Full Breakdown of Zion Nat'l Park (Prices, Trails, etc.)

Zion National Park is such a beautiful National Park with so much to offer, it is also Utah's first National Park! Whether you want to take a jab at the "one of the most dangerous hikes in the NPS", hike through slot canyons submerged in water, or just witness amazing beauty, Zion National Park has you covered! This post will break down all that Zion has to offer, hopefully to make your trip there easier!



Address: 1 Zion Park Blvd., State Route 9, Springdale, UT 84767

Zion is located in Southwest Utah.


Hours: Zion National Park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays!




Weather: The temperatures at Zion vary depending on the time of day you visit, as well as what elevation you are at. Temperatures between night and day time could vary by up to 30 degrees. Zion is typically on the hotter side, especially in the summer with temperatures sometimes reaching over 100 degrees! Zion temperatures are pretty comparable with the rest of southwestern Utah, from what I have noticed. Zion is at risk for flash floods, especially during monsoon season from July-September, and storms are pretty common. I recommend checking the weather frequently before heading to Zion, because it could change at any moment, and you absolutely do not want to be caught in a flash flood. The first time I went, it was a perfectly sunny day, and all of the sudden on our descent down from one of our hikes (luckily it was a short one), it started pouring rain out of no where. If there is any chance of rain, do not find yourself caught near the slot canyons, as the water rises very quickly in that area.


Entrance Fees:

  • Private Vehicle: $35.00 (Valid for 7 days)

  • Per Person (bicyclists, hikers, pedestrians without a car, etc.): $20.00 (Valid for 7 days)

  • Zion Annual Pass: $50.00

  • America the Beautiful Annual Pass: $80.00 (Good for all National Parks)

  • Military Pass: Free Annual Pass to all National Parks for Active Duty Military, US Military Veterans, and Gold Star Family Members

  • 4th Grade Pass: Free pass for 4th Graders for duration of school year

  • Senior Park Pass (62+): $20 Annual Pass to any National Park or $80 Lifetime Membership

  • Access Pass: Free Lifetime Pass to any National Park for US Citizens with permanent disabilities

  • Volunteer Pass: Free Annual Pass to any National Park for volunteers with 250 service hours with federal agencies (agencies must participate in Interagency Pass Program)

Pet Policy:

Zion does allow pets, however, there are certain rules that need to be followed. Dogs can be on the Pa'rus Trail, a paved trail that goes throughout the park. Dogs must be leashed, attended to, and are not allowed on shuttle busses or in public buildings unless an ADA recognized service animal. Be mindful when having your pet near the Virgin River, as there is cyanobacteria present commonly (we could not go in the water when I visited due to this)


Parking and Getting Around:

Zion operates with a shuttle system, which I highly recommend taking advantage of, because parking throughout the park is nearly impossible. When I went the first time, the shuttle system was not operating due to COVID restrictions, and we had a very hard time finding parking throughout the park, despite getting there early. Currently, there are two shuttle routes- The Zion Canyon Line (park shuttle), which leaves from the visitor's center and the Springdale Shuttle (town shuttle). The Zion Canyon Line starts operating at 6:00am (May 9-Sept 19), 7:00 (Sept 20-Nov 28), and the last shuttle leaves to return to the visitor's center to 5:00pm (May 9-Nov 7) and 4:00pm (Nov 8-Nov 28)


Viewpoints:

Zion offers several vistas throughout the park, with some of the best being at Observation Point, Canyon Overlook, and Angel's Landing.



Canyon Overlook

Angel's Landing

Hiking Trails:

Zion offers a plethora of hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult. Below is a brief breakdown of the different trails. Visit the national park website (nps.gov) for a full description of each!

Easy

  • Pa'rus Trail (3.5 miles, approx. 2 hours) *

  • Archeology Trail (.4 miles, approx. 30 minutes)

  • Lower Emerald Pool Trail (1.2 miles, approx. 1 hour) *

  • Grotto Trail (1 miles, approx. 30 minutes)

  • Riverside Walk (2.2 miles, approx.

Moderate

  • Watchman Trail (3.3 miles, approx. 2 hours)

  • Sandbench Trail (7.6 miles, approx. 5 hours)

  • Middle Emerald Pools Trail (2.2 miles, approx. 1.5 hours)

  • Kayenta Trail (2.0 miles, approx. 1.5 hours)

  • Upper Emerald Pool Trail (1 mile, approx. 1 hour)

  • Canyon Overlook Trail (1 mile, approx. 1 hour) *

Difficult

  • Angel's Landing via West Rim Trail (5.4 miles, approx. 4 hours)

  • Observation Point via East Rim Trail (8 miles, approx. 6 hours) This trail is currently closed due to major rockfall

  • Hidden Canyon Trail via East Rim (2.5 miles, approx. 2.5 hours) This trail is currently closed due to major rockfall

  • The Narrows via Riverside Walk (up to 9.4 miles, up to 8 hours) This trail is currently closed due to Cyanobacteria warning

Pa'Rus Trail

* These are the trails I recommend if you're only there for a day. Canyon Overlook is a shorter, easier alternative to Angel's Landing or Observation Point, and offers similar views. By walking the Lower Emerald Pool Trail and Pa'rus Trail, we were able to see a lot of the park in a short amount of time.


Conditions of the trails at Zion are constantly changing due to flash flooding, rockfall, and cyanobacteria status, so make sure to check nps.gov before heading out to the trails there!


Camping:

Zion offers three campgrounds: South, Watchman, and Lava Point Campgrounds. The first two campgrounds are located in Zion Canyon, and the third is located about an hour outside of Zion Canyon. Reservations are highly recommended as the campgrounds fill up quickly.


Scenic Drive:

Before leaving the park, a must is to drive along the Zion Scenic Highway and go through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. The views coming out of this tunnel are spectacular (as are the views along the whole drive). Throughout this scenic drive there are several pulloffs to get out and take pictures of the different viewpoints. Both times I've driven it, I got lucky and saw some big horned sheep along the way too!

One of the Viewpoints from Mt. Carmel Highway

Canyon Overlook Trail

I hope you enjoyed reading about another great National Park, and I hope this encourages you to visit this beautiful place! Feel free to leave a comment with anything you would like to add, or if I left something out. As always, please practice the LNT principles when visiting the National Parks :) Thanks for reading, and remember, there's always more to be explored!


-nicole elizabeth


*Information provided from personal experience, as well as nps.gov , more information about Zion National Park can be found at https://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm


Map of Bryce Canyon National Park: https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/upload/Zion-Area-Map-Website.pdf