Zion is one of the most popular parks in the United States. It’s very easy to see why when you get into the park. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, with trees and cliffs stretching up into the sky, a canyon carving its way through the rock, and the incredibly beautiful Virgin River. It really is something you should experience in your life. There is something for everyone to do in Zion, from hiking to resting your feet in the river. Planning a trip to a national park, however, can be a daunting idea! Especially if you plan on visiting during peak season. This park has a lot of visitors every year, so you should be prepared for crowds, and you should have a plan of what you want to do during your visit.
Here are some of the most common questions you might ask when visiting Zion- and some answers!
When should I visit?
We recommend visiting during spring and early summer. There is a monsoon season that begins mid-July to early September, so we recommend avoiding this time because of the risk of flash floods. Spring and early summer are great times, where you will get good weather. Early summer may be a bit more crowded, so you may want to take that into consideration.
Where should I stay?
You have a few options for where to stay in Zion, depending on what you want to do. Zion is home to many different campgrounds, both tent and RV, as well as backcountry camping. We highly recommend booking your campsite as early as possible, because these campsites fill up fast, especially in prime visiting season. There are sites with electric hookups for $30 a night, tent sites for $20, and group campsites for $50 a night.
If you aren’t into camping, there are some hotels near the park. Springdale and St. George are two sights fairly in the area. As with camping, we recommend booking as far in advance as possible.
What should I pack?
There are a few essentials that you should definitely bring on a trip to Zion. You will need clothes for hiking that are comfortable and breathable. A camera is a necessity, as well as a bag, so you can carry it on hikes (especially if you plan on going to Angel’s Rest). If you plan on the Narrows hike, you will need close toed shoes that can get wet. Make sure to bring food for your entire stay, as prices in the park and nearby towns can get pretty expensive. Finally, remember to bring sunscreen, a water bottle, and plenty of water.
How do I get around?
The shuttle system in the park is well designed and convenient.. At most, you’ll wait 15 minutes for a ride, and during the busiest times, shuttles come every 3-4 minutes. Parking during peak season can be a huge pain, so the shuttle system is a great way to get around the park without worrying about parking.
What can I do in the park?
Zion has so many different things to do! Here are a few of our favorites, and some of the most popular activities in the park.
Angel’s Landing is one of the most famous hikes in the park, as well as the most strenuous. If you brave this hike, you will be rewarded with incredible beautiful views, so you definitely want to bring your camera! Another famous hike is the Narrows, which is a hike up the Virgin River.
You will get wet, as you go through knee deep water to take you deeper into the canyon, so make sure you have the right shoes! The park offers a wide variety of other hikes as well, some of which are wheelchair accessible.
Zion has a wide variety of wildlife that you’ll definitely want to see. Wildlife viewing and photography is a big draw. You’ll also want to see as much of the landscape as you can- it is unforgettably beautiful!
Any other tips?
The most important tip we can give you is to get an early start! The park is popular for a reason, and as the day goes on, lines and crowds get longer and longer. We recommend getting up early, taking a break in the afternoon, and going out again in the late afternoon and evening, after the crowds have died down. Not only will you beat the crowds, but you’ll also beat some of the heat.
Planning a trip, especially with kids and family, can be stressful. There’s so many things to take into consideration, and all of the information can be really overwhelming! Hopefully this list can be a tool when planning your trip, to give you some highlights and an outline of how to make the most of your trip to Zion. After all, when you’re in the park, you don’t want to have to deal with planning- you want to make the most of your Zion adventure!