Zion National Park in Southern Utah
Come visit the most visited National Park in the United States, Zion National Park in southern Utah. Zion was Utah's first National Park. Bring the entire family for a reunion. Your first experience to Zion National Park will be filled with amazing vistas and unforgettable family memories you will always cherish.
Guide to Zion National Park
The unique scenery in Zion Canyon is made up of sandstone that has been eroded over time by the Virgin River. This river is now one of the main corridors for visiting and exploring the park.
Many hiking trails are available from easy self-guided trails along the Virgin River banks, to more challenging one such as Angel's Landing and the Narrows, which consist of deep cut-out swaths of sandstone in the canyon that the river has eroded.
Zion Park Information
The soaring towers and massive monoliths of Zion National Park offer spectacular grandeur. Designated in 1909, Zion is Utah's oldest national park and with nearly 3 million visitors per year, it is also Utah's most popular park. A multi-passenger shuttle system is the only motorized transportation allowed in the main canyon during peak season. The shuttles let visitors sit back and enjoy Zion's lofty formations such as The Great White Throne, Angels Landing, and Weeping Rock. It also includes a "town loop" that stops in the town of Springdale at the park's south entrance. Visitor's can still use private vehicles to tour a portion of the park on Utah Highway 9 though a mountain tunnel. There are several easy, self-guided trails in Zion, including Gateway to the Narrows, which is suitable for strollers and wheelchairs with assistance. More adventurous or strenuous hikes are also found in the park.
Zion has two park entrances, both on Utah Route 9. One is 33 miles east of Interstate 15 and the other is 12 miles west of U.S. 89. The northern Kolob Canyons section is accessible off I-15, 18 miles south of Cedar City. Visitor center's campgrounds and historic Zion Lodge are open year round.
The Zion Experience
Read how one family described their experience to Zion:
"Our first time experiencing Zion National Park was amazing. We couldn't get over how beautiful the rock formations were, and the views of the valleys below. We loved the little shops you could stop at before entering the park for souvenirs. The road that runs through the park made it convenient to see all the beauty of the park with turn-offs to see the views and take pictures. We found ourselves making frequent stops to get out of the car and take pictures. The shuttle bus that takes you around the park and to fun interesting places you can't really see in your own car was fun and interesting. The guide showed us where the best hikes were and explained how to get there and what to expect.
We wanted to hike the narrows so badly, but ran out of time. Angel's Landing was never to be forgotten. The hike is so beautiful. You can see such great views. Be sure to bring your best camera along and a tripod for some great photography. We took so many photos of Zion it seemed we filled up an entire jump drive. We hope to return again soon and bring more of our family."
Amazing Rock Climbing by Permit Only
Zion National Park is home to some of the most amazing rock climbing in the United States. Expert rock climbers come from around the world to canvas the sheer cliffs hundreds of feet tall. Rock climbing at Zion National Park is by permit only.
Read what one family had to say about Zion's rock climbers:
"While we were on the tour bus, the guide pointed out the rock climbers and explained you can get a special permit to rock climb. It was amazing to seem them ascending the sheer cliff walls hundreds of feet tall.
Hiking at Zion National Park
for all ages
If using a wheelchair or pushing children in a stroller, the Gateway to the Narrows, known as the Riverside Walk is a mild hike, appropriate for people of all ages and fitness level.
Adventure hikes at Zion National Park
Angel's Landing is a 5 miles strenuous hike that increases 1,488 feet in elevation in just 2.5 miles. It is considered one of the most popular and famous hikes at Zion National Park. It is virtually a sheer cliff with steep inclines and winding paths as it climbs the steep rock. If you have a weak stomach or hate heights, you may want to avoid this hike. However, it's a must-see experience you won't soon forget. You won't need weeks of prior training to do this hike, but it is challenging physically. Trail path is kept nice and maintained throughout the year. It winds and is steep. The trail gives you a slight break at Hog's Back.
Beware of potential lightning while hiking Angel's Landing, it is a real threat and can be dangerous. Watch weather forecasts for any signs of thunderstorms and stay clear.
Angel's Landing Trail Overview
Across from the Grotto Picnic Area is where the hiking trail starts. From there is stays quite flat until you come across the switchbacks, which leads up to Refrigerator Canyon area.
So named because of how cold and pleasant it is with a nice canyon breeze that can really give relief to the blistering southern Utah heat in the summertime.
This area of the trail is made up of a successive series of tight switchbacks that eventually lead you up to Refrigerator Canyon and out to the mountain ridge of Scout's Lookout, which is gorgeous, but not for the queasy
Once you arrive at Scouts Lookout and crossover the Saddle and get through the crazy steep, thinly narrow Hogsback, you must use the chains that are fastened into the canyon stone, which aide you from falling or sliding over the edge of the sheer cliff.
Summit of Angel's Landing
If you were able to get past Hogsback, you arrive at the Landing part of the trail where thick trees clinging to steep cliff slopes are. Great place to see little critters and fowl, ans of course the occasional hiker who needs a break from this strenuous part of the trail. Congratulations! You made it to the summit. Read more information about Angel's Landing.
The Narrows are slot canyons that have been cut out of the sandstone rock by rivers and mountain tributaries. It is fun to repel, rock climb, or walk through the narrows throughout the year.
When hiking the Narrows, take caution and plan ahead to avoid potential flash floods. Flash flooding is common during torential downpours and can be dangerous. Watch weather forecasts and plan accordingly. Read more information about the Narrows.
Explore more of Southern Utah
Any hike you choose to explore at Zion is sure to leave you with an awe-inspiring experience. Your perception of nature will never be the same again. But, don't forget, there is so much more to explore in southern Utah than just Zion. Also check out Bryce Canyon, Moab, Canyonlands, Brian Head, and Snow Canyon red rock country.
For more information contact Zion National Park Visitor Center at (435) 772-3256, or write Zion National Park, PO Box 1099, Springdale 84767.
Vacation home accommodations near Zion National Park
Our new Paradise Village at Zion offers 90 purpose-built vacation homes within 60 minutes drive to Zion National Park. All rentals are very clean and well maintained, very affordable, and all are close to Gull Lake and June Lake. Call us today (801) 747-0218 or book online.