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How to Make the Most of a Day Trip to Zion National Park

Zion National Park, located in the southwest corner of Utah, is regarded worldwide as a red-rocked piece of heaven. You could take weeks to explore the spectacular excursions this stretch of land offers and still have new sights to discover, but you can still make the most out of one day in Zion National Park.

Plan your visit to this spectacular nature preserve by booking one of the Zion National Park tours, and let this incredible destination enrich you as you experience at one of the nation’s most-visited national parks.

EMERALD POOLS TRAIL

Trail difficulty: Easy

Distance: Three-mile return

You can’t miss this heavenly oasis tucked along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The Emerald Pools Trail is family-friendly with rewarding scenery of dripping springs, lush greenery, and gorgeous waterfalls. Don’t expect to swim, however, and be sure to leave your pets at home. This gentle hike is wheelchair-friendly and full of camera-worthy resting spots.

ANGEL’S LANDING

Trail difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 5-mile return

This is easily among the most famous hikes in the world and one of the best hikes in Zion National Park. Ending with a panoramic view of Zion National Park that can only be described as stunning, this hike is much more challenging than your average trail, but worth every step. After crossing a hiker’s bridge, the journey starts out on a steep uphill climb, leveling off once you reach the mouth of Refrigerator Canyon. It takes about four hours round-trip, but is never short of incredible scenery. Be sure to bring sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water, as there is little shade and will require extended exposure to the sun.

ZION-CARMEL TUNNEL SCENIC DRIVE

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1-mile stretch

If you have your own vehicle, one of the things to do in Zion National Park is drive through the famous Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel on the top of your list. This historical tunnel, completed in 1930, provides a shortcut connecting Zion National Park to both Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon, in what would otherwise span seventy long miles. The drive is full of magnificent, carved-out scenery and provides a rare and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

THE GROTTO TRAIL

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1-mile stretch

This is an easy and enjoyable half-hour roundtrip from the Lodge in the middle of the valley. You will walk along the fairly flat trail and arrive at the more lush grotto nestled against the hillside.  The trailhead starts at the Lodge which is one of the main shuttle stops within Zion National Park.

RIVERSIDE WALK, TEMPLE OF SINAWAVA, BEGINNING OF THE NARROWS

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.2 miles

A pleasant, easy walk, for as long as you would like to go, the Riverside Walk will take you through trees, along the river, and even by some natural springs if you look carefully.  This begins from the last stop on the shuttle, at the end of the valley.  This is also the beginning (or end) of the famous Narrows hike, most of which is much deeper and further ahead.  But for a leisurely walk through nature, this is a perfect path as far as you choose to go.  Canyon walls rise up on both sides of the river, and you may see some deer and other wildlife along the way.

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