Zion National Park, UT

Location:Zion National Park
Springdale, Utah 84767

Zion is a place that suggests beauty and awe. The great majestic canyon is one of splendid magnitude. The colors are bright and outstanding as you look upon them from the floor of the canyon. The Five Fingers of Kolob are a sight to see. The Virgin River carved this beautiful canyon and brought about this wonderful sight.

Hiking Information

General Information

This park is a great place for just driving and riding to look at things. Make it a point to drive through the tunnels since they are well-built and basically fun to drive through. There is a great amount of history you can see from within the tunnels, however, no pedestrian or bicycle traffic is allowed through them. Automobiles should drive through slowly so that as you drive past the small windows, passengers may look out over the park. Stopping inside the tunnels is not permitted.

In the main canyon, be sure that you take in all the sights. Pay attention as you drive up close to the Temple of Sinawava, and you might find the small, almost hidden, "Wedding Balcony". If you can find a place to stop, you might find a pleasant surprise there for you.

The Virgin River flows through the bottom of the canyon and brings life to the surrounding area. If you watch carefully, you might just see some wildlife around too. A warning to you: Do NOT feed the animals -- they are wild and should not rely on humans for food. These animals can carry diseases as well, so please be careful. Finally, please remember to respect the land.

Close to the entrance of the national park, but within the city, is an Imax theater called the Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theatre. The story is about the Four Corners Area, and from the very beginning you are drawn into it. The film is about 45 minutes long, and it's well worth your time to stop by and see it.

If you are planning a trip to the area, you might want to find a place to stay nearby. The South and Watchman Campgrounds in the park have a reservation service, and as a warning, they seldom have vacancies if you don't reserve a campsite in advance. There are many hotels, motels, and campgrounds in nearby Springdale though, and most of these sites will take reservations for nearly any dates and times. If you plan on taking a trip during the busy season (any holiday weekend), make sure that you have made a reservation.

The Main Canyon

Zion National Park is located in southwest Utah, about 30 miles northeast of St. George and is accessible from Route 9. With two ways into Zion National Park you are brought into the glory of the canyon. Coming in through Springdale you notice the change on the mountains around you to the towering sandstone walls. The colors are brilliant and stand out against the blue skies above the canyon walls. Once you have entered the park you want to be sure and take a trip to the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. It will give you all the information on the park and this is where you park your car and take the shuttle.

Zion Canyon Shuttles

A new transportation system for the park, called the Zion Canyon Shuttle, has been implemented due to the amount of traffic going into the park. The shuttles will operate April through October and run 6:30am to 9:30 pm. The shuttles go up the main part of the canyon, but not along the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway side. However, the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway will still be open to normal thru-traffic. Biking and hiking along the road in the canyon is still acceptable. The shuttles also carry bike racks on them. For more information click here.

The shuttles stop at all the main points within Zion Canyon. A trip up the Canyon on the Shuttles takes about 45 minutes. The stops are as follows:

  • Zion Canyon Visitor Center
  • Zion Museum
  • Canyon Junction
  • Court of the Patriarchs
  • Zion Lodge
  • The Grotto
  • Weeping Rock
  • Big Bend
  • Temple of Sinawava

Kolob Canyon

Kolob Canyon is a part of Zion National Park, but is not accessible by road from the main part of the park. Kolob Canyon is often referred to as the "Five Fingers Area". This is because from is distance it look like five finger sticking up over the Hurricane Cliffs. Access to Kolob Canyon is off of I-15 about 15 minutes from Cedar City. It is well worth the drive up to see it.

On your way in stop at the Kolob Canyon Visitor Center and get the latest information that you can. They will also be able to tell you more about the canyon that you are heading to. The drive is on a red paved road. It adds to the beauty of the place. Be sure to stop at every point along the way.

Point to be sure and stop at:
  • Lee Pass
  • Kolob Canyons Viewpoint

Also well worth your time to hike around is the Taylor Creek Trail. On this trail our two old pioneer homes from when people first settled the area. This is one spot that may be worth you time to hike up. At the end of the trail is the Double Arch Cove. It is a grand sight to see. Spend your time walking carefully you dont want to miss anything on this trail.

If you are looking for a nice backpacking trip the Kolob Arch area is one that is well worth taking. It is a 7 mile hike into the campground areas. Be sure to get a backpacking permit from the Visitor Center. But if you are looking for a nice long days hike it is close to a 15 mile round trip. It is well worth it if you have the time and are prepared for the trip. As with anything remember to take water and something to snack on. This may be a full day for you or possible a nice backpacking trip. Take your time with which ever you do.