From the history that started over 8,000 years ago to the highest point of more than 2 kilometers, the Zion National Park is a great place to explore. Given the huge land area, the park will never be short of things to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re adventurous or an introvert, there is something that will suit your preferences.
Here are some of the things to do in Zion National Park.
Referring to the shorter term “glamorous camping”, this is the modern and chic version of the ordinary camping that we all used to know. Since the area is full of dramatic and instagrammable landscapes, there are many companies offering this kind of camping. It is more of having a resort-like experience while being inside a huge tent that is similar to a tiny house. Usually, these accommodations have full utilities like private bathrooms and on-site dining. To have a more camping feel, there are camp activities offered to guests and sometimes a dedicated place for bonfires.
If ‘glamping’ made its way mostly on the surrounding areas, the Zion National Park has plenty of traditional camping areas. This allows visitors to enjoy the usual camping activities, including stargazing as the International Dark-Sky Association certified Zion as an “International Dark Sky Park”. Make sure to have your reservations on different campgrounds as it can be jampacked on peak seasons with a first-come, first-serve policy. For families who own an RV, there are dedicated sites for it that need a reservation as well.
A person on horseback does not frighten animals in the same way that a person on foot does. This gives the opportunity to see wildlife closely around the Zion National Park. From late March to early November, there are guided horseback riding tours offered by different operators approved by the park management. Some offer horseback riding even from December to March, as it is available all year round on both public and private lands.
With the local management’s support for more environmentally friendly options, bicycling is much welcome in the parking area. For cyclists, it is important to note that there is only one trail that allows bikes, which is the Pa’rus trail. All other trails and the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel are closed for bikes for safety reasons. Helmets should be worn at all times and a maximum of 6 people in a group is only allowed. Class 1 pedal-assist e-bikes can also be used and the same rules apply.
Visiting The Narrows
Being the most popular hike in the parking area, The Narrows allows hikers to explore Zion Canyon’s narrowest section with beautiful stone walls. There is no trail in this area that requires people to walk in the Virgin River which will get their feet wet. It is suggested to start the hike from the Temple of Sinawava through the Riverside Walk and go upstream before heading back to the same path. This trail does not require a Wilderness Permit and a guide, but some do like the 16-Mile Through Hike from The Chamberlain’s Ranch. It is preferred to plan ahead of time and check the weather as The Narrows are susceptible to flash floods.
Dreaming to see the beautiful rock formations and the red stones up close – literally? Why not do rock climbing! Be amazed at the 2,000-foot sandstone cliffs, with the best conditions from March to May where there is less rain. It is also important to know that inexperienced climbers may not be permitted on most routes as it could be too challenging to climb. There are some sports centers offering sport and top-rope climbing outside the park, which could be a great alternative activity for beginners.
Various Guided Activities
For families and children, there are youth-guided programs offered in the park such as Evening Storytellers and Riverside Rangers Exploration. Ranger-led walks are also available in Zion Canyon, but it is recommended to check with park information desks and bulletin boards to see the availability.
Besides all of these exciting activities, a more laid-back staycation is also possible! Enjoy a hotel stay in the area with the views of the iconic red stones and mountain top that look amazing in any weather. A getaway to remember is possible for visitors of the Zion National Park.