Zion National Park

If you’re about to visit Zion National Park for the first time and looking for the best things to do there, we have lots of great information to share with you!

From hiking to climbing scenic drives and history tours, there are endless incredible things to do in Zion National Park.

ParkZion National Park
Founded1919
Best Time To VisitDecember to February
Camping LocationMultiple Locations
Things To DoExplore, Discover, Hike
Lodges NearZion Park, Holiday Inn Express
Entry Fee$20-$70

In his article, we’ll share the top highlights of the park and all the necessary information you need before heading to the park. Let’s get into it!

Zion National Park
Zion National Park

A Brief Intro to Zion National Park

A Brief Intro to Zion National Park
A Brief Intro to Zion National Park

Zion is the first national park in Utah and one of the most popular and oldest parks in America.

Famous for its sandstone cliffs, scenic lakes, golden meadows, narrow slot canyons, and spectacular hiking adventures, Zion National Park has so much to offer for everyone.  

Sequoia National Park

Glacier National Park

Acadia National Park

Zion National Park

Also known as a heaven on earth, Zion is a red-rock wonderland created by water, wind, snow, and seismic shifts.

Located in Southwestern Utah, the park’s area is around 148,016 acres. The Park draws more than 4.5 million visitors each year, mostly from outside of the United States. 


History of Zion National Park 

History of Zion National Park 
History of Zion National Park 

The human habitation in the area began approximately 8,000 years ago when Anasazi people inhabited Zion.

They moved away in 1,300 leaving behind cliff houses and rock art throughout the park. Mormons came to Utah in 1958 to escape the religious persecution and settled there.  

 In 1909, the area was named “Mukuntuweap National Monument” to protect the canyon.

In 1918, the director of the newly found National Park Service, Horace Albright proposed to change the park’s name to “Zion National Monument”

The term “Zion” was related to the Mormon faith meaning an “A place of Refuge” and had a better appeal to the ethnocentric audience.

Finally, in 1919, Congress changed the name “Zion National Park”. 


Things to do in Zion National Park

Things to do in Zion National Park
Things to do in Zion National Park

Zion National Park offers a plethora of activities and things to see and do, but we are sharing only the top 5 things that are absolutely worth doing in the park: 

Enjoy the Canyon Scenic Drive

If there’s anything that visitors to Zion National Park must-see, it’s incredible Zion Canyon. Exclusively carved by the Virgin River over millions of years, Zion Canyon is one of the most gorgeous places on earth.

The rocks of the Grand Canyon were formed before the dinosaurs and nearly all of the major periods of geologic time are exposed in the area.

The Canyon is accessible through a road with a towering off the wall on both sides.

The 54-mile route is 1.5 hours long with all the park’s top attractions are found along this road.

Take a Hike in Narrows

Zion National Park has a spectacular hike ranging from less than a mile to a multi-day trek.

The Narrows is one of the most popular destinations for hikers in the Zion National Park.

You can either hike, walk or wade through the narrow canyon of massive red rock canyon walls where the virgin River has been doing its work for millions of years.

With a total distance is 9.4 miles it is one of the most strenuous hikes in the region. 

Discover the Court of Patriarchs

Court of the Patriarch is yet another superb but least visited viewpoint in the Zion Canyon where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the towering red and white rock formation and soak in the magnificent beauty of Zion National Park.

To get the best experience visit the Court of the patriarch in the late afternoon when the light is especially beautiful. 

Explore Kolob Terrace

Kolob Terrace is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Zion National Park and a perfect spot to spend a great time of solitude from the crowds and enjoy the natural world.

It is the least visited section of Zion, mainly praised for its majestic beauty and tranquility. You can enjoy some stounding views of verdant desert canyons, waterfalls, volcanic lave rocks, grassy plains, colorful mesas, and stunning overlooks.

The main attraction of this area is “Lava Point” a great place if you want to catch some sunset or plan a hike or both. 

Rock Climbing in Angels Landing

Angel’s Landing is one of the most well-known hikes in the world which offers some unforgettable adventures worthy of any bucket list.

Its unique landscape makes it an ideal spot for anyone looking to for their next adrenaline rush.

With a total length of about 5 miles, round trip, and sheer drop off to 1000 ft on a narrow trail, climbing on the high peaks of Angel’s landing and witnessing the stunning views of Zion Canyon’s 270-million-year-old rock layers isn’t something you’ll forget soon.


Best Time to Visit Zion National Park

Best Time to Visit Zion National Park
Best Time to Visit Zion National Park

If you want to avoid the crowd the ideal time to visit Zion National Park is in the late fall, early spring, and winter.

December to February is the least crowded time best to enjoy some solitude and create wonderful memories with your loved ones.

For those who want to visit in warm weather with fewer crowds, March to April and October to November is the best time.

The weather is pleasant, and hiking conditions are optimal. 


Zion National Park Map 

Zion National Park Map 
Zion National Park Map 

The Zion National Park map is an essential tool you must bring with you to properly experience the wonders of this area.

For the detailed trail map and shuttle information, download the park information guide and Zion National Park Official map to help you plan your visit and be prepared. 


Hotels Near Zion National Park

Hotels Near Zion National Park
Hotels Near Zion National Park

The most convenient place to stay near the park is the Town of Springdale, situated at the South entrance of the park.

For more affordable hotel rates you can also stay in St. George, which is less than an hour away from the park. Here are top five top best hotels near the park recommended by TripAdvisor:  

Cliffrose Lodge and Gardens

Zion Park Motel

La Quinta by Wyndham at Zion Park/Springdale

Holiday Inn Express

Quality Inn & Suites Montclair


Camping Locations

Zion National Park Camping Locations
Zion National Park Camping Locations

Spending a night surrounded by the canyon walls of Zion National Park is an experience worth pursuing.

The Park has plenty of camping sites within and outside the park including Watchman campground, South Campground, Zion Canyon Campground, and RV resort, Lava Point Campground, and more.

However, the most popular place for camping is South Gate as it is closest to the park’s main attractions.

The campground is open from March 1st to late November and you have to make a reservation 14-days before the arrival.

The campground has 117 sites and offers facilities like a dump station, potable water, and flush toilets. 


Weather 

 Zion National Park Weather 
Zion National Park Weather 

Zion is known for its unpredictable and wide range of weather conditions. The climate is cold semi-arid consisting of very hot summers and mild winters.

The average temperature in the Zion National Park is 75°F. The temperatures vary with changes in the elevation and there’s a huge difference between day and night temperatures by over 30°F.

For more information, download the Zion National Park Weather chart and visit the weather page of Zion National for more information about the weather forecast and current temperature of the park. 


Where to get a Zion National Park Pass?

Where to get a Zion National Park Pass
Where to get a Zion National Park Pass

All the visitors are required to buy a recreational use pass while entering the Zion National Park.

The entry fee is $30/vehicle and $20 per person.

You can also get an annual pass for all 5 National Parks in Utah, valid for 12-months.

A Standard Zion Annual pass costs $70 and is valid for 12-months from the date of purchase. The pass holder must show the photo ID upon entering the park.

You can also purchase “America the Beautiful Annual Pass” which grants you access to 419 National Park properties and 2000 federal recreation sites.

It doesn’t include any discounts in the park, and anyone can get this pass.


Checklist before Visiting Zion National Park

Checklist Before Visiting Zion National Park
Checklist Before Visiting Zion National Park

Here’s are some essentials you need to pack with you to stay safe and comfortable while exploring the park:

  1. Moisture-wicking and Cold clothing layers
  2. A Sun hat and Sunscreen
  3. Rain jacket
  4. Hiking Boots/ Trial runners
  5. Binoculars/ Camera
  6. Wool Socks
  7. Flashlight and first-aid kit
  8. Water bottles or a hydration system
  9. Park’s Map
  10.  Bug Spray

FAQ 

Which is the entry fee of Zion National Park?

The Zion National Park charges $20/ person, $35 for the private vehicle pass, and $30 for Motorcycle. All passes are valid for 7-days. 

How many days do need to explore Zion National Park?

Ideally, 2 days are enough to see the park, but if you’re interested in hiking the popular trails, you’ll need mimimumn2-3 days. 

Is there any free entry in the Zion National Park?

Free access is allowed to Veterans or serving members of the U.S Military, Gold Star Families, and volunteers with over 250 hours of service. 

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