Zion National Park is famous for its stunning sandstone cliffs and epic scenery. Located in Utah, this park is a climber’s paradise, offering a range of cliffs to get the adrenaline pumping. It is also great for hiking and scenic drives.
Planning your Trip to Zion National Park
As with any trip, you will want to do some planning before your Zion National park trip to ensure everything goes smoothly. We have put together a guide to help you decide when to visit, how many days to stay, and how to get there.
When to visit Zion National Park
If you are looking for the optimum time to visit the National park, we recommend fall or spring. During these seasons, you will experience pleasant temperatures and mostly sunny days without the harsh conditions of winter or summer. This is perfect for outdoor activities!
Try to time your trip sometime in April, May, September, or October to give yourself the best chance of good weather to explore.
How Many Days to Visit Zion National Park
The number of days required to visit Zion National Park will depend on your group and interests. Family vacationers or sightseers might only want to spend 1 or 2 days seeing the National Park. This will give you enough time to do some short walks, take in the views and even do a scenic drive if you have your own vehicle. Some shuttles can take you to epic viewpoints in the park if you cannot walk long distances.
If you are keen to do some hiking but are not necessarily an avid hiker, consider spending 3-4 days at Zion National Park. It will give you more time to hit the trails, but you will still have time to take it easy and move at a pace that suits you. This amount of time will also give you the opportunity to see a sunset or sunrise – something you definitely will not want to miss!
To have a complete Zion National park experience, you will want to aim to spend between 5 and 7 days in the park. This is a reasonable amount of time for experienced hikers who want to tackle some of the more strenuous day hikes.
Getting to Zion National Park
The natural beauty of Zion National Park attracts visitors from all over the world. If you are not close enough to drive to the park, the easiest way to get there is by booking a flight to one of the nearby airports. Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport is the closest central air hub to Zion National Park, although take note it is still about a 2-hour 40-minute drive from there. Salt Lake City International Airport is another option for people coming from overseas but is slightly further away. It typically takes close to 4.5 hours to get between the two.
Regardless of where you choose to arrive, international travellers will need to pass through border security as they enter the country. We strongly recommend you do some research and planning before your trip to ensure you have everything in order for your arrival.
For some travellers, this means getting an esta visa form. This type of pre-screening check is only available to specific nationalities, so it is best to confirm that you are eligible before completing an application. If you do need an ESTA, you need to complete an online application. The whole process is conducted via an online portal and is very straightforward.
Once you have submitted your esta application us, you will need to wait until it gets approved. This can take a couple of weeks, so it is best to apply well before you intend to leave for your trip to Zion National Park. This will give you the opportunity to address problems and make sure you are not stressing in the lead up to your trip!
When your ESTA has been approved, download a copy of the document. Keep this with you at all times as you move through the airport as you never know when you will need it.
If you are not eligible for an ESTA, you may need to apply for a traditional visa or something else entirely. Always check the most up-to-date information with reputable sources to understand what applies to you.
Things to do in Zion National Park
There is so much to see and do at Zion National Park, and it can be challenging to know where to begin! We have put together some of our favourite attractions, so you do not miss the best that the park and surrounding area has to offer.
Zion National Park Waterfall
If you are a lover of waterfalls, you will be in heaven at Zion National Park. There are so many beautiful waterfalls to see. You might like the stunning waterfall at Emerald Pools, which falls 110 feet to the ground. Alternatively, the colours of Zion Narrows are sure to have you mesmerized as you watch the different waterfalls trickle over the cliff edge. Archangel Falls is one of the most picturesque falls, with various levels and streams. See how many you can fit into your itinerary!
Zion Human History Museum
Located a half-mile from Zion National Park’s south entrance, this museum is one you will want to add to your list. You can learn all about the history of the area, including indigenous culture and how the park has become the attraction it is today.
Towns near Zion National Park
Looking to stay near the Zion National Park or perhaps do some exploring during your trip? There are a few towns in the region that are worth a visit. The closest is Springdale, only a 5-minute drive from the park, which makes it a popular base. There’s also Hurricane, which will take you about half an hour to get to. Other options include St George (42 miles away) and Cedar City (58 miles away).