Zion National Park, Utah

Latest visit: October 2017

Tips:

  • If you plan on making it to multiple national parks in a year, the Annual pass will be worth it ($80). You can purchase it at the park entrance or online (ahead of time).
  • There is a free shuttle from the cute town of Springdale to the Visitor Center and a second one that operates through the park (also free).
  • Hikes: Bring water, snacks and have good walking shoes. Most of the trails we did were paved and hiking boots were not necessary.
    • Emerald pools: Lower & middle: cute easy hike in nature. We didn’t make it to the higher one since we wanted to make it back in time to catch the last shuttle.
    • Observation point: this is an 8-mile hike (round trip) with steep climbs and switchbacks and some parts of it can be challenging but the observation point is well worth it! You get a view of the whole valley inside the canyon. Essentially this hike brings you from the bottom of the canyon to the very top of it.
    • Riverside walk: the shuttle will bring you to this path. It’s fully paved and accessible to wheelchairs and young kids. You have to walk through here to get to the Narrows.
    • The Narrows: Rent the special boots & booties at the visitor center. They will also supply you with a walking stick. Put all your valuables in a plastic bag and make sure the backpack you bring with you is waterproof… or don’t fall! This is more of a walk than a hike although walking through a stream in a canyon is a different type of challenge. Depending on the time of year and water level, you can get water up to your mid-thigh and can’t always see your toes clearly so you need to rely on that walking stick. You can walk through the river for 10 miles round trip, although we probably only did 1 mile. This was quite a unique experience!
    • Angels Landing- to my huge disappointment this hike was closed for restoration while we were there. It’s described as one of the world’s most renowned hikes and is an unforgettable short adventure hike worthy of all bucket lists. NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED. MORE FOR THE DIE HARDED. I will be back for this one!
    • There are many more hikes in Zion.
  • Book your hotels ahead of time! I strongly recommend the SpringHill suites if you are feeling like a reasonably priced hotel experience not too far from the park. If you feel like splurging a little bit more you can stay at Zion Lodge, which is in the park but far from the little town of Springdale. As for camping, I saw the site that is next to the entrance and wouldn’t recommend it unless you don’t mind being close to your neighbors and being close to the shuttle stop. You should also check out glamping options with Under Canvas!
  • The closest town to Zion is Springdale and it has everything including a grocery store, shops and restaurants.
  • Weather: we were there early October and the weather was perfect for hiking. The evenings can get a little bit chilly so I would plan on a light jacket.

Impressions:

Springdale is a very cute, quiet town. Although restaurant options aren’t abundant, they are sufficient for the size of the town. Don’t expect to find bars or a party scene… this is a town of hikers and nature lovers. Surprisingly, my friend and I were the youngest around. I’m still trying to figure out why since it’s only a 2 and a half hour drive from Vegas. Possibly the time of year?

The National Park was breathtaking. The drive from Las Vegas to Springdale was already quite beautiful but it didn’t prepare me for the beauty of this place. As the shuttle brings you through the park, you learn some history about the park and the natives and I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

Once you’re on the hikes, it’s almost surreal. How is it possible that you are actually part of the décor that you were just staring at from the bottom of the canyon? And with every hike, you discover a new face of the Park, whether it is with your hair blowing in the wind at the very top of the canyon or at the very bottom with your feet in the river.

I want to make it back to this park to hike Angels Landing and explore other parts of this wonderful place.

Driving to Zion from Vegas:

Springhill suite hotel views:

Emerald Pools walk:

Observation Point:

The Narrows:

Related posts: Antelope Canyon & Waterhole CanyonCanyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National ParkTorrey, Arches National Park, Page & surroundingsBryce Canyon National Park,  Moab and Salt Lake City.

Menu