Zion National Park

Like many of the fabulous sights in Utah, Zion National Park is an awe-inspiring, stunning place to visit. The park itself is 229-square-mile (590 km2) in size and includes, rivers, woodlands, coniferous forests, canyons, mesas, buttes, deserts, and more.

Breathtaking scenery in Zion National Park

zionThe Virgin River at the base of Zion Canyon. There is much to see and do in Zion National Park, but "Zion Canyon" is probably the most popular spot. This canyon is 15 miles (24 km) long and about half a mile (800 m) deep. The Virgin River runs along the bottom of Zion Canyon. This free-flowing river gives water and life to the animals and plants at the canyon floor. It is here that you will find the balance of seeing wildlife & nature, yet still have the comfort of a warm bed and cabin.

During the fall and winter (November to late March), you can drive up and down Zion Canyon along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. You can enjoy the spectacular view or park and embark on a hike. However, Vehicles are not permitted on this scenic route during the spring and summer months (April to October). Instead, the park offers a free shuttle service which takes you up and down the canyon. Stops are made at points-of-interest and trail-heads.

Regardless of what time of year you visit Zion, it will be spectacular. In the summer, it is hot and there are many tourists. In the winter, the snow along the crevices and ledges create stunning visual effects against the red rocks. The park is open all year round but I recommend going in the fall when it isn't so hot, there are fewer tourists, the leaves change color, and life is just more relaxed. With the cooler weather, animals were abundant.
zionTurkey and deer are abundant near the river. Here's another photo. zion

Perhaps the most memorable feature of Zion National park is the red rocks: cliffs, rock faces, mountains - everything is red. They seemed to have used the local rocks when they paved the roads because, as soon as you enter the park, you will find that even the road is a reddish black.

Getting There

From San Diego, take I-15 northbound towards Barstow. Continue on I-15 eastbound. Soon after St George, go east on state route UT-9. This will take you to the south park entrance near Springdale.
    Zion National Park
    Springdale, UT 84767
    web site

Fees and Admission

Entry into Zion National Park is $25 per car or $12 per pedestrian or bicyclist. Keep your receipt because this fee gives you unlimited entry/exit to the park for 7 days.

For those of you who wish to go backcountry camping, you will need a permit. Permits can be purchased at the Visitor Center. Prices are:
    $10 for 1-2 people
    $15 for 3-7 people
    $20 for 8-12 people


For accommodations, you have 3 choices:

Zion Lodge: You can stay at the Zion Lodge which is the only "in-park" hotel in Zion National Park. The lodge is run by Xanterra Parks & Resorts which also offer resort-like facilities in Death Valley, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone (they're good). Living accommodations in Zion Lodge comes in the form of cabin-like rooms which are equipped with double beds, TV, shower, heating, air conditioning and all the usual amenities (no swimming pool). They are often booked solid from May to October so you should make reservations in advance 888-297-2757. Rooms are about $100 during winter and $175 during summer. web site

Zion Lodge: dining hall, gift shop, check-in, and information.
Zion Lodge: cabins.

Springdale: You can stay in one of the hotels/motels/lodges in Springdale. Springdale is a small community (population of 450) just outside of Zion National Park. This is a great little town which thrives on the tourists who come to visit Zion. The town is peppered with art galleries, restaurants, grocers, and gift shops offering crystals, geodes, arts & crafts, clothing, and souvenirs.

Camping: There are 3 campgrounds in Zion National Park. They are equipped with restrooms, drinking water, picnic tables, fire grates, and dump stations.

Watchman Campground: has 183 sites. Price is $16 to $20 per night. Reservations should be made 6 months in advance for spring, summer, and fall (877-444-6777). Reservations are not necessary from December to February - during these winter months, it is first-come-first-serve.

South Campground: has 126 sites. $16 per night. Reservations not necessary: works on a first-come-first-serve basis. This campground is only open from March through October.

Lava Point Campground: only 6 sites available. Reservations not necessary: first-come-first serve basis. Free.

Now that you have arrived at Zion National Park and have settled in, it is time to explore the park!
zion More Zion National Park links:
   • Visitors Center
   • Zion Mountain Carmel Tunnel (drive through)
   • Weeping Rock trail (easy, 15 minute)
   • Zion Riverside Walk (easy, 2-mile walk)
   • Emerald Pool trail (pretty waterfalls)
   • Zion Canyon Overlook trail (panoramic view, steep drops)
   • Angels Landing trail (incredible height, dangerous drops)
   • map of Zion Canyon area

hikes and walks near San Diego
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