19 Top Things and Activities to Do in Zion National Park + FAQ

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Zion National Park is one of the most visited parks in the US. It offers a wide range of outdoor activities for all levels.

Families with kids can enjoy easy day hikes or take a Zion Shuttle tour up the main canyon. At the same time, adept adventurers can escape into the wilderness for days.

This guide will answer the most common questions and highlight 19 top things and activities to do in Zion National Park.

Where is Zion National Park?

Zion is located in the southwestern corner of Utah. It sits on the edge of the Colorado Plateau, where lush mountains meet the desert.

Because of its location, the park has a unique landscape with unusual geological formations and diverse wildlife. 

How to Access Zion National Park?

The main canyon can be accessed from State Route 9. While the north-western corner of the park, Kolob Canyons, is accessed via Exit 40 on Interstate 15. 

These two parts of the park are not connected by road, but you can hike from one to another.

Zion National Park Visitor Centres

There are two visitor centers in Zion National Park. 

The main center is located near Springdale on State Route 9. Here you can find current information about the park’s routes, gift shop, and local maps; pay park fees and buy permits. Also, this is where the shuttle bus leaves from on its tour of the main canyon.

The address for Zion Visitor Centre is Zion National Park, 1 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767.

The visitor center is open every day during these hours:

Spring: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Summer: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm

Fall: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Winter: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

The second center, Kolob Canyons Visitor Centre, is located at Exit 40 on Interstate 15. You can pay the park entrance fees and find out current travel information here.

The address for Kolob Canyons Visitor Centre is 3752 E Kolob Canyon Rd, New Harmony, UT 84757

The center is open daily during these hours:

Spring: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Summer: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Fall: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Winter: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Entrance Fees and Permits at Zion National Park

Fees

All visitors are required to pay an entrance fee to access Zion National Park. The fee covers both parts of the park, Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyons, and provides 7-day access.

Private vehicles: $35

Admits a private car with all its passengers.

Motorcycles: $30

Admits one private motorcycle and riders.

Pedestrians/Cyclists: $20

Admits one individual without a vehicle, under 15s go for free.

Fees are subject to change. For further information on prices and annual passes, visit the NPS fees page.

Permits

Permits are not required for single-day hikes on most of Zion’s trails. 

However, for multi-day backpacking trips, canyoneering, climbing bivouacs, any top-down hike through the Zion Narrows, and any hike through the Left Fork of North Creek (the Subway), the wilderness pass is required.  

You can obtain the wilderness pass at the Zion National Park Visitor Centre, but not the Kolob Canyons Visitors Centre.

Many locations in the park have daily visitor limits. During the peak season, it may be challenging to obtain the required permit. Hence, plan your trip well and allow extra time for getting the wilderness permits.

Permit fees depend on the group size:

$15.00 for 1 to 2 people

$20.00 for 3 to 7 people

$25.00 for 8 to 12 people

Twelve people is the maximum allowed group size in Zion.

For further information on permits, visit the NPS permits page.

Which is the Nearest Airport to Zion National Park?

St George Regional Airport: 47 miles (1 hour).

Cedar City Regional Airport: 70 miles (1.5 hours to Zion Canyon) or just 22 miles (half-hour) to Kolob Canyons part of the park.

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport: 167 miles (3 hours)

Salt Lake City International Airport: 315 miles (5 hours)

What is the Weather Like in Zion National Park?

The weather in Zion National Park varies significantly throughout the year and can change by 30F throughout the day. Also, the weather conditions change a lot with elevation. It can be blazing hot in the valley while nice and cool at the peaks.

The average Daily High temperature in July and August is 100F (38C), and in December and January, 53F (12C). Remember that these are averages, and the temperature on the day can be a lot hotter or colder. 115F (46C) is the record high, and -15F (-26C) is the record low. 

When it comes to precipitation, the wettest months are February and March, and the driest is June.

For more detailed information on the weather, see the NPS weather page.

What is the Best Time to Visit Zion National Park?

Zion National Park is open all year round. The best time to visit will depend on your interests and the activities you wish to explore.

In summer, Zion National Park is a hot, busy place with many visitors, traffic, and lines. By mid-June, most trails are open, and the shuttle buses are running at total capacity. 

The Zion Narrows is usually open by this time too. However, this depends on the winter’s snowfall, and July is a safer bet.

Summer heat can be another issue during this busy period. Make sure to wear sunscreen, cover your head and bring plenty of water.

Late summer is prone to wildfires which may result in the closure of sections of the park.

In fall, Zion National Park is at its most beautiful. Because of the elevation difference, the leaves change color at different times, providing for vibrant scenery.

All trails are typically open until the first snow, which is usually in November. After which, higher parts of the park get treacherous.

As the flow of tourists subsides, and temperatures drop, fall is arguably the best time to visit the Zion National Park.

In winter, Zion National Park is quiet and tranquil. Many businesses are closed for the season, and shuttle buses stop running, giving a rare opportunity to drive through the main canyon.

Many of the trails remain open, but the higher you get, the more hazardous conditions become. 

If you are not afraid of cold, winter can be the most peaceful and rewarding time to visit.

In spring, Zion National Park is waking up after a long, cold slumber. Water floods every nook and cranny, making many slot canyons, including The Narrows, inaccessible until summer.

In March, businesses open, and shuttle buses start to run. 

From mid-April, trees start to bloom, and the grey winter scenery quickly explodes with color. Many people consider spring to be the most beautiful time in Zion.

What is the Elevation of Zion National Park?

The elevation of Zion National Park is about 4000 feet (1,220 m). The lowest point is Coal Pits Wash at 3,666 feet (1,117 m), and the highest point is the summit of Horse Ranch Mountain at 8,726 feet (2,660 m). 

Most people won’t experience altitude sickness at this height, and healthy individuals can access the park’s highest point. However, pay attention to how you feel. If you start to experience headache or vertigo, promptly return to a lower elevation.

Wildlife in Zion National Park

There is a lot of wildlife in the park. Rabbits, coyotes, deer, foxes, and various birds, including Peregrine falcon, can be spotted in Zion National Park.

The advice to visitors is to keep a distance of 100 feet from any wild animal. It is required to protect animals from getting used to people and people from contracting diseases or getting injured.

Note: It is illegal to feed wild animals at any of the National Parks.

Are There Bears in Zion National Park?

Although highly unlikely, it is possible to encounter an American Black Bear at Zion National Park. Typically, black bears aren’t aggressive and very rarely attack humans. Report any bear sightings to park rangers.

Are There Mountain Lions in Zion National Park?

Although a rare occurrence, it is possible to encounter a mountain lion in Zion National Park. These lions can attack humans when cornered or provoked. Otherwise, this rarely happens. Just like with bears, report any sightings to park officials.

Are There Rattle Snakes in Zion National Park?

You can encounter Rattle Snakes at Zion National Park. They have a triangular head and a rattle at the end of the tail. These snakes are poisonous, but getting bitten is highly unlikely if you look where you step. 

Can You Fish in Zion National Park?

Fishing is allowed in Zion National Park with Utah Fishing Licence, but there isn’t much to catch as local fish species are tiny. 

However, if you look at fishing as a way to escape from the crowds and spend some time in solitude, nothing is stopping you from casting your rod.

Alternatively, you can fish at Kolob Reservoir, which is situated near the Kolob Terrace section of the park. The reservoir is an artificial lake at high elevation; you can catch Cutthroat and Rainbow trout here.

Check out the guide on Kolob Terrace Road for more details.

Are Pets Allowed in Zion National Park?

Unfortunately, Zion National Park isn’t a pet-friendly destination. Only one trail in the park is open for pets – the Pa’rus trail. It is a 3.5 miles (5.6 km) paved hike that takes 2 hours to complete.

Also, pets are allowed at car parks, along public roads, developed campgrounds, and picnic areas. Your pet should always be on the leash in Zion.

Shuttle buses aren’t allowed to take pets unless they are service animals.

The good news is that pet care services are available at Rockville, 3.5 miles away from the southern entrance.

Can You Drive Through Zion National Park?

There are three roads you can take to drive through Zion National Park.

The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway (State Route 9) is Zion’s most scenic drive that connects the western and eastern entrances of the park. It is open for private vehicles subject to park fees. The breathtaking route is 10 miles long and takes 0.5 hours to complete.

The route passes by many Zion landmarks, the museum, and the visitors center and goes through the 1.1 mile Mount Carmel tunnel. If you travel in an oversized vehicle or an RV, you will have to pay the escort fee for going through the tunnel.

Kolob Terrace Road is a backcountry road that cuts through Zion. It connects Virgin on State Route 9 to Kolob Reservoir. 

It climbs to 8,000 feet and is a less traveled road that offers spectacular views of Zion National Park. Also, Kolob Terrace Road provides access to many hiking trails, Lava Point Campground, and a few viewpoints.

You can use this road as a detour when getting from Zion’s main canyon to the Kolob Canyons part of the park. This way is a lot longer and has unpaved sections, but it is screaming ‘adventure.’

See the guide on Kolob Terrace Road for more details about this section.

E Kolob Canyon Road is another way to experience Zion in a car. It is a short 5-mile drive that connects Kolob Canyons Visitor Center with Timber Creek Overlook Trail. Although this isn’t a through route, the views are fantastic, and Timber Creek Overlook is undoubtedly worth the visit.

Where to Park in Zion National Park?

Parking is available near Zion National Park Visitor Center. However, during the peak season, this car park gets full by mid-morning. The alternative option is to use parking lots at Springdale and take a shuttle bus to the main canyon.

Where to Stay in Zion National Park?

There is only one lodging option available inside the Zion National Park – Zion Lodge. It is a 3-star hotel deep inside the main canyon. The most significant advantage is that staying at Zion Lodge gives you the pass to drive up the Zion Canyon, which is closed to private vehicles for nine months of the year.

Plenty of lodging options are available outside Zion. Springdale is the closest town to the southern entrance and is geared towards tourism, making it a great choice. For example, there is a Springdale shuttle bus that takes visitors to the Zion Canyon.

Camping in Zion National Park

There are three designated campgrounds in Zion National Park. 

South and Watchman campgrounds are located in Zion Canyon, close to the main Visitors Center. The South campground has 117 campsites with no hook-up. At the same time, the Watchman campground has 176 sites with 95 hook-ups. These campgrounds are full from mid-March till November, so book early.

The Lava Point Campground is 1 hour away from Zion Canyon on Kolob Terrace Road. It is free and works on a first-come, first-served basis but has just six campsites and no amenities except toilets.

Also, there are many designated campsites available for backpackers in Zion. Most trails have designated spots along the route. See the Wilderness Map to plan your hike.  

Free BLM Camping Near Zion National Park

  • Hurricane Cliffs Recreational Area BLM
  • Old Highway 89 Campground BLM
  • Zion Scenic Byway Dispersed BLM
  • Lambs Knoll Climbing Site BLM

Top Things and Activities to Do in Zion National Park

1. Cycle the Length of the Zion Canyon

Cycling in Zion National Park

Cycling through Zion Canyon is a unique opportunity to see the prominent landmarks of the park in a non-traditional way. You could explore the canyon on two wheels, stopping along the way to take short hikes to viewpoints. Bicycle racks are provided at bus stops so you can secure your bike.

You can go cycling independently or with a guide. Some bike rental companies in Springdale offer guided tours and bikes rentals.

Zion Scenic Drive is 7 miles (12km) long. The return trip will take a few hours to complete. Please note that shuttle buses aren’t allowed to overtake bicycles. Hence, it is a good practice to pull over and let them through.

Note that bicycling on Zion trails isn’t allowed. Except for the Pa’rus trail.

2. Explore the Narrows

The Narrows Hike in Zion National Park

The Narrows is a section of the main canyon thousands of feet high and only 30 feet wide in places. It is the most popular section of the park to visit. 

This trail is the special highlight of the park, not only for its spectacular scenery but also for its geological significance. It is easy to follow; the terrain is primarily flat but wet and slippery.

There are two ways to explore the Narrows:

The bottom-up way doesn’t require a permit. The hike starts at the Temple of Sinawava, which is the final stop of the shuttle bus. At first, the route is a paved road, but it turns into the river after a mile, which requires wading.

The bottom-up way is an out-and-back hike. It can be between 3 and 10 miles round-trip, depending on where you decide to turn around. However, everyone should turn back at Big Spring.

The top-down way is the second option. It requires paid shuttle service to the start of the trail or a second car. It takes two days to complete this route. Camping is allowed in the designated locations along the way. 

However, completing the top-down hike in a day is also possible. This 16 miles route can be accomplished in 12 hours by fit, experienced adventurers.

Both top-down options, the day hike and the two-day backpacking trip, require permits.

3. Scramble to Angels Landing Viewpoint

Angels Landing in Zion National Park

Angels Landing is the most famous hike in Zion National Park. It requires using chains, zigzagging narrow stairways, and getting on all fours to get to the top. 

The hike to Angels Landing is a steep scramble. Although the route is just 5.4 miles, it takes about 2 hours to reach the top and 3 hours to descend.

Narrow paths with thousands-foot drops on both sides make this hike a unique and thrilling experience. If you are afraid of heights, the Angels Landing route isn’t a good choice for you.

Experts rate it as strenuous because of the elevation gain and a constant need to watch your step. But the view from the top makes it worth the effort. You will observe all four sides of Zion Canyon from a dizzying height of 5,790 feet (1,765m).

4. Tube Down the Virgin River

Tubing down the Virgin River in Zion National Park
Photo: Dylan Duverge / CC BY 2.0

Tubing is a simple and fun activity for families and groups of friends. It involves floating down the river on inflatable tubes, relaxing, and bathing in sunshine.

Virgin River is a popular tubing spot in Zion National Park. The activity is done May through July. However, the river isn’t suitable for tubing during or right after rainstorms or flash floods.

Zion Outfitter in Springdale rents out tubes and provides access to the river. The activity takes about 2 hours, depending on the river flow. 

Although the tubing route isn’t inside the Zion National Park, it is conveniently located near the campgrounds and visitors center. It is a perfect way to relax after days of hiking in Zion.

5. Try Canyoneering

Canyoneering in Zion National Park
Photo: Noah Meyerhans / CC BY 2.0

Canyoneering is an adventure sport that involves navigating down the slot canyons using various techniques like down-climbing, scrambling, rope handling, rappelling, and stemming. It is an extreme form of hiking that requires many specialized skills.

Zion is the mecca for canyoneering. If you ever wanted to try this sport, Zion is the best place to do it. There are many canyons to try here. The choice of canyon depends on the level of difficulty and your experience.

If you’ve never tried canyoneering before, taking a tour with an experienced guide is highly advisable. Guided canyoneering tours are available from multiple providers in Springdale. They usually run on a half-day or full-day basis and include all the necessary gear. Try Zion Guru for more information.

In addition to tours, canyoneering courses are available for those who want to pursue this activity as a sport and explore the wilderness independently. For example, Zion Adventures of Springdale run introductory and progressive courses.

6. Explore the Subway

The Subway canyon in Zion National Park

The Subway is another iconic attraction in Zion National Park. Getting to this tube-shaped canyon formation is relatively tricky. Those who can endure the strenuous, wet hike will be rewarded by a spectacular view from the bottom of the canyon.

There are two ways to explore the Subway:

The first way is an out-and-back, 9 miles hiking expedition that requires scrambling over boulders, wading creeks, and route finding. You are guaranteed to get wet. The route starts and finishes at Left Fork Trailhead on Kolob Terrace Road.

The second way is a one-way canyoneering route that requires canyoneering gear and the knowledge of ropework techniques. It is a 9.5 miles top-down option that starts at Wildcat Canyon Trailhead and finishes at Left Fork Trailhead, so you will need shuttle service or a second car to ferry around.

Both ways require a good level of fitness, route-finding skills, and permits from the main visitor center. 

7. Visit Zion Human History Museum

Human History Museum in Zion National Park
Photo: Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0

Zion Human History Museum is located in Springdale. This small museum tells stories about early pioneer settlers, Native Americans who lived in the area, and the park itself.

The museum has a few exhibit rooms with various items, including tools, clothing, and geological and paleontological artifacts. 

The main reason to visit the museum is for its educational value. It is a great way to learn more about Zion National Park’s history and pick up a few souvenirs from a small gift shop. 

8. Day Hike on the Zion’s Trails

Hiking in Zion National Park

Zion National Park is famous for its network of scenic trails. There are over 20 of them scattered throughout different sections of the park.

The trails are great for day hikes, but they also work as a perfect way to get away from Zion crowds. Depending on your fitness level and available time, you can pick between short, moderate, and long walks.

What Are the Easiest Trails in Zion National Park?

If you fancy an evening stroll or have a few hours to spare, Zion National Park offers various easy trails ranging from 0.4 to 3.5 miles in length.

1. Pa’rus Trail is a paved, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) path with very little elevation change; it takes 2 hours to complete. It is wheelchair accessible and the only trail in the park where pets are allowed.

2. Lower Emerald Pool Trail is a 1.2 miles (1.9 km) trail that leads to the Lower Emerald Pool and waterfalls. It takes just 1 hour to complete and has very little elevation change.

3. Riverside Walk is another short trail, just 2.2 miles (3.5 km). It follows the Virgin River from the Temple of Sinawava and takes about an hour to complete.

4. Timber Creek Overlook Trail is the easiest option in the Kolob Canyons part of the national park. It is a very short hike, just 1 mile (1.6 km). It leads to a spectacular terrace from which you can observe an awe-inspiring view of Kolob Canyons.

What Is the Best Trail in Zion National Park?

Apart from the Narrows and the Angels Landing, the best trail in Zion National Park is Observation Point. It is a strenuous, out-and-back hike of 8.0 miles (12.9 km). 

With an elevation change of 2,148 feet (655 m), it is a challenging day hike that requires a good fitness level. 

The hike takes a considerable amount of time, usually 5 – 7 hours, to complete. But it will reward you with a breathtaking view of the Zion Canyon; you can see almost to Springdale from here. Also, the Angels Landing will be 700 feet below your feet. 

Because of these fantastic vistas, Observation Point is probably the best hike in Zion National Park.

If you are looking for a complete list of trails in Zion, the NPS day hiking page is the best resource.

Get some hiking motivation: Funny and Inspirational Hiking Quotes.

9. Go Climbing

Climbing in Zion
Photo: Zion National Park / CC BY 2.0

Zion National Park offers fantastic opportunities for intermediate and expert climbers. The park is famous for its high, sandstone cliffs. 

However, beginners may found most climbing opportunities inside the park to be challenging. But plenty of options exist just outside. 

Many companies in Springdale offer equipment rental and guided climbing trips for those looking to get into this fun activity while visiting Zion National Park.

The best time for climbing in Zion is Spring and Fall, as the temperature can get over 100F (38C) on the exposed sandstone walls during the summer months.

10. Experience Zion on a Horseback

Riding horseback in the wild
Photo: Eric Kilby / CC BY 2.0

The use of horses, mules, and donkeys is allowed in Zion National Park. You can bring your own stock or go on a tour with a local company.

For example, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offers several guided horseback tours that include cross-country rides, sunset treks, and scenic routes.

Exploring Zion on horseback is an opportunity to reconnect with animals and nature and experience the area in the same way that early pioneers did.  

11. Take a Multi-day Backpacking Trip

Backpacking in Zion National Park

Zion is a relatively small national park with a few backpacking opportunities. However, there is a 47-miles loop that combines multiple trails to create an ultimate Zion experience.

It is known as the Trans-Zion Trek or the Zion Traverse. It is an epic route that will take you away from the tourist crowds and allow you to immerse yourself in the wilderness. 

Reconnecting with nature, overcoming difficulties, and soaking in Zion’s landscape is why people come to the park. And the Trans-Zion Trek delivers all of that. It is the top thing to do in the park.

The route can take anywhere between 3 and 5 days. The start and finish access points are remote, so shuttling is a must. Also, wilderness permits are required for any backpacking trips. For more detailed information and a 5-day itinerary, check out Joe’s article.

Inspiration for Backpackers: Funny and Inspirational Hiking Quotes.

12. Explore East Zion on Four Wheels

4x4 driving in Zion National Park

A wide choice of 4×4 tours is available in east Zion through Ponderosa Ranch Resort

If you had enough of walking but still didn’t experience enough of Zion, Jeep tours can be your solution. There are options to explore various canyons, watch wildlife, or take a sunset Jeep tour for more romantic souls.

13. Get Married in Zion National Park

It is possible to have a wedding at Zion National Park. The serenity of this place attracts many couples to tie the knot.

The word Zion means ‘kingdom of heaven,’ and the park stands up to its name. The tranquility of this park, coupled with the majestic landscape, provides for a perfect setting for a wedding ceremony.

If you decide to get married here, you will have to choose from multiple locations in the park where weddings are conducted. For more information on weddings and wedding permits, visit the NPS page.

14. Improve Your Photography Skills

Photography in Zion

Zion National Park is a heaven for photographers. If you like to photograph landscapes, Zion National Park is the primary destination in the US. Bright-red, layered canyon walls, unique rock formations, and dark-green vegetation guarantee spectacular shots that will make your friends speechless.

Other types of photography are popular at Zion too. You can photograph a plethora of local plant species. Or take remote trails and photoshoot the wildlife. 

Also, Zion National Park is the top destination for star photography. Because of the elevation and low light pollution, the park provides fantastic opportunities for capturing the night sky.

Many local companies offer photography tours and courses; check out Zion Guru or Enlighten Photography. Most people can snap great shots of Zion, but such tours are a no-brainer for those who want to develop their skills or discover the best photography spots.

15. Find Serenity with Yoga and Meditation

Yoga in Zion National Park

Zion National Park is a place of raw natural energy. People come to Zion to find peace and serenity, and yoga can certainly help achieve that. 

Early in the mornings, the park is still asleep. It is the perfect time to grab a yoga mat and find a quiet spot for your daily practice. Practicing yoga at sunrise, surrounded by beauty and natural energy, is guaranteed to boost your energy levels for the whole day.

If you are new to yoga or prefer to practice in a group, many certified yoga instructors are available at Springdale. For example, ZionGuru combines hiking and yoga. They take people on hikes to some of the best locations for yoga practice.

Meditation can enhance your Zion experience too. Learn to be present, quiet your mind, and appreciate the beauty of this place. The park has many peaceful spots to pause, let the thoughts float by, and blend in with nature.

16. Go Trail Running in Zion National Park

Trail running in Zion National Park

Another activity you can do in Zion National Park is trail running. The park offers dozens of dusty trails with steep inclines for training. Zion will make you fall in love with this sport.

Trail running is addictive. There is a high chance of improving your health, losing excess weight, and boosting your mood. You’ve been warned!

If you have never run on the trails before, short, easy options like Lower Emerald Pools (1.3 km) and Weeping Rock (0.3 km) trails are perfect places to start. 

Cable Mountain Trail (4.8 km) and Watchman Trail (2.9 km) are popular choices for medium-level runners. 

And for experts, West Rim Trail (23.6 km) and East Rim Trail (16.6 km) are tremendous challenges.

You can find a list of routes for trail running in Zion at the Trail Run Project. And a more detailed guide with route recommendations on I Run Far.

17. Take the Zion-Mount Carmel Scenic Drive

Mount Carmel Scenic Drive in Zion National Park

Another thing to do in the park is to take the Zion to Mount Carmel Scenic Drive. It is a beautiful, 10-mile road that connects the western and eastern entrances of the park.

The drive is the most picturesque route that is open to private vehicles all year round in Zion. The 30-minute ride packs hundreds of turns, serpentine, viewpoints, landmarks and goes through the 1.1-mile Mount Carmel tunnel. 

Pullouts on this route allow you to stop and soak in the views, as this is one of the best scenic drives in the country. 

18. Visit Checkerboard Mesa

Checkerboard Mesa landmark in Zion National Park

If you are taking the drive mentioned above, you should stop at the Checkerboard Mesa. It is the first stop as you enter the park from the east.

Checkerboard Mesa is a geological marvel. It is a 900-feet (275 m) Navajo Sandstone hill with a prominent pattern responsible for the mesa’s name. It is one of the many sandstone wonders Zion offers and is certainly worth a stop.

Climbing Checkerboard Mesa isn’t recommended without a permit and proper equipment as it is steep and the sandstone tends to crumble.

19. Experience Zion’s Sunsets

Sunset in Zion Canyon

Zion National Park has some of the most iconic views in the world. And the sunsets make these views even more spectacular as the crimson sky highlights the bright-orange canyon walls.

Breathtaking and mesmerizing, the sunsets range from dramatic to mind-blowing. It is nature at its best and certainly something you don’t want to miss. 

There are different places to watch the sunset in the park. Some of the most well-known locations include Observation Point, Canyon Overlook, and Canyon Junction Bridge. 

For guidance on sunsets in Zion, check out this blog post.

How Many Days Will You Need for Zion National Park?

The amount of time you should spend in Zion National Park depends on the circumstances and activities that you wish to pursue. 

The average length of a trip to Zion is about three days. It is a reasonable amount of time to explore the park and enjoy some of the activities mentioned above. Because Zion benefits from developed infrastructure and is relatively compact, three full days is enough to get a general feel for it and fall in love with this place. 

However, to explore the park in more detail, you will need at least a week. And even then, there will remain many boxes from this list unticked.

But don’t try to jam every activity and every hike into a short period. You are likely to be stressed and exhausted as plans rarely work out to the tee. Instead, plan for meaningful activities at a natural pace; you can always add more. Quality over quantity!

What to Do in Zion National Park in One Day?

If you are pressed for time and have just one day to spare, you should still pop into Zion National Park. Because of Zion’s excellent infrastructure, you can squeeze quite a few activities into one day. 

For example, the Zion to Mount Carmel Scenic Drive (see above) provides the best value for your time. It is just 10 miles long, and you can stop at pullovers to soak in the views and visit landmarks like Checkerboard Mesa (see above). 

Another good value for time is the Zion shuttle bus. It takes just 45 minutes to ride from the Visitor Center to the final stop at the Temple of Sinawava. The shuttle cuts through the main canyon packed with landmarks and stunning scenery. You can hop on and off to take short hikes to viewpoints to make the most of your time.

At this point, you still have half a day left to do something epic. So why not climb the most incredible attraction in Zion – the Angels Landing (see above). Or, hike up the Virgin River to the Narrows and experience Zion’s best slot canyon.

Finally, make sure to catch a sunset at Canyon Junction Bridge or Watchman Trail. These two spots are easily accessible and on the way out of the park.

After an adventure-filled day like that, you will be exhausted but blissfully happy. And hopefully, come back to Zion again.

Final Thoughts

If you decide to complete everything on this list of 19 top things and activities to do in Zion National Park, a month isn’t enough. Zion has so much to offer! 

Your time in Zion is guaranteed to be filled with breathtaking scenery, challenges, and wild adventures, no matter how much time you spend here.

Get out there! Get wild!

More Inspiration Here: Funny and Inspirational Hiking Quotes.

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