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The best base for visiting the park is Springdale, UT. There are a variety of accommodations there although I’d recommend the new Springhill Suites. For more convenience stay at the Zion Lodge right in the park but book it well in advance of your trip. The Bit & Spur is a good option for dinner and the Sol Market is a good place to stock up on food and supplies. Moki restaurant is another good option in town.

Just outside the eastern gate is Zion Mountain Ranch. It’s the nicest place to stay in the area, with a good restaurant but a little less convenient to visiting the park.

A good outfitter for renting bikes and equipment in Springdale:

Check out this photo gallery in town:

Favorite hikes

Virgin Narrows  Rent water shore and walking sticks in Springdale at Zion Adventure Company. It’s about 2 ½ miles to Imlay rock, a good place to turn around. Fall is the best season to do this hike as the water levels are lower and the fall colors add a nice touch.

Angel’s Landing  Another classic hike. Pretty much straight uphill although not a long hike at 5 miles round trip. The last part of the hike is not for those with a fear of heights as you climb along a narrow ridge with sheer drop offs on either side. 

Canyon Overlook  Just a short one mile round trip hike with a great viewpoint of the Zion Canyon. Best done at sunset for photography. 

Observation Point  A good way to do this one without a 2,100-foot elevation climb is to get a ride to the East Mesa trailhead. From there it is a level two-mile hike to Observation Point. Then it’s another four miles mostly downhill, back to the canyon floor. There is a side trail to Hidden Canyon worth checking out that adds a couple more miles to the hike.

The Subway  A strenuous hike that requires advance planning to get a permit. See my blog post. 

The Watchman Viewpoint  At sunset you will notice a line of photographers on the bridge near the entrance of the main canyon. Nice place to get a shot of the watchman with good light. 

Kolob Canyons  A separate section of Zion about an hour’s drive from the main part of the park. A five mile drive brings you to an observation point where you get a great view of the mountains. The best trail in this area is the Taylor Creek one, a five mile round trip.

This site is the best one for information on Zion Park. It has great trail description and photos.

Near St. George, about an hour from Zion Park are three sites worth checking out if you have extra time in the area:

Kanarra Creek  A four mile round trip hike through a picturesque slot canyon that involves climbing over two waterfalls. A great family hike.

Yant Flat  Unusual rock formations popular with photographers.

Snow Canyon State Park   Scenic park with several nice hikes.


Copyright 2015 Jim Babson