Travel Tips April 22, 2020
9 Things Everyone Should Know Before Traveling To Zion National Park
Utah’s Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful in the country, and also one of the most visited. If you have plans to check it out, you’ll want to know these nine things first:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. It's hot in the summer.
Zion National Park is located in Southern Utah, and summer temperatures can reach as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit from May through September. Plan accordingly, and make sure to bring plenty of water.
2. Zion National Park is crowded. Very, very crowded.
More than 4.5 million people visited this national park in 2017, and the influx of visitors doesn't seem to be diminishing. Be prepared to share the hiking trails, scenic vistas, and gift shops with plenty of other people.
3. The best way to get around is on the shuttle buses.
Parking spots inside the park are tricky to find, and from March through November, some areas of the park are closed to private vehicles. For the most stress-free experience, park in the nearby town of Springdale and take the free shuttle to the park. The shuttle makes its way around nine different stops inside the park, and another nine stops around the town of Springdale.
4. You'll need permits for some of the trails here.
While most of Zion National Park's trails are easily accessible, you'll need a permit to hike The Narrows from the top down, and one for The Subway. You'll also need a permit if you plan on backpacking into the park and sleeping overnight during your journey.
5. Your rig might not fit through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel.
The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel was a feat of engineering when it was completed in 1930. Today, the National Park Service controls the flow of traffic through the tunnel. Large vehicles must pay an additional $15 at the entrance in order to pass through, and vehicles taller than 13 feet or over 40 feet long are not allowed through at all.
6. The right gear makes a difference.
Many of Zion's trails are steep and narrow. Make sure you're wearing appropriate footwear with good tread. This is no place for flip-flops! The weather at the park can be highly unpredictable and storms roll in fast, so dress in layers and have a jacket handy.
7. Park rangers are your best friends.
Make sure to stop by the Visitor Center when you first arrive. Rangers will give you all the latest information about conditions in the park and you can get a schedule of free, fascinating ranger-led presentations.
8. It really is as gorgeous as it looks in photographs.
Sure, the place is crowded, and it's hot... but boy is it beautiful! All those photos you've seen of Zion National Park are pretty accurate - this place is pure paradise.
9. It's just as beautiful at night!
At the end of a long day of exploration, linger outside a little longer before turning in. The night skies are full of stars... and they're simply stunning.
Have you visited Zion National Park? What other tips and tricks do you have for our readers? Leave them in the comments below!