Whether you are an advanced hiker or someone who prefers a short walk, Zion National Park has several options for visitors exploring Utah’s first national park. Guests will see the massive sandstone cliffs from the moment they start their entrance into the park from the small town surrounding it. The views only get better the deeper you go into Zion. The cream, pink, and burnt red stones are stunning against the bright blue sky.
We visited over Memorial Day weekend, which is the busiest weekend for the park, according to rangers. At times, it felt more like Walt Disney World and not an encounter with nature, but it was easy to lose the large crowds and find solitude on the longer trails.
If a long hike doesn’t sound appealing to you, Zion offers various stops on its shuttle, allowing guests to take in all the interesting sites within the park without miles of walking.
One of the park’s most visited attractions in the Narrows, which is a gorge with walls that officials say are 1,000 feet tall. Guests walk through the 20 to 30 feet wide river to experience the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. If you don’t feel like wading through the river’s waters, stay on the paved trail and admire the various flowers blooming and hungry squirrels looking for new friends.
If you do love a long path, we recommend the 10.8-mile hike on East Rim Trail that takes guests to the Weeping Rock. The photo below is from the Weeping Rock, which looks out over the park. See more information on hikes here. Consult the park’s newspaper for the best safety tips.
Many visitors love the challenge Angels Landing provides at Zion. The narrow rock forces visitors to connect themselves to chains running down Angels Landing, but enthusiasts say the view is worth the risk. Park officials said that while they do not have exact numbers, they do know that five people have fallen from Angels Landing. If you attempt this more challenging hike, your reward is a remarkable view. If you are unsure, check out the virtual tour of Angels Landing here.
Parking fills up quickly, and most visitors have to park in the neighborhood surrounding the park. If you go before noon, you can likely find a spot for free. The hotels in the area are gorgeous, but not cheap. If you’re looking for an affordable hotel, we recommend staying in St. George, Utah, which is only about 50 minutes from the park.
Have you been to Zion National Park? What was your favorite trail or activity?