Last week, I spent some time exploring Zion National Park. I had seen a few photos before arriving, but nothing prepared me for the insane views that greeted me from my first moment in the park. After that, it was two days of non-stop picture taking! My photo diary is down below, but first, here are a few tips that I picked up for anyone visiting Zion.
Where to Stay
There are two campgrounds inside the park – you can reserve spots at the Watchman Campground, or you can go “first-come first-served” at South Campground, which is what I did. If you decide to try for a spot at South Campground, be sure to arrive early! Campsites fill up by 8-9am on summer weekends, and before 12pm on summer weekdays. There are no showers, but there are regular flush toilets. It’s very close to a shuttle stop, so you can get around the park easily.
If you chose to grab a hotel, or a non-park campground, I recommend staying in Springdale, UT. It’s directly outside the entrance to the park, so you’ll still have very easy access.
What to Do
I went hiking-crazy at Zion — there are so many gorgeous trails! My favorites were the Emerald Pools trails and the (very short) Weeping Rock trail. The Temple of Sinawava trail is also worth walking (it’s paved and super easy), because it leads to the start of the Narrows.
If I had more time, I would absolutely hike the Narrows! You walk through a river in tiny canyon for this 11-mile trek, risking flash floods and unpredictable waters. Still, the stories people came back with were amazing. I’ve added this hike to my bucket list!
Another one for the bucket list: Angel’s Landing. To be honest, I was too scared to hike this one because I don’t love heights, but I’m told the views are unreal!
Zion is in the desert, and it’s hot, hot, hot. Bring PLENTY of water and consider bringing a water bladder, even on short hikes.
Use the shuttle. It’s FREE, and takes you to all the major hot spots in the park. It also gives you an overview of each destination before you arrive.
You don’t have to worry much about wildlife at this park. There are a few deer roaming around the campgrounds, and squirrels, birds and bugs are everywhere, but encounters with anything larger than that in Zion are rare. No bear worries here!
For more from Zion National Park, check out my VLOG:
Which trail is on your Zion bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!