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How to Visit Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is the first to be founded in the state of Utah, in the United States. When you travel to Utah you will find several more national parks in the State and they are all worth visiting, but this one is not to be missed. Is awesome!

In this post you will find a practical guide on how to visit Zion National Park, the best views, the best treks and I give you several tips to make you fall in love with this place.


How to Get to Zion National Park

The first thing to keep in mind if you are thinking of traveling to Utah is that you must rent a car. It is necessary to visit practically all the interesting places in the State. You will love to travel through the desert roads where the landscape is from a movie.

You have several options to enter the park. Most car rentals you can choose the navigator option. But if you buy a sim card for the United States (something I recommend) you can use the google maps application to get there.

1. You can access Zion National Park from Springdale

This is the most common option. Access the Park from the south, from Springdale. Here you will find the Zion National Park Visitor Center.

The high season and with more visitors goes from the end of March to the beginning of November. And don't be surprised that if you arrive after 9am you will already find the full car park. You can leave the car in the village. From the same town every day there are free transfers to the park.

This service has 8 stops and only runs from March to November.

2. Access Zion National Park from the north

If you want to access the Park from the north you must do so by the road that connects the Park with Mount Carmel.

This area is less popular, so you will find much less people. As soon as you arrive at the park you will be amazed by the views.

3. Access Zion National Park from Kolob Canyons

Kolob Canyons is an area that belongs to the National Park, but it is an annex. It is the least popular part. Although I recommend that you visit the main entrances, if you have plenty of time and want to explore this area, you should add one more day to your route through the Park.

2. Zion National Park Hours and Rates

Zion National Park is open 24 hours. However, the visitor center as well as the booths where you must buy the ticket open from 8am to 5pm every day.

The entrance price changes depending on the ticket you choose. And all passes are valid for 7 days.

Prices (remember that prices may have changed):

- For walkers or bicycles: $20 per person

- For motorcycles: $30 per vehicle

- For cars: $35 per vehicle

If you are thinking of visiting more National Parks in the United States, there are many in Utah! It is better for you to buy the annual ticket to enter all the National parks for $80. It is valid for all the passengers of the same vehicle or for 4 people, in case you access it on foot.

You can buy the "Annual Pass" at the ticket offices of any National Park in the country or online.

3. How to get around Zion National Park

Most of the marked and most popular routes depart from Zion Canyon Scenic Highway. You can use this road without problems from November to March. Once high season arrives, from March to November the road remains closed. So if you go in high season, you can only get to Canyon Junction by car, which is the point from where this photogenic road starts.

During these months of high season, you have buses to move around the park. This service connects the main places of interest and has a very fluid frequency. They pass every 10 minutes approx.


Take in the views from the Canyon Junction Bridge

You will find one of the most impressive panoramic views of Zion National Park at the Canyon Junction Bridge. It does not require any kind of effort, you can arrive by car, make a stop and enjoy this wonder.

Zion-Mt. Carmel Scenic Highway

The road that connects Zion National Park with Mount Carmel is beautiful. It is a 12-mile road (almost 20 kilometers approx) where you can enjoy different landscapes of a thousand colors and shapes. The road is passable and in very good condition, the downside are the curves for those who get dizzy.

Along the road you will find some areas to stop the car, and depending on the time of the year, it is possible that you can stop at each curve because it is barely passable. The views from any point are impressive! You are going to take thousands of photographs, I assure you.

Court of Patriarchs

When you get on the park bus you will see that you have many stop options. And you will have to decide between some if you have little time to enjoy the Park. One of the stops is Court of Patriarchs and I totally recommend it. Once you arrive, walking a couple of minutes you will reach a viewpoint to enjoy spectacular views. The three rocky mountains named Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob after the three Biblical patriarchs.

Checkerboard Table

Checkerboard Mesa is one of the most famous formations in Zion National Park. It is of a greyish color that stands out from the reddish landscape that surrounds it. If you go by car, there are several areas where you can park.

Its popular name is due to the fact that over the years a grid of cracks has been formed, reminiscent of a checkerboard.

Zion Human History Museum

In the park you can also visit a museum, which you will find near the entrance. In it there is a huge model of the Park and you can see a short documentary about the changes that have been experienced over the years.

The highlight are some exhibits of American Indian culture. The museum opens every day from 10am to 5pm.

Kolob Canyons

As I mentioned before, Kolob Canyons is the least popular area of ​​the park. From the north entrance you will have to drive almost 1 hour to get there. It is an elevated area from where you can enjoy better panoramic views of the park. The most popular time to visit this area is in the afternoon, since when sunset begins, the red of the park intensifies much more.

The best treks to do in Zion National Park

If you are a lover of Trekking in Zion National Park you will find an infinity of routes that are a jewel. There are easier routes and some more complicated ones, for all levels.

If you are thinking of doing any of the routes, take into account the duration and the days that you will need to continue getting to know the area, in order to organize your trip well.

As the information on the routes is quite extensive, I will detail everything in this article: Best hikes and trekking to do in Zion National Park, Utah.

Where to Stay to Visit Zion National Park

Inside the Park you have a couple of options where to stay. One of the most popular is camping. There are three camping areas; South Campground, Watchman Campground and Lava Point Campground. You will find them open from March to November. They are arid areas with hardly any shadows, and very basic. You must book in time, at least 2 or 3 weeks in advance online. The cost is $20 a night.

If you want to stay in the park, but prefer it to be in accommodation, the only one inside the park is the Zion Lodge.

If you have it clear, you must book many months in advance and you must take into account that it is not very cheap. Prices start at $200 per night.

Sleeping inside the Park is impressive. In addition, when day visitors return to town or leave, you will find another facet of the place that is worth knowing. Tranquility, starry nights...

Sringdale is the closest town to the Park entrance. In addition, you can leave the car in the town and access the park with free transfers.

Sleeping in Springdale is cheaper (although it is still expensive) and you also have shops, restaurants...

We rented a camper to tour Utah. Below I tell you the best options to tour Utah.

Stay in nearby towns

You have more options of towns where you can stay. They are a little further from the park entrance, but it will take more or less between 30 and 50 minutes. This guarantees that even if you have to do more kilometers, you will find lower prices in accommodation.

Towns near Zion National Park where to stay

When to visit Zion National Park?

We traveled to Utah in May and we had sunny and hot days, around 30 degrees.

The high season is considered from the end of March to the beginning of November, having the busiest peaks in summer. So if you are available to travel whenever you want, I would recommend doing it in April, May or October, so you can enjoy a more neutral climate and fewer people. Try to avoid holidays like Easter. They say it's crazy!

In summer temperatures are around 40-45 degrees. So if you are thinking of going on hikes, make sure you always go very well protected from the sun and with plenty of water. Despite the heat, summer storms are common, though not long-lasting.

In spring the green color of the vegetation contrasts with the more arid areas and the clay of the mountains. The climate is usually milder and yes, the rains are usually common, although not long-lasting.

Autumn has even more warm colors in the park. The temperatures are milder and it is perfect to get to know the area with few people.

From the beginning of November the temperatures begin to drop. And it is when the rainy season begins and even snow in some moments of winter. The worst are the layers of ice that accumulate on the trails. That is why the Park receives few visitors during these months.


I hope you enjoy your trip to Utah very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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