The State of Utah is the home of Zion National Park. This fantastic place has many things to do and see and is one of the top places to visit in the United States. Climbing the sandstone cliffs, river trips, hiking, and biking on the scenic drives are just a few things to do in Zion National Park. The view as you drive is breathtaking, and you may need to pull your vehicle over to take in the stunning sights.
One of the biggest and most beautiful features of the area is the Zion Canyon, which is approximately 15 miles long and can get up to half a mile deep. The canyon cuts through the towering sandstone mountains. There are many other land carvings and formations through the area as well, like buttes, mesas, arches, and rivers. With such unique and beautiful landscapes, there are tons of things to do in Zion National Park while you’re there. Try out these favorites on your trip.
Angel’s Landing is the most famous hike, and many can complete the first 2/3rds of the hike, as the last 1/3 is the most challenging, but the most rewarding. The last stretch of the hike starts at a point called the Scout Landing. The last part is very steep and narrow. There are chains to hold onto, and you must be somewhat athletic to finish the hike to the top. There are some tough switchbacks along this trail, as well as rough terrain to conquer. However, if you make it to the top which is known as Angel’s Landing, the panoramic view of the canyon is well worth the fear and fatigue.
If you are afraid of heights, this climb is not for you, but those that have finished it says it is a must-do if you visit. If you can’t conjure the strength to finish, or are afraid of the last part of the trail, don’t worry. Hikers say the stopping points are just as beautiful and scenic.
Have you ever hiked through water? The Narrows, as it is called, is the narrowest part of the canyon and a river runs through the walls. It is one of the best things to do in Zion National Park. You can wade up the stream for a little bit, or you can walk through the water all day. The walls surrounding you are over a thousand feet tall, making it one of the most interesting and beautiful hikes there are.
River shoes are a must and bring lots of water to drink because you will get thirsty. This walk is family friendly, and parents along with their children can be seen wading through the water. In most places, the water is knee deep, but there are a few pockets that you might find that are chest deep. The hike is several hours, and there is a free shuttle that can drop you off, so you can start this exciting adventure up the river.
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive
This drive is a favorite and highly praised among tourists. The scenery is remarkable, and there are plenty of overlooks and stopping points to take pictures or to just stare at the beauty before you. The sandstone rocks and mountains have a red and orange hue that they present. It gives a stark contrast to the blue sky and green vegetation for some amazing scenery. There are some neat tunnels along the way, and the drive isn’t too long and is quite peaceful. The best place to the see is the sunrise is the road pulls off right before the tunnel. To see the best sunset, try the bridge on the west end of the park.
Zion’s Main Canyon
The main canyon is a visitor favorite at any time of year. Even in the winter months, when there is light snowfall, is hiking fantastic and the scenery is unparalleled. You can easily spend 2 to 3 days in this area. The diverse landscape offers many different hikes from easy to challenging and at all heights and terrain. Park in the designated places and explore what the beautiful main attraction of the park has to offer you.
If you cannot make it to Angel’s Landing, the Observation Point hike is one of the best things to do in Zion National Park that you must see and do. The path is steep and rises quickly, so be prepared with proper hiking gear and footwear. Make sure to bring lots of water and rest when you need to. It is one of the most complicated and lengthy hikes, but also one of the most famous. The stopping point at the end of the walk is unbelievable, and words cannot do the scenery justice. The climb lets you look down into the canyon, and there are sheer drop-offs and cliffs along the way. The trail itself is in good condition, and hikers report that although it is strenuous, this hike gives you those views you are dreaming.
Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway
Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway is another fantastic drive to do while in Zion National Park and to let your feet rest from all the incredible hiking and exploring you’ve been doing. If you are traveling from west to east, the road starts small, with many switchbacks involved. It gradually takes you up in elevation so you can see the sights. There is a tunnel to go through, and it may seem unusual as there are no new lights available in it. Keep your eyes on the mountains, and you may see some of the sheep that call the cliffs their home. This drive is a highlight of the park, and it is highly recommended during your stay.
There is a hike available that takes you to three of the so-called Emerald Pools. It is considered to be an oasis amongst the desert terrain. It is a beautiful place to experience and the hike to get there, is easy. The trail is across from the Zion Lodge and can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to complete. There are three pools, and the higher you climb, the more pools you will see as two of them are located higher in elevation. The third pool is the highest, and it is a great place to stop and have lunch and see the light waterfall coming from over the edge of the cliff above you, a genuinely lovely place to see and relax.
So many Things to do in Zion National Park, So Little Time
Zion National Park is one of the favorite places to visit in the U.S. Words cannot possibly describe the beauty of this place and the picture of it is just breathtaking. Besides hiking and playing in the pools or rivers, you can also go biking, camping, and birding. You can also go backpacking, canyoning and horseback riding. Have river trips and go climbing. Listen to a ranger-led program to learn about the area. Or find the best places to visit that suit your needs and fits in your time frame during your stay to experience the top things to do in Zion National Park.