Zion National Park, located in the southwestern United States, in the state of Utah, is the most amazing place on the planet. The park has an area of 593 km² and an altitude ranging from 1.128 meters above sea level to the 2.660 meters of Mount Horse Ranch. Although Zion is quite small compared to other national parks, it has an abundance of landscapes and a multitude of hiking trails through very different terrains. You can go from deserted and arid areas to breathtaking observation points, from lush woods to majestic canyons, all of a beauty never seen before.
It is a park to see from the bottom up, and has a large choice of different routes. Protected within 229 square miles of Zion National Park (593,1 km) this spectacular landscape is made up of cliffs, canyons and deserts, filled with unexpected events including the largest arch in the world - Kolob Arch - measuring 310 feet ( 94,5 m). The striking vertical shape of the park's rock towers, the pointed rocks and the spectacular view from above attract millions of
visitors every year.
Zion is Utah's oldest national park. It was the first recognized state park (1919) and displays the oldest geological strata on this side of the Grand Canyon. It is also Utah's most visited national park, attracting more than 3 million visitors annually.
Zion is about a 3-hour drive from Las Vegas (Nevada) and is a major attraction on the "Grand Circle Tour" - a list of national parks that includes Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon.
What to visit
Visitors to Zion National Park will be mesmerized by the stunning beauty of Zion Canyon, from the gorgeous orange glow of the towering sandstone formations to the delicate beauty of the vegetation growing from the canyon's flat walls and streams. The canyon, carved by the Virgin River, is 24km long and 800m deep.
Don't miss the climb to Angels Landing 5.785 feet high and reached via a steep arduous trail with frightening dizzying spots. The reward: a spectacular aerial view up and down the sandstone canyon that makes you feel as if you are flying over the park.
For the less adventurous, there are plenty of other choices, including the short trek to the trio of Emerald Pools and to Weeping Rock with water dripping off the cliff as if they were tears.
How to get to Zion National Park
Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah, not far from Saint George - just a 45 minute drive. The closest airports are that of Las Vegas and the small airport of Saint George. Below you will find directions to reach Zion from some important nearby destinations.
- From St. George, UT (54 miles) - Take I-15 N towards Salt Lake City. Take Exit 16 towards Hurricane / Zion National Park and then UT 9 East to Springdale.
- From Salt Lake City, UT (308 miles) - Take I-15 S towards Las Vegas, NV. Take Exit 16 towards Hurricane / Zion National Park and then UT 9 East to Springdale.
- From Las Vegas, NV (161 miles) - Take I-15 N towards Salt Lake City. Take exit 16 towards Hurricane / Zion National Park. Take UT 9 East to Springdale.
- From Bryce Canyon National Park (72 miles) - Take UT 12 West to Hwy 89 South. Take Highway 89 South to UT 9 and head west to the east entrance to Zion National Park.
Zion National Park is open all year round and has two information centers where visitors are encouraged to stop and learn how to visit the park with minimal impact on the fragile desert environment. In the visitor centers you will find maps, brochures and books to help you learn more about the park and enjoy your visit.
Private Vehicles - $ 25 per vehicle for a 7 day pass
Pedestrians, bicycles and motorbikes - 12 $ per person for a 7 day pass. No more than $ 25 per family.
When to visit the park
Any time of the year is a good time to visit Zion but the best time to visit is from March to October, a period that offers a mild climate and makes the park perfect for hikers. Spring and summer are full of life and the park is very busy. Autumn offers spectacular colors but also winter is not to be underestimated where the snow mixes with the other bright colors of the park.