Deep canyons, monolithic cliffs and vibrant landscapes. Whether you are wanting to climb an immense sandstone cliff, explore a magnificent slot canyon or trek through a river carving a path in the mountains, Zion is the place for you.

OVERVIEW
Zion National Park is an extremely interactive and diverse park. The dramatic canyon is lined with hikes, climbing routes, canyoneering, and camping. This park is unlike any other and has earned a spot as one of our favorites.

 

The canyon is divided into areas geographically. The main canyon is where the majority of easily accessible activities and visitor center are found.

GETTING THERE

Zion National Park is a somewhat remote park with the closest major airport being Las Vegas which is about two hours and thirty minutes away. If possible, we really recommend taking some time and planning out a DESERT ROAD TRIP. This is one of our favorite areas in the world and really think it deserves some time. However, a quick trip from Salt Lake International Airport, Las Vegas Airport, or driving from wherever you are located is worth the trip for Zion alone.
1 Zion Park Boulevard, Springdale, Utah 84767

435.772.3256

The Zion National Park Visitor Center opens at 8am every morning. This is where you can park, find information on park & seasonal programs, book camping permits for trail camping, book canyoneering permits, get advice, and board the shuttle during the summer months (which are the only way to enter the main fork of the canyon during summer months).
CAMPING
There are three campgrounds in Zion National Park. Some are able to be booked online, others are a first come first serve basis. If you would prefer not to camp, hotels are available in Springdale or other cities near the park.
Located in Zion Canyon, one-half mile from the South Entrance
This is the only campground that takes online reservations. Located near the South Entrance.
Located in Zion Canyon, one-half mile from the South Entrance.
First come, first served. Open year round. Bring cash and come early if you intend to stay here. This campsite is right next to the Watchman Campground
Kolob Terrace Road, 25 miles north of the town of Virgin
Remote and quiet campground in the north end of the park. This campground is one hour from the visitor center. First come, first served. Closed in the winter.
Campfires are not permitted in the Zion backcountry. If you are camping, we recommend you bring meals-ready-to-eat, or bring a gas-fueled stove. Fires are, however, permitted in the front-country campgrounds in the established fire pits. Make sure to bring your own firewood, as firewood gathering is not not allowed anywhere in the park.

HIKING

A good introduction to Zion National Park is The Narrows and Angel’s Landing. Angeles Landing takes to to a high view at the bend of the Zion Canyon. Deep in the mouth of the canyon you can hike The Narrows. Follow the river through the sheer cliffs as far up river as you would like to hike, then turn around and head back down. The Narrows can also be hiked from the top down with permits available at the Zion National Park Visitor Center.
7 Zion park Blvd, Springdale, Utah 84767

435.772.5090

One of the most convenient stops into the park for purchasing or renting outdoors equipment. The Outfitters also provide group tours that can be booked in advance from their website. The hours are 7:00am to 7:00pm, seven days a week.

The Narrows

The Narrows hike is either possible from the top down through the full 9.4 miles (this requires permits and planning and a lot of ambition), or as an up and back down hike of whatever distance you want from the Temple of Sinawava which does not require any permits. Be sure to check weather conditions before planning your trip, as high water levels can prevent access to The Narrows. This hike is constantly in water, so it is easiest in the summer. we also recommend taking a dry bag to hold any electronics or valuables.

Angel’s Landing

Located at a sharp bend in the Zion Canyon, Angels landing takes you two and a half miles up into an amazing view. This hike is somewhat strenuous and has some exposure. The sections that are most dangerous have chains to hold onto, however fear of heights might make this hike difficult.
CANYONEERING
Zion is beautiful from the surface and from high vistas, but the remarkable thing is the potentially more beautiful underground world that exists in the park. This is one of the larger groups of navigable slot canyons in the world. Hike to the top and rappel down into the deep slot canyons, then work your way down obstacles and more rappels.

 

Any technical hikes involving ropes or harnesses require an inexpensive permit that can be booked in advance through the online booking, or though a walk in permit.

 

If you do not have the equipment or expertise, you can book a tour through an adventure company.

PERMITS

1 Zion Park Boulevard

Springdale, Utah 84767 

435.772.3256

Book up to three months in advance through the website, or walk in permits are held for the day in advance. For walk in permits, arrive as early as possible to ensure you get the permit you are wanting, and always come with a backup option.

GUIDED TRIPS

435.668.2888
Guided tours are not available inside of park boundaries, however guided tours can be taken in the canyons outside of park boundaries. This is a good option if you do not have the equipment or knowledge to navigate a canyon on your own.

Pine Creek Canyon

Understandably, one of the most popular canyons in Zion National Park. This canyon is short in length, has some incredible rappels, and is easily accessed. Get your permit in advance, or be very early for the walk in permit at the permit office.

 

This canyon can be navigated in half a day with around 5 rappels and a large amount of cold water year round. Make sure to take dry bags if you have any electronics, wallets, or valuables. The largest rappels is around 100 feet, but be prepared for longer just in case the bottom of the last rappel has washed out some. Expect to take between 2-6 hours to complete this canyon (depending on the ability of your group). Even on a very hot day, you would be best with some level of wet suit. Read all of the details in this guide.

The Subway

Another of the most popular and possibly most photographed canyons in Zion National Park is the Subway, which is an intense 9-mile round-trip hike through Left Fork of North Creek. It was given it’s name because of a section of the hike resembling a subway. The canyon has shorter rappels and quite a bit of water. Take a  dry bag for all of your food, electronics, and valuables. You will get wet, and it is comforting to know that your belongings will be safe and dry.

 

Expect this canyon to take 6-12 hours. It is best to go with people who have been, or to have good map reading skills. Use this guide as a reference.

CLIMBING
Zion National Park is known around the world for it’s iconic 2,000-foot sandstone cliffs, and with those come world renowned rock climbing. Permits are not required for day trip climbs, but they are required for any overnight excursions.

 

The ideal season to climb in Zion is between March and November, and we recommend you check the weather before you go. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer months of July and August, and sandstone becomes weak when it is wet. Plan your trip in advance and be aware of seasonal route closures. You can find a list of closures here.

WHAT TO PACK

Whether you are exploring the Narrows or a more technical slot canyon, a Classic Dry Bag will come in handy. These bags are lightweight and fool proof when it comes to keeping your possessions dry. We were glad we brought ours.
With a variety of different sizes, there is a Waterseals™ Automatic Magnetic Waterproof Pouch for anything you would need while in Zion National Park. Each pouch comes with a lanyard, so you can wear it hands free. Our friends loved the cell phone sized pouch so they could always have their camera at the ready.

The hikes and activities in Zion National Park can be challenging, so packing as lightweight as possible is important. The ElectroLight™ Day Pack is the perfect bag for this trip. It can carry enough and will not weigh you down. Because the material is so light, it can fold really easily into your dry bag, if necessary.