5 Reasons to Visit Zion National Park
Zion National Park sits on the throne of Utah's Mighty 5, as its Utah's most visited National Park. Its canyons and mesas boast an incredibly beauty, even in a state known for dramatic landscapes. The opportunity to explore Zion National Park is for people of all ages and abilities, from its scenic byways to its backcountry trails.
Wildlife watchers are graced with more than 200 bird species, while hikers can test their endurance and venture out on the trails. In addition to hiking Zion National Park, which is the major reason why most people visit. Here is a few other reasons to visit this majestic place.
The best way to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Zion National Park is to camp. The Watchman Campground and South Campground are located in Zion Canyon and are extremely popular (especially mid-March through November). Be sure to make a reservation or show up early in the day to get a site. The Watchman Campground, named after a rock formation that stretches 6,545 feet high and situated on a bench above the North Fork Virgin River, is the largest campground in the park.
The hiking in Zion National Park is world-famous. It's a place where hikers of all abilities can find trails that lead to breathtaking vistas, clear pools, natural arches, and narrow canyons. There are many rewarding and relatively easy day hikes for those with families that can be accessed in Zion Canyon. The Pa’rus Trail and the Riverside Walk are two wheelchair accessible hikes that offer an amazing sample of Zion’s incredible scenery.
Some other easy day hikes include the Emerald Pools Trails, which offer spring fed pools, waterfalls, and views of the canyon. The Weeping Rock Trail leads to a spring where water trickles down from the Navajo sandstone above; and the slightly longer Canyon Overlook Trail, which leads to a high overlook offering incredible views of the lower reaches of Zion Canyon. For the more experienced hikers in search of adventure, consider tackling the Taylor Creek Trail, Angels Landing, The Narrows, and Kolob Arch.
With more than 200 species of birds, Zion National Park is a birder’s paradise. The Peregrine falcon, the bald eagle, and the California condor can all be found nesting in their native habitat without being disturbed. The threatened Mexican spotted owl also calls Zion home. Not only can you search for birds, you can also observe other flora and fauna while walking along the trail, including more than a thousand plant species and dozens of species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
Canyoneering and rock climbing is one of the most popular things to do in Zion; however, it's much harder than hiking and often involves rappelling, swimming, and other skills. Those interested in canyoneering should contact one of the guide services that teach courses and lead trips into the park. If you would like experience rock climbing without the dangers of Zion then consider one of the many companies in Springdale that can introduce you to the sport at areas just outside the park. Many of these companies offer a variety of lessons and guided climbs for people with no experience.
Lastly, it's not necessary to venture off the road to experience the beauty of Zion National Park. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is a 6 mile road that follows some of Zion’s most incredible scenery. This road is closed to the public from April to October, but regularly scheduled shuttle busses provide a great way to relax and enjoy the scenery — or stop to take a hike before catching another bus back down the canyon.
The Zion Park Scenic Byway that slices through the park was completed in 1930 and was considered one of the greatest road building accomplishments in history at that time. As you climb in elevation, passing through two narrow tunnels blasted through the cliffs, you will understand why! I encourage you to pay this magnificent park a visit, it'll leave you speechless.
For our complete guide to National Parks Outdoor Activities, click here.
DO YOU HAVE A STORY TO SHARE? SEND US AN EMAIL, AND SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA USING #THEMODERNDAYEXPLORER
About The Author
In 2015, Founder of TMDE Paul Martinez left a career in sales for a life of exploring. In just a matter of months he had visited over 10 countries, 30 cities, 10 states, countless national parks, taken thousands of photographs, and did a ton of soul-searching. His search uncovered a deep passion for exploration; which he now believes to be the essence of the human spirit, and led to the birth of The Modern Day Explorer. You can follow him on his personal journey by visiting his Instagram, and hopefully continue to support TMDE by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.