Zion National Park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful national parks in all of America. Located in southwestern Utah it is famous for its massive Zion Canyon. The canyon walls are a stunning reddish color and the unique geography of the park makes it the ideal home for many species of animals.

It is easily one of the most spectacular attractions that Utah has on offer and is something that everyone should visit. It may be smaller than the massive and utterly stunning Grand Canyon, but it is spectacular in its own right. See here for the best time to hike the Zion National Park.

THETRAVEL VIDEO OF THE DAY

About Zion National Park

  • Length: Zion Canyon Is 15 Miles Long
  • Depth: Zion Canyon Is Around 2,640 Feet Deep
  • Bird Species: Around 289
  • Established: 1919

The park has a high elevation, varying between 3,666 feet and 8,726 feet above sea level. It is bursting with scores of incredible landmarks, besides its world-famous canyons, it has buttes, mesas, slots canyons, natural arches, mountains, monoliths, rivers, and four life zones (riparian, woodland, desert, and coniferous forest).

Zion National Park was Utah's first national park and today is a hiking paradise. It can be visited year-round, although activities and services may be limited out of season.

Entering The Park

The admission ticket is a week-long ticket valid for a particular vehicle. So visitors should only need to pay the fee once even if they are spending their whole vacation at the park.

  • Weekly Pass: $35.00 Per Private Vehicle Valid For 7 Days
  • Individual: $20.00 Per Person - Without A Car (Cycling, Hiking Etc) Valid For 7 Days

For those planning to fly in then, the closest international airports are Mccarran International Airport of Las Vegas and the Salt Lake City International Airport, the park is a 3 or 4-hour drive from these airports respectively. The closest regional airport is St. George Regional Airport, its only an hour's drive from the park although flights are limited. Another regional option is the Cedar City Regional Airport.

Outdoor Activities

Zion National Park is one of America's great outdoor playgrounds and boasts a full range of activities for any holidaymakers to indulge in and enjoy. There is everything from stunning nature walks to guided horseback riding trips. While the park is open year-round some of these activities may be seasonal. If in doubt then the friendly rangers at the visitor centers at the Zion Canyon and the Kolob Canyon help visitors plan their stay when they get there.

There are seven trails ranging from half an hour to 8 hours for the round-trip time. Two of the most popular hiking trails are Taylor Creek (around 4 hours to complete) and Kolob Arch (around 8 hours to complete). For more information about day-hikes see the Park Service's webpage.

Some of the other outdoor activities in the park include:

  • Boating & Paddleboarding
  • Canoeing And Kayaking
  • Canyoneering
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hot Air Ballooning And Other Aerial Tours
  • Hunting And Fishing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Hang Gliding and Ski Diving
  • Rock Climbing
  • And In The Winter: Skiing And Snowmobiling

Related: 20 Random Things Travelers Should Know Before Visiting The Grand Canyon

The Narrows

One of the most popular and strenuous hikes of the park is the Narrows. This is the narrowest section of the Zion Canyon with its walls rising abruptly a thousand feet high with the river widening to around 20-30 feet. Be sure to bring one's water shoes as to hike this part one needs to get their feet wet as there is no trail. The most popular way to hike this is starting from the "Temple of Sinawava" accessed by the Riverside Walk and then hiking upstream before turning back around.

Related: This Is The Best Month To Visit The Grand Canyon, And Which Tour To Take While You're There

Accommodations

The gateway to Zion National Park is the nearby city of Springdale. Springdale is a veritable stone's throw from the park and has options for all budgets and accommodation preferences. There are also accommodation options within the park at Zion Lodge as well as other options further out of the park at Mount Carmel, Kanab, or St. George.

  • Flanigan's Inn: Flanigan's Is The Only All-Inclusive Resort Actually Inside The Zion Canyon. It Boasts The Spotted Dog Cafe And The Deep Canyon Spa

Some of the best accommodation options in the area include:

  • Cable Mountain Lodge
  • Zion Mountain Ranch
  • Zion Ponderosa
  • Cliffrose Lodge

If one is looking for a camping experience there then there are:

  • South Campground: $20 Per Night For Individual Sites Or $50 Per Night For Group Sites
  • Watchman Campground: $20-30 Per Night For Individual Sites or $50-130 Per Night For Group Sites (These Are Reservable)
  • Zion Lodge: Located Inside The National Park. Was Designed Back In 1924. Today Is One Of The Historic Hotels Of America And Offers Stunning Rustic Accommodation

Next: Under Canvas Grand Canyon: Why This Arizona Glampsite Is The Best During The Fall