Travel Guide: Zion National Park, UT

Zion National Park is located in Southwestern United States near Springdale, Utah. The Park is located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, given the unique geography and variety of life zones allows for unusual plant and animal diversity.

First settlers of this area were the Native Americans; however, Mormons eventually took over and since 1919 it has been declared as a National Park. Improvements in infrastructure in the late 1920s created a surge of visitors with people from all around the world flocking to this area to adore its natural beauty.

PREPARE YOURSELF

SLEEP

Hotels in the vicinity of Zion National Park range from as low as $60 and as high as $300 per night. The majority of less expensive hotels are located in the city of Kanab, which is located 20-30 miles from the Park. The hotels located in Springdale, which is within only a couple of miles from the Park, range from $130 per night and up.

Some are even as close as walking distance which can save you some money on the entrance fee. For those looking to stay inside of the park then consider the Zion Lodge, conveniently located just steps from the shuttle stop to one of the many hiking trails. You can also camp at one of the different campgrounds located in and around the park for about $15 per night, just make sure to reserve your spot ahead of time.

EAT

If you’re like me then you’re always hungry! Food is crucial, especially when hiking all around the park, so where and what do you eat? Well, if you’re planning to lodge or camp inside of the park then look into taking you’re own food. If you don’t then you’ll be grocery shopping in the town of Springdale, just a short drive away. For anyone passing through or lodging outside of the park then your classic fast food options are readily available at $4-$8 per meal or sit down restaurants costing $10-15 per meal, you can even purchase snacks at the gift shop if you’re just going to be in the park for only a couple of hours.

GETTING AROUND

Getting around Zion National Park is very easy  since the introduction of a public transportation system in the year 2000. Once inside of the park you can be shuttled to and from the 9 different shuttle stops proving access to the 18 different trails. It’s a nice drive through the reddish and tan colored Navajo sandstone that also provides history of the park and its trails over intercom.

If you are just passing though then look to stay on Zion Mount-Carmel Highway and keep your eyes open for the shoulder lanes spread throughout the highway, which are there for you to stop and enjoy the amazing views.

THINGS TO DO IN ZION

Hiking | Test your endurance on any of the 18 hiking trails rated from easy to strenuous. Although some can be a bit difficult, they offer beautiful scenery. Download your guide first!

The Narrows | The narrowest section of Zion Canyon. This gorge, with walls a thousand feet tall and the river sometimes just twenty to thirty feet wide, is one of the most popular areas in Zion National Park. You can see The Narrows by hiking along the paved, wheelchair accessible Riverside Walk for one mile from the Temple of Sinawava. If you wish to see more, you will be walking in the Virgin River. This can involve wading upstream for just a few minutes or it can be an all day hike.

Kolob Canyons | A section of Zion National Park is located at Exit 40 on Interstate 15, 40 miles north of Zion Canyon and 17 miles south of Cedar City. A five-mile scenic drive along the Kolob Canyons Road allows visitors to view the crimson canyons and gain access to various trails and scenic viewpoints.