than on the Pa’rus Trail, which is a paved trail that starts near the visitor center. Pets are also not allowed in wilderness areas, in public buildings, or on shuttles in Zion National Park. Pets may not be left unattended and must always be on a leash.
The location of the park in southwestern Utah and within a desert environment means that the Zion National Park lower elevations are quite warm in summer months (100+ degrees F), and relatively mild in the winter. The higher the elevations, the more different the temperatures will be. Some parts of the park experience winter snowstorms that remains of which will generally melt fairly quickly.
This region receives very little rain, but when it comes the hardened surfaces of the park soils and rock give the moisture few places to go, except down. Water accumulates quickly and can amass in pockets and in narrow canyons where the effects can sometimes be dangerous. Flash floods within slot canyons are an occasional concern and visitors should be aware of this.
Beat the crowds
Zion National Park is a busy place on most weekends between February and November. Weekdays are most busy between April and Mid-October. Many people have discovered the value of starting very early to beat the crowds and so you may find an initial rush on some of the shuttles, but this is still a good option. The other best option is to enter the park later in the afternoon when many visitors have already had a full day of experiences and may be leaving the park.
Rain is more rare in this desert climate but, on any given day, a visitor may experience a range of weather conditions. Night-time temps in Zion National Park can be effected by cloud cover, storms, and wind. The lower sections of the park are much warmer and it is wise to come with sunscreen, hats, and at least one extra layer of protection.
Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah is open year-round, although some areas may be closed or services are limited during the winter season due to snow and ice. Different activities are available depending on the season, so it's important to plan your trip accordingly. Weather can vary greatly in Zion National Park – temperatures can range from hot days in the summer to cold nights in the winter. Make sure to check the weather before heading out and bring plenty of layers if you plan on visiting during colder months.
Numerous guides and outfitters offer guided hiking, horseback riding, guided slot canyon adventures, UTV or ATV experiences, bike rentals (pedal/electric), and hiking gear for the Zion Narrows. View listings for these outfitters below.