National Parks

Zion National Park, Utah


Zion National Park is Utah’s first national park and is one among the most visited national parks in the USA. Zion showcases not just the breathtaking views of its expansive canyons, but also offers plenty of other activities like hiking, camping, backpacking, climbing, and more. Hiking through The Narrows and The Subway are extremely challenging.

These photos are from our visit to Zion National Park during the last week of September 2014.

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • Best time to visit: April to October
    • Good weather and less crowd: April to May and September to October
    • Peak Season: June to August
  • Fly into
    • Las Vegas and Salt Lake City: Good deals and major international airports. McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas) is almost a 3 hour drive to the south entrance of Zion National Park and Salt Lake City International Airport is about 4 and 1/2 drive to the south entrance of Zion National Park 
    • Page and Flagstaff: Small airports and limited flights. Page is about 2 and a 1/2 hours drive and Flagstuff is almost 4 and a 1/2 hours drive to the Park entrance
  • Clothing
    • Comfortable pants, hiking shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, capri, sweatshirts, hats, sunglasses, sunscreens, comfortable walking/hiking shoes, and rain gears. It will be cooler in Spring and Fall, so dress in layers
  • How many days: At least one full day
  • Before you go, do not forget to check the park website for alerts on flash floods, road closure, and trail/hike conditions
  • Check the weather forecast before you head out. Flash floods can occur at any time in Zion National Park and are unpredictable. Be aware and avoid those areas that are likely to flood
  • Entrance Fee: $35 per vehicle or from $20 to $30 per person/motorcycle, good for seven days
  • Try to be there early in the morning for best light, more elbow room, and more importantly to get a parking spot. The parking is limited and commonly fill up early in the day
  • The park offers free shuttles during the busiest months (spring, summer and fall). Private vehicles are not allowed when shuttles are running, so taking the park shuttle is mandatory. The shuttle starts at 6 am from Zion Canyon Visitor Center. runs very 8-10 mins and stops at many attraction points
  • Take food and water so you can spend the day touring
  • Weak/no cell phone signals in some areas of the park, highly recommend to have maps downloaded or printed
  • There is a lot to capture, so keep your camera ready. Make sure that your camera is fully charged and also keep backup batteries and memory cards
  • What To Expect
    • Canyons, Towering cliff walls, Orange and Cream Colored rolling ridged mountains, Scattering large pine trees valley, Calm Pools, Weeping Rocks, Virgin River, Waterfalls
  • Places to See
    • Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Museum, Court of the Patriarchs, Emerald Pools, The Grotto, The Weeping Rock, The Big Bend, Temple Of Sinawava, The Narrows, Canyon Overlook
  • Best Things To Do
    • Enjoy driving the Zion Canyon Scenic Road that takes you to many of the parks’ popular landmarks. Road is open to private vehicles from December to February
    • Take a free shuttle bus and enjoy the Zion canyon along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The shuttle buses take you to several attraction points including the most famous sites in the park, the Angels Landing and The Narrows. The best way to explore Zion is by taking hassle free, hop and hop the park free shuttle bus
    • Drive the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway which is as scenic as Zion Canyon Drive. Go through the famous Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel and enjoy the wonderful ride through the Upper East Canyon. Checkerboard Mesa is the first stop from the East Entrance of the park. The landscape here looks different from other parts of Zion and changes to a mix of white and amber colored stone mountain ridges with large pine trees
  • Easy and Popular Hikes
    • Weeping Rock: A half-mile easy round-trip walk from the shuttle stop (stop #7 on the Zion shuttle bus) offers a close up look of the water dripping from a large bowl shaped hallow stone, beautiful view of the lush hanging gardens that attached to sheer cliff wall, and a unique view of the Great White Throne
    • Riverside Walk: An easy paved 2.2 mile round trail runs along the Virgin river and is the last stop on the Zion shuttle bus (stop #9, Temple of Sinawava). This trail offers lush hanging gardens, colored hugging rock wall, great views of the Virgin river and waterfalls. The more rugged Narrow Trail begins at the end of the Riverside walk trail where the canyon becomes so narrow. The Narrow is a gorge with walls a thousand feet tall and the river just 20-30 feet wide
    • Lower and Upper Emerald Pool: A winding 2 mile round-trip paved trail from the shuttle stop (stop #5 Zion Lodge) offers a weeping wall, waterfalls, bridges and calm pools at the base
    • Grotto Trail: A nice and short one mile round trip trail that connects Zion Lodge (shuttle bus stop #5) to the Grotto and offers spectacular views of the canyons
    • Canyon Overlook Trail: This 1 mile short, but little steep round trip trail starts immediately after exiting the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel in the Upper East Canyon of Zion National Park. This trail offers great views of Zion Canyons, Bridge Mountain, Route 9 switchbacks, Pine Creek Stream and east Temple. Take caution while hiking on those slippery loose sand areas
  • Nearby Attractions