Zion National Park
Distance from Las Vegas: 254 km
Travel time: about 3 hours
Route: Interstate 15 North, at Harrisburg Junction US 9 (Exit 16) to Springdale.
Entry: $ 35 per vehicle (motorcycle $ 20) valid for 7 days (including maps and park info)
The Zion National Park with its red sandstone cliffs and picturesque canyons is one of the most beautiful national parks in the USA. Numerous trails make the park ideal for hiking.
Often Zion National Park is only used as a transit between Bryce Canyon and Las Vegas. The track is beautiful and of course an experience, but if it can be done in time, you should at least the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive drive.
This particularly scenic route is closed in the summer months (April to October) for private vehicles and only with the Zion Shuttle to drive. The buses start at the Visitor Center in Springdale and leave approximately every 10 minutes. The shuttle is free and you can get on and off as often as you want at the eight stops in the park. This is also ideal for hiking between the individual stops. The round trip takes about 90 minutes.
Hiking in Zion National Park
From quiet walks to demanding climbing tours, there is something for every level. Here are the most popular hikes at a glance. Further information and maps are available free of charge at the entrance to the park or in the visitor center. For all walks: sturdy shoes, sunscreen and plenty of water to take!
The 1.6 km long, stony circular route starts on Highway 9 just before the tunnel (coming from Bryce Canyon). The path offers some beautiful views and is relatively easy to walk in an hour. Steep slopes are usually secured by fences.
Starting point is at the Zion Lodge. First, it is two kilometers to the Lower Pool, a pool with overhanging rocks and a small waterfall. The paved footpath is easy to walk, even with children. Then the trail is a bit more demanding and it goes steadily uphill to the Upper Pool. There, too, water flows from a high rock into a deep green basin. This is bigger and has a small beach.
The intermediate route (4.3 km) starts directly behind the visitor center. There are also plenty of parking spaces. Due to the temperatures best start in the early morning or late afternoon. The path is sometimes very narrow and steep, hardly any shade. It takes about 2 – 2.5 hours to get there and back.
Riverside Walk – Zion Narrows
To get to the Zion Narrows, take the Zion Shuttle to the last stop (Temple of Sinawava), and then walk along the Riverside Walk. The paved road ends after 2 km by the river. Experienced hikers can then wade through the water. The up to 600 meters high sandstone cliffs move up to a few meters together and behind each bend, there are new fantastic views. Many hikers try to reach Orderville Canyon, a side stream about 2 hours upriver, as the Narrows are perhaps the most beautiful.
This trail is certainly one of the highlights in Zion National Park. The tour is really only something for people with good condition and no fear of heights. Especially the last 700 m are very exhausting. For the hike (8 km) it takes about 5 hours.
From the starting point The Grotto, the path initially goes a bit flat along the Virgin River and then leads upwards in serpentines.
Lower part of Angels Landing Trail
In the further course it goes laterally along the mountain to the back. From there, 21 serpentines, the so-called Walter’s Wiggles, lead to the Scout Lookout. The last 700 meters are very steep and not dangerous. The track is secured with chains, but in some places it goes left and right several hundred meters steeply down.
Weather in Zion National Park
Spring and fall are ideal times to visit the park, although in spring the weather can be changeable. The wildflowers bloom from April to June. In the summer it can be quite hot during the day, but it cools off nicely at night. Short afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon in July and August. In the autumn the days are usually clear and mild, the nights cool. The autumn colors in the Canyon are the best at the end of October. The winters are on average 5 ° C rather mild, in the highlands must be expected with snow.
Checkerboard Mesa (at the east entrance)
If you want to visit Zion National Park for two or more days, it is best to take one Motel in Springdale (at the park entrance). From Springdale you can take the shuttle bus to the park for free. Cheaper are the motels in Hurricane or St. George (about 40 km towards Las Vegas).
Hotel tip for Zion Park: Zion Canyon Lodge
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