- The free shuttle
- What to see in Zion National Park
- How long for the visit?
- What to see nearby
- When to go
- To do
- How to reach the park
- Opening time
- Cost of entry
- Guided tours
Zion National Park is the largest National Park in Utah and is located near the city of Springdale in the southwestern state. The park, which is the most visited in Utah with over 4 million visitors a year, covers an area of approximately 593 km² around the Zion Canyon, a 24 kilometer long deep gorge carved out over the centuries by the North Fork Virgin River.
Il lowest point of the park is located at 1.128 meters of Coalpits Wash, while the Highest point is located on the top of Mount Horse Ranch, located at 2.660 meters above sea level.
Visiting the Zion Park, which became a National Park in 1919, it is possible to admire the massive rock walls of cream, pink and red sandstone sculpted and shaped by the erosive action of the river, which soar towards the sky.
Geologically the Zion Canyon area includes nine known rock formations, which are visible as you walk through the canyon. Zion National Park is home to 67 species of mammals, 207 of birds, 35 of reptiles and amphibians and 9 of fish. Most of the animals that can be encountered they are not dangerous, but there is also the possibility of meeting a puma.
The free shuttle
To cope with the numerous visitors to the Park and to eliminate traffic and parking problems, a system of free shuttle which has the dual function of protecting the vegetation and restoring the tranquility of the Zion Canyon.
Lo Zion Canyon Shuttle, which is active every day from mid-February to the end of November, stops at nine points in the park and visitors can get on and off as often as they want. Free shuttles depart every 7-10 minutes from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.
During the shuttle service period, it is not possible to access the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive with private vehicles.
What to see in Zion National Park
There are many areas of Zion National Park that are worth visiting. Let's see which are the most interesting:
Angels Landing is a 454 meter high rock formation from which you can enjoy spectacular views of Zion Canyon. To get to the top of Angels Landing you have to follow a 3,9 km long path carved into the rock in 1926. The excursion it is particularly tiring and is only recommended for well-trained hikers who are not afraid of heights.
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive
The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is a beautiful one panoramic road which follows the North Fork of the Virgin River, allowing those who travel it to enjoy all the wonders of Zion National Park. Along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which is traveled by free shuttles from February to November, you can admire all the most extraordinary sceneries of Zion National Park.
The Narrows is the narrowest part of Zion Canyon, 26 kilometers long, which follows the path of the North Fork Virgin River. It is one of the most popular areas of the National Park and is characterized by a path whose width ranges from 5 to 10 meters, with side walls that reach 610 meters in height.
A hike in the Narrows means walking along the Virgin River for at least 60 percent of the hike time immersed in water, wading, walking and sometimes swimming.
You have to be prepared and have aadequate equipment (better bring a pair of spare shoes), and you have to be very careful, because in some places the current is strong and the rocks under your feet are slippery. There are areas where the water is deeper and it is possible to swim.
The excursion can be done starting from Sinawava Temple and going up the river (which allows you to see some of the most spectacular and narrowest parts of the canyon), or starting from the source and going down to the Temple of Sinawava.
How long for the visit?
There is no predefined time to visit Zion National Park, as a lot depends on the number and type of activities you intend to do within this beautiful National Park.
For those who do not intend to make particular excursions, even a single day may be sufficient, while for those who do not want to miss the possibility of experiencing intense emotions, it may take even 4-5 days.
What to see nearby
Bryce National Park
This beautiful canyon is characterized by Hoodies, of the particularly shaped rock pillars that have been generated over the centuries by erosion.
Bryce Canyon is 150 km from Zion National Park and takes approximately 2 hours of travel starting from Springdale.
Sand Hollow State Park
Sand Hollow is a very famous state park located near St George in southwestern Utah. The Park is formed by the Sand Hollow Reservoir, a natural lake of hot water, around which they are located sandy beaches and an expanse of red rocks.
It is located at a distance of 50 km from Zion National Park and takes about 45 minutes by car to reach it from Springdale.
The city of St. George is located in the southwest of the State of Utah and has a population that, including the metropolitan area, exceeds 150.000 inhabitants. The most important point of interest in the city, which is surrounded by the fascinating red rocks characteristic of this area, is the beautiful St. George Temple.
The town is 65 miles from Springdale and takes approximately 50 minutes to reach.
When to go
Zion National Park is open every day of the year. The best months to visit are the ones that go from April to October, when along the Zion Canyon there are also free shuttle bus services that connect the Zion Canyon Visitor Center (which serves as the main hub) and the Sinawava Temple.
But transit along the Zion Canyon is also allowed from November to March. Of course, spring, summer, and the first few weeks of fall will be busier than winter, when floods from the river can make it difficult or even impossible to hike down the canyon.
But even in summer, due to the high temperatures that occur in the central hours of the day (when it can exceed 40 ° C), the excursions could be very difficult unless you decide to do them early in the morning or late in the evening. .
Professional hikers prefer to visit Zion National Park in autumn or spring, when the climate is more moderate and guarantees the possibility of safer and more fun excursions and explorations.
However, there is no real better time to visit the Park, because in all seasons of the year it is possible to enjoy the spectacular nature of this unique place in the world: it all depends on the preferences of visitors and the type of activity. that they intend to play.
There are many activities that can be done at Zion National Park. The most popular is hiking, because the Park gives hikers of all abilities (beginners and experts) the opportunity to walk along paths that will take you through breathtaking views, encountering clear natural pools, arches carved into the rock, very narrow canyons and much more.
Before setting out on a hike it is always a good idea to stop by the Visitor Center for information and consult a ranger about the conditions before embarking on a hike. The Zion is a lover's paradise birdwatching and for wildlife observation.
In fact, inside the Park they are located beyond 200 bird species, including the peregrine falcon, the bald eagle and the California condor. A very interesting activity and also one of the most popular in Zion National Park is the canyoneering, a discipline that combines activities such as walking, climbing, swimming, abseiling and in which obstacles such as waterfalls, rock jumps, slides and ponds are faced.
Within the Park there are dozens of different canyons to explore by Canyoneering. With the steep rock walls of the canyon, Zion National Park is also a climbing lover's paradise, but due to their difficulty, most of the park's trails are not recommended for inexperienced climbers.
Climbing is not recommended in summer, when temperatures can rise above 40 ° C on unshaded walls. Cycling is also a very interesting alternative to visit Zion National Park. The use of bicycles is allowed on all roads of the Park, but off-piste excursions are prohibited.
The city of Springdale it is an excellent home base for visiting Zion National Park. In fact, the free shuttle buses leading up to the entrance to the National Park.Book a hotel in Springdale
The only accommodation inside the Park is the Zion Lodge, a hotel open all year round with rustic-modern style accommodation and a restaurant. The hotel is less than 5km north along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
Within the Zion National Park they are also found three campsites. South Campgrounds and Watchman Campgrounds are located within Zion Canyon, while Lava Point Campground is approximately 1 hour's drive from Zion Canyon within Kolob Terrace Road Park.
Other towns near Zion National Park where you can stay to get to the Park are Rockville, Hurricane, St. George and Kanab.
How to reach the park
Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah, and has two inputs found along Utah State Route 9.
Coming from the South West (Las Vegas, St. George) along I-15 you have to get onto UT Highway 9, follow it towards Springdale, then access the south entrance of the park called "Zion National Park South Entrance Ranger Station".
Coming from the east (Page, Arizona; Kanab, Utah) it can be reached by taking the Us Route 89 North and entering the State Route 9 West at Mount Carmel Junction and then heading towards the east entrance of the park called "Zion National Park East Entrance Ranger Station ”.
Zion National Park is located about 3 hours drive northeast of Las Vegas and about 5 hours southwest of Salt Lake City.
Zion National Park is open every day of the year, 24 hours a day.
Cost of entry
The cost of admission to Zion National Park depends on both the duration and the type of vehicle with which you want to access the Park.
Tickets are usually valid for 7 days, but you can also buy the Annual Pass which is valid for 12 months.
- Private vehicle: $ 30,00 (valid for 7 days).
This type of access allows you to enter the Park area with a private vehicle (with a maximum capacity of 15 passengers) and all its occupants. The Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyon areas are also included in the ticket.
- Motorcycle: $ 25,00 (valid for 7 days).
This type of access allows access to the Park with a motorcycle for private use, and also includes the areas of Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyon.
- per person: $ 15,00 (valid for 7 days).
This type of access is personal and allows a single individual without a car to access the National Park, including the Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyon areas. This type of access is typically used by cyclists, hikers and pedestrians. Young people under the age of 15 are admitted free of charge to the Park.
- Organized groups: $ 30,00 (valid for 7 days).
Organized groups such as Scouts, youth groups, religious groups etc. who are not in possession of an academic exemption for entry, will pay a fee of $ 30,00 if they enter the National Park in non-commercial vehicles with a maximum capacity of 15 people, or a fee of $ 15,00 per person if they enter the Park with non-commercial vehicles with a capacity of 16 or more people.
Young people under the age of 15 can enter the National Park for free. Individuals and families in possession of any Annual Pass or a Lifetime Subscription can use the pass for their entry to the Park.
- Zion Annual Pass: $ 50,00 (valid for 12 months from the date of purchase).
This type of access allows the pass holder and any passengers of the private vehicle (up to a maximum of 14 passengers) with which you enter the Zion National Park to enter the Park.
An interesting and educational way to visit Zion National Park is to rely on guided tours:
3-Day Western Deserts Parks Tour from Las Vegas
This 3-day tour departs Las Vegas and stops at some of the major National Parks in Arizona (Grand Canyon and Lake Powell) and Utah (Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park), as well as the city of Kanab.
It is included in the price:
- 2 nights in hotel with breakfast;
- transportation by air-conditioned bus;
- the professional tour guide;
- a cruise on Lake Powell;
- entrance to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion Park
The first day is dedicated to visiting the Grand Canyon. On the second day, the morning will be used to admire the beautiful Lake Powell, while in the early afternoon the tour will stop at Bryce Canyon. Zion National Park is visited on the third day.
Il cost of the tour is € 407.
Day tour from Las Vegas
This day tour departs from Las Vegas and winds up on an ambitious tour that leads to exploration of Zion National Parks and Bryce Canyon.
Duration of the tour: 11 hours
Cost of the tour: from € 225
- bus transport;
- pick up and drop off at the hotel;
- professional tour guide;
- admission to Zion Park and Bryce National Park;
- lunch and bottle of water.
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