Zion National Park is well known for its beauty and majesty. The red rock towers contrast with the evergreen trees, while the Virgin River passes through it. However, it is also a major tourist attraction for those who want to do more than take pictures. Here are four great things to do in Zion National Park. And don’t worry – we’ll share tips on how to get the most out of the park no matter your abilities or interests.
Zion National Park has several campsites. Lava Point Campground is located an hour drive north of Zion Canyon on Kolob Terrace Road. There aren’t any campgrounds in the Kolob Canyon. National Park’s south campground is accessed via Highway 9. The Watchman campground is in Zion Canyon itself. Watchman and the South campgrounds are popular because they are both along the Virgin River; the few riverside campsites are booked far in advance.
There are several private campgrounds outside of the park. Between March and November, they are almost all booked.
The Riverside Walk is a two-mile hiking path along the Virgin River, perfect for those who want to hike with the family without doing anything too strenuous. It can be reached via the shuttle from the local visitor center. In fact, you can reach all of the hiking paths in the park except for Canyon Overlook Trail from one of the shuttle’s stops. The “Narrows” are a steep canyon, not a specific trail, but it is a suitable day hike of ten miles out and back. Angel’s Landing is a tougher three mile uphill climb, and you need to be in good shape to make it, though you don’t need to be a rock climber. If you can, the views are worth the risk. The highest trail takes you to Observation Point above Mount Baldy. You ascend about two thousand feet over a four mile one way trip, so it is quite a workout.
If you have pets, you can only hike with them along the roads and along the Pa’rus Trail. This is also a wide paved path that is the easiest hiking trail of any in the park.
It is widely known that Zion National Park is one of the best national parks in America, and not everyone is able to hike through the tamed wilderness. The Zion-Mount Carmel Scenic Highway is an excellent way to pass by the massive red rock towers and enjoy a relaxing trip; the highway itself covers 12 miles. You can do this on your way to the campgrounds in the park or as you enter it as part of a day trip after seeing Bryce National Park. Note that there are no bathrooms or service stations on the route, so stock up on water and use the restroom before taking the trip. There are several pull-offs where you can take amazing pictures of the park or the mountain goats that often cross the highway.
Zion Canyon Visitor Center
The Zion Canyon Visitor Center is ranked second on many lists of the best things to see and do in Zion National Park. Aside from the bookstore and gift shop, the air conditioning and shade you appreciate after a long hike, you can learn about the area from the staff here. A few participate in eco-hunts to learn about the cutting edge eco-friendly design such as its trombe wall for heat retention, cooling towers and solar panels.
Whether it’s the scenic drives, miles of hiking trails ranging from suitable for the whole family to those restricted to adventurous and athletic hikers or marvellous camping spots, Zion has something for everyone. So if you were looking for something different for the whole family, then you should definitely give Zion National Park a second look.