Zion National Park



ZION NATIONAL PARK

Overview

The majestic wonders of Zion National Park are difficult to capture in a photograph. They must be experienced and that is why it is one of the most visited United States National Parks.

Zion National Park encompasses an area of 229 square miles (593.1 km) of spectacular landscape of sandstone cliffs, deep canyons and expansive plateaus. Located near St. George and Springdale, Utah, Zion National Park is a vast wilderness of rock formations that includes the world’s largest arch – Kolob Arch – with a span of 310 feet (94.5 m).

There are many activities to do while visiting. Hiking is a top activity that most people enjoy with plenty of hikes for all levels. Angels Landing, The Narrows, Observation Point, Riverwalk Trails are some of the most popular hikes in the park. You can choose to do the hikes on your own or find guided tours with experienced guides who can point out unique features, wildlife, or plantlife that you might otherwise miss. Bikes can also be rented and used on all roadways and the Pa’rus Trail. For those who want to get deeper into Zion Canyon, you can sign up for guided hiking  tours or considering seeing parts of Zion National Park by horse just as the Native Americans and first settlers of the area used to do.


When Can I Visit Zion National Park?

Zion National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  

During the summer months, Zion National Park Visitor Centers are open each day from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. During spring, fall and winter months the visitor centers hours  are reduced. Some of the visitor centers are closed on various federal holidays.

You may contact the park at their 24-hour phone for updates:  435-772-3256 .

How to Get to Zion National Park By Plane

There are several options of airports to fly into to travel to Zion National Park.St. George Regional Airport in Utah offers the closest airport to Zion National Park (46 miles (74.1 km) from the park). McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas (about 3 hours from Zion National Park) and Salt Lake City International Airport (about 4 hours from Zion National Park) are excellent gateway airports to begin your trip to Zion National Park.

How to Get to Zion National Park By Car

Observation Point

Traveling to Zion National Park by car will allow you to see the beauty of southern Utah and prepare you for the landscapes you will encounter. Whether you are traveling from Las Vegas or California or from Salt Lake City, Zion National Park is accessible from Interstate 15 and from Scenic Highway 89. Click here to see a map and more details.

 

What is the Weather Like in Zion National Park?

 

Depending on the time of year you need to be prepared for a range of weather conditions at Zion National Park.

In the lower sections of the park, you can expect warmer temperatures than in the higher elevations. Zion Ponderosa, which is located on the east rim of Zion National Park, is 2,500 feet higher than the valley floor and is much cooler in the summer months.

Summer days can be warm with temperatures on the valley floor ranging from 95+ ˚F. Overnight lows are generally comfortable (65–70 ˚F.). The weather is usually sunny and warm and it’s recommended to bring and drink water to stay hydrated.

During spring and fall, the weather at Zion National Park can be unpredictable. The Average temperatures during the fall can range from low 40s ˚F to mid 70s.  Stormy, wet days may occur however, this can be one of the best times to view waterfalls within Zion National Park. During periods of rain, use caution in narrow canyons where flooding may occur.

Precipitation is frequently most common in March and September. Afternoon thunderstorms may be more common from mid-July through mid-September. Wildflowers generally are in bloom from April through June.

Fall days in Zion National Park are usually clear and mild. Usually beginning in September and peaking in October or early November, autumn colors are spectacular in and around the park.

Winters in Zion National Park are generally mild and most days are comfortable on the valley floor with temperatures reaching 60 ˚F, and nights averaging in the 40 ˚F. Winter storms bring rain or light snow to Zion Canyon, but some heavier snow to the higher elevations. When necessary, the roads are cleared of snow. Winter is an ideal time for hiking when Zion National Park is very peaceful and less crowded.

Accessibility

For those with special needs, the visitor centers and the Lodge within the park are fully accessible. Some campsites in the South Campground are reserved for people with disabilities.

Two trails within Zion National Park are also accessible. The Riverside Walk (1-mile, 1.6 km) begins at the north end of Zion Canyon and is paved for the first 0.4 mile of the trail where there is a turnaround rest area.

Opened in 1995, the 1.5-mile Pa’rus Trail is a good option. The first quarter mile is asphalt, while the rest of the trail is concrete. It is located near the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.

Main Canyon Vehicle Access

 

March through November is generally the time when Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is only accessible by shuttle bus while the rest of the park is open year-round to private vehicles. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is open to private vehicles whenever the shuttle bus is not running. Check park schedules to confirm shuttle dates.

History of Zion National Park

Mukuntuweap National Monument was proclaimed on July 31, 1909. In 1917, the acting director of the newly formed National Park Service visited and considered renaming the location. It became known as Zion National Monument on March 18, 1918. The following year, on November 19, 1919, more land was added and it was established as a National Park.

Since that time, Zion National Park is one of the top National Parks visited in the United States. People from all over the world come to visit and experience the beauty and unique features of Zion National Park.