One Day at Zion National Park08 May 2016
During National Park Week, we revived an old itinerary Caileigh had created for a four-day road trip throughout Utah and Arizona to see some of the most renowned natural beauties of the American Southwest. This called for a stop at Zion National Park.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
Zion National Park is divided into two sections. Arrive through the South Entrance, and you'll find yourself in Zion Canyon, located just east of the small town of Springdale. The northern end of the park is the Kolob Canyon area. Because of its size, it's common for visitors to stay multiple days, and you'll find camping sites just beyond the Visitor's Center.
Then, fill up on water and snacks, lace up those hiking boots tightly, and get ready for a whirlwind of a day!
TIP: This year marks the National Park Service centennial, celebrating over 100 years of preserving some of the most beautiful spots in the United States. During National Park Week, we received free access to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and Lake Powell. There are still a few other free entrance days this year, but we recommend leaving a donation during your visit to help keep these parks operating!
From April to October, the park implements a mandatory shuttle system to reduce traffic congestion and make the park as accessible as possible for a higher volume of visitors during its busies season. The shuttle is free, runs frequently and offers a nice place to rest your tootsies between hikes. As you're plotting out your day, keep in mind the shuttle takes about 80 minutes to make its full loop, and double-check with the rangers what time the last run is. Otherwise, you'll be in for a long walk back to the parking lot--in the dark!
4 HIKES, 15 MILES, 8 HOURS
With just one day, we still managed to tackle 4 hikes and 15 miles over the course of just 8 hours, and we admit to not really planning out our route until we arrived. So, if you don't have a massive amount of time at Zion--though we really hope you do--don't be discouraged! You may be surprised at what your can accomplish.
3.5 miles RT | 3 hours | 1,500 ft. climb | Strenuous | Shuttle Stop: The Grotto