When you step foot into Zion National Park in Utah, you may not believe it is real. It feels like if you touch the walls they will be made of canvas, like a huge movie backdrop. Fortunately for you, the grandeur is real. The walls are steep with gorgeous natural striping in the stone. There are multiple waterfalls along the Virgin River and over 1000 different species of native plants.
The park is 229 square miles, encompassing so many different geological formations that you could visit for a week and still not see everything. There are many hiking and canyoneering opportunities for the adventurers. Hikes range from a half a mile to over 14 miles on different hikes. You can visit beautiful pools in short hikes or, for the more courageous, take on the Angel’s Landing trail to the summit of the park. The park service offers a shuttle to take you to the different trailheads.
If you are a star watcher, you will enjoy the protected dark skies inside the park. The lights inside the park are actually night-friendly fixtures, specifically pointed down instead of up so visitors can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the sky. You can also take guided astronomy tours to learn about all the different constellations you wouldn’t usually see.
There are three campgrounds within the park if you prefer primitive travel, and a lodge within the park if you don’t. The town of Springdale just outside of Zion also offers hotels for your staying pleasure and a convenient shuttle to take you into the park.
If you wish to visit the park, plan your visit ahead of time with which hikes you wish to do and what ranger-led activities you want to take part in. Try to plan your visit between September and November or March and May to avoid high summer temperatures or winter route closures.