This is one of the coolest, most epic places in the world, period. Even though the hikes here might be a bit on the longer side, they’re the best way to experience the park. There are some parks that can be appreciated from inside a car on a park loop road, but Zion isn’t one of them.
“where the ancients walked”
Follow the paths where ancient native people and pioneers walked. Gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. Challenge your courage in a narrow slot canyon. Zion National Park's unique array of plants and animals will enchant you as you absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures. Almost 12,000 years ago Zion's first peoples, who are now almost invisible, tracked mammoth, giant sloth, and camel across southern Utah. Due to climate change and overhunting these animals died out about 8,000 years ago. Humans adapted by focusing on mid-sized animals and gathered foods. As resources dwindled 2,600 years ago, people tuned lifeways to the specifics of place. Such a culture, centered on Zion, differentiated over the next 1,500 years into a farming tradition archeologists call Virgin Anasazi. Zion's geology provided these and later pioneer farmers a combination rare in the desert: a wide, level place to grow food, a river to water it, and an adequate growing season. On the Colorado Plateau crops grow best between 5,000 and 7,000 feet, making Zion's elevations -- 3,666 to 8,726 feet -- almost ideal. Differences in elevation also encourage diverse plants and animals; mule deer and turkey wander forested plateaus; bighorn sheep and juniper prosper in canyons. Those walking the slot canyon are advised to beware of flash flooding, which can completely submerge the canyon in a matter of minutes, leaving those inside without an escape.
Heaven on Earth! Too many great things to say about this place. Hands down best national park in the lower 48. Downtown Springdale, UT has great little restaurants/bars and stores to get all your camping/tubing/river exploring needs taken care of are all nearby. Check in with ranger station to check weather before going out to explore Zion. Don't want to be anywhere miles out and have a thunderstorm come rolling through followed by flash flooding especially the river. Thunderstorms there are like none I had ever seen before. You have to do the Virgin River hike. Get the river boots, walking sticks and figure out a way to keep your camera waterproofed (be creative). My teenage daughter thought I was nuts the first time we set out to do this hike - moaned and groaned all the way down to the river. That stopped about 30 minutes into the hike. Now it's a disappointment if we don't go to Zion yearly and do the hike and lay on the ground for hours star gazing (they look like you could reach out and grab them). Stay hydrated! Best picture I have is of my daughter waist deep in water, dirty, sweaty and exhausted surrounded by the sheer beauty of the canyon/river. It's the smile on her face and the thumbs up that speak volumes. Best hike we have done. Each time we've done it it's been just as exciting as the first time and we see something different each time. I would live there if given the opportunity.
Easily my favorite place in the world. Take the beautiful views of the Grand Canyon, the accessibility of Bryce Canyon, and slap them together. You have Zion, the most unique and wonderful place I have ever been.
Camping here is great, but hot, so keep that in mind when you come down. Full hook-ups are available, but you will need to book in advance.
Use caution when hiking in the slot canyons, and flash floods can come at any time (even when there are clear skies, as storms up river can cause them).
Things may seem crowded at first, but the farther along trails you hike, the more alone you will be. Walk through the towering sandstone cliffs and listen to the beautiful calls of the Canyon Wren as you enjoy this incredible marvel of a place.
Some of the trails you don't want to miss, and a short description:
The Narrows: There are two ways to hike the narrows, either top down (which requires either two cars, or a shuttle to take you up early in the morning) or bottom-up. Most folks opt to take River Walk (bottom-up), which begins paved, but will eventually lead you into the river, at which point you hike in/along the river for as far as you like. If you want to go top-down, you will need to obtain a back-country permit. Widely considered one of the best hikes in the world.
Angel's Landing: One of the most Iconic images of Zion, Angel's landing is not a hike for those who are afraid of heights. With narrow ledges and sheer cliffs, you are given only a chain to use as you travel along the trail to the peak of Angel's Landing. But the reward when you get there is one of the best views of the canyon that you will see.
Hidden Canyon: One of the most beautiful hikes in Zion, in my opinion. Similar to Angle's landing, you will be using chains next to a steep cliff, though the distance you are doing this is much shorter. Hidden Canyon offers solitude like no other trail in Zion (if you travel far enough in). If you want to go beyond the normal trail and continue following the wash, you will be doing some small amounts of rock scrambling.
The Subway: Absolutely stunning hike in western Zion, which requires a back country permit. Formations unlike any you will see anyone else. Requires some rappelling to complete the whole trail.
These are only some of the many incredible hikes in Zion, and none of them will disappoint. Please be safe and bring LOTS of water. In the summer time, temperatures in Zion easily break 100 degrees. Luckily, the shade of the canyons offers some respite from the heat. A must-visit park for anyone.
An auto tour in Zion National Park is a must-do. The fabulous vistas and the easy access to short hikes will keep you occupied for as long as you like.
Just spectacular! We got up early to catch the 6am shuttle to the observation point hike. It was well worth it to beat the crowds and the heat (it was in the triple digits later on!). Observation hike actually looks down on angels landing but the hike itself is not as scary. It's close to 10 miles round trip but the last mile up is easier And coming down is quick. We stopped by the weeping wall after, it was neat and easy so there were more people. Later in the afternoon we hiked the emerald pools, they were nice but did not compare to observation point and they were crowded with people.
The park is great - park in Springdale town, then free shuttle buses pickup all along the main street taking you to the vistor centre and park entrance. Pay for your entry - KEEP THE TICKET WITH YOU. More free shuttle buses run around the park taking you to the major sights,
'The Narrows' hike is a must!
This is one of the most stunning sights in America, pictures and video cannot do it justice. The vibrant red of the rocks and windy roads thorough monolithic natural rock formations are a must-see while you're in the Southwest.
I can't point on the reason, but that's one of the first times I was shocked from the amazing views, and I visited many of the famous national parks in the U.S. go to the narrows and walk in the water. yes, you will get wet, but it feels like a great achievement and lots of fun. go to the emerald pools too. you don't have to get to the top.
Definitely take the Angels Landing hike. It's breathtaking. There's also a great shuttle service that's now running that takes you to loads of trailheads. Does get pretty crowded in summer. Camping fills up pretty quickly, so you wanna book that early. The Subway hike is a little strenuous but worth it for the unbelievable photo-op you get at the end. Some hikes do require permits, so check that out before you go.
This is the most amazing place in the lower 48. An absolute must go to, even if it's a few hundred miles out of your way.
This was one of the most stunning places I have ever been to. A must visit for any outdoor lover. It's a landscape photographer's candy land!
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Zion National Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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Good for bird watching, climbing, and 8 more activities.
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- National park
Campground, Parking, Dining