So which Zion traveler are you? Have you figured out which on you are?
Many visitors to Zion National Park arrive with eyes wide open as the stunning beauty unfolds before them. There are a wide variety of natural attractions to see such as Emerald Pools, Court of the Patriarchs, the peacefully flowing Virgin River, and Weeping Rock. Tall mountain walls, meadows, and trees all create an idyllic scene for the first-time traveler.
Many arrive at the park with just a broad interest to see the gorgeous scenery that they have heard about. And Zion will be sure to over-deliver on any assumed promise that was made. Easy hiking trails, a park shuttle system, and an informative Visitor Center all provide an experience that is easy to navigate and even easier to appreciate.
If some of the most breathtaking, and fairly challenging, hikes interest you, then Zion is your destination! Two of the most famous hikes on our planet both happen to be inside the same National Park. Neither is for the faint of heart. Both are worth every bit of time, effort, and courage.
Angel’s Landing delights travelers that have no fear of heights, or at least are willing to temporarily leave their fear on the valley floor. As hikers ascend over 1500 feet in just 2.5 miles, they will enjoy a full 360 view. There is a spectacular, final half-mile ascent, where travelers must traverse a narrow, steep path with thousand-foot cliffs dropping off to either side and only a chain to hold on to. The chains serve a dual role to help with safety and offer an emotional security blanket during the ascent. Angel’s Landing is known as one of the most dangerous hikes in the US, and certainly the most dangerous in Zion National Park. It is also one of the most popular in the park. Some visitors will hike part of the trail, either succumbing to the eventual vertical challenge or just to brag that they hiked the trail, perhaps without admitting that they didn’t reach the top.
The Narrows hike is through a dramatically beautiful slot canyon with soaring cliffs that delight hikers. It is only for those willing to get their feet wet, and perhaps much, much more. The cold Virgin River that runs through the canyon is exactly what cut the rock to create this visual paradise. Most hikers start at the lower end and hike upstream. This is a good choice for those that might not want to traverse the entire section of the slot canyon, and they are free to turn back just a few miles in. More ardent explorers will delight in the full 10-mile experience, and enjoy an area even more remote. All during the hike, the views change as the canyon curves, cuts, opens and narrows again and again. Learn how to prepare for this hike by reading The Narrows section of the National Park Website.
For those seeking a very comfortable visit to Zion National Park, there are options inside, and just outside the park. Within the park, Zion Lodge offers 40 cabins, 75 rooms, and 6 suites. Prices range from about $180 to $300 per night. Also located at the lodge is a delicious option for dinner, The Red Rock Grill Dining Room. A more casual option, The Castle Dome Café, is perfect for picking up lunch to go and eating outside to enjoy the surrounding views.
Just outside of the park, in the town of Springdale, there are luxurious accommodations available. Luxurious Cable Mountain Lodge is the closest property to the park, and within walking distance to the entrance and the Visitor Center. You will find stunning suites with multiple bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and terraces that have unforgettable views. There is even a spa on the property. Another luxurious option is Cliffrose, offering rooms, suites, and villa options, along the river with canyon wall views. Many other accommodations and dining options await in Springdale.
There are additional options for those seeking some fun activities in the Zion area. Providing a fantastic 4-wheel experience and amazing views, Zion Jeep Tours will add a whole new dimension to this scenic wonderland. Enjoy a private Jeep tour or join a small group. Either will offer some fun 4×4 adventures that you will never forget.
Canyoneering is an easy first step into climbing and repelling, and available to those with little or no experience. Zion Rock & Mountain Guides will provide all that is needed to step into a new experience.
Ride a bike in Zion! Zion Cycles, located right at the entrance to Zion National Park offers rentals on mountain bikes, touring bikes, and e-bikes.
The Zion Human History Museum is located just half of a mile north of the South Entrance in Springdale. The museum includes permanent displays on the area’s Native American culture and Pioneer History. There is also a permanent exhibit on water, which explains its vital role to all settlers, both ancient and modern, as well as its role in creating Zion. A new film, We the Keepers, will be available in 2021, which is an award-winning presentation about the progress of taking care of these natural resources. The film will be available online until it opens within the museum.
Over thousands of years, a variety of peoples, cultures, and animals have called Zion and Southern Utah home. Through archeology, anthropology, and climatology, visitors can anyone buy ambien online gain a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the area. The rare combination of a wide valley, river water, and moderate climate helped Zion to host a number of different types of farmers, from Anasazi to Paiute to Pioneer.
Exhibits, displays, books, maps, posters, and other materials are available in the museum and in the Visitor Center at Park Headquarters. Rangers often lead discussions on specific topics as well.
For those with the need to explore from top to bottom, East to West, in and out, it will be important to rent a car and stay a few days to get it all in. Checkerboard Mesa and Canyon Overlook Trail are near the Eastern Entrance to the park, requiring a drive up the switchbacks and through the famous tunnel. A day or two will be needed to explore all the main trails of Zion’s valley.
After exploring most of the main part of the park, an hour’s drive outside of the park will take you to another section called Kolob Canyon. This separate section of Zion National Park includes views of towering peaks and stunning red rocks. Enjoy hiking the trail in this area, away from the more well-known parts of Zion. For those up to the challenge can hike between this area and the main area of the park, but it is a good distance and needs advance planning.