Zion National Park Things to Do

  • Checkerboard Mesa
    Checkerboard Mesa
    by travelgourmet
  • A well earned drink at 6508 feet
    A well earned drink at 6508 feet
    by RedBaggy
  • Zoom of the Landing
    Zoom of the Landing
    by goodfish

Most Recent Things to Do in Zion National Park

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    Northgate Point

    by blueskyjohn Written Jul 13, 2014

    Located at the end of the Northgate Peaks Trail, this is a beautiful panoramic view of Zion Canyon from the west. Beyond the Northgate Peaks you can see North and South Guardian Peaks as well as part of the west rim.

    You will note the point is substantially different type of rock. It is volcanic as opposed to the surrounding sandstone mountains and canyons. It is sharp and rocky so be careful walking out to the end. This is a great place to eat lunch on you in and out hike.

    View from the point View of the point in center of photo
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    Kolob Terrace Road

    by blueskyjohn Written Jun 29, 2014

    This is a beautiful drive into the high country of Zion National Park. Often over looked, this road is accessed from the small town of Virgin, off Route 9. The road ascends into the high country with great views of the high grass and Tabernacle Dome. It is also the access to Lava Point and the West Rim trail as well as the Northgate Trail.

    While the drive down Route 9 in Zion is the most beautiful, Kolob Terrace offers a diverse option and is something completely different. It is also a good way to get away from the crowds and some cooler temperatures as you ascend to 7000 feet.

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    Route 9 Buffalo

    by blueskyjohn Written Jun 29, 2014

    When entering or exiting Zion National Park through the east side on route 9, take notice of the Buffalo on the south side of route 9 just outside the park boundary. This is not a wild herd so they are there on a daily basis. If you are fortunate, the Buffalo will be right along the fence line.

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    Hidden Canyon-go on and grab the chains

    by Lukeoline Written May 4, 2014

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    Mid-March-a few inches of snow on the ground, but melting during the day. Even though our waiter at the lodge suggested getting Yaktrax (rubber shoe attachments with metal spikes on the bottom), we didn’t think climbing to Hidden Canyon would be possible. However, when we got to the trailhead that also leads to Weeping Rock, I asked around, and others were coming back from hiking to Hidden Canyon. They said its not bad. We thought we’d take our kids (ages 8 & 11) as far as we felt safe; we could always turn around. Short of it is, spikes made this amazing hike possible-even along the section where you must hold onto the chains. Others were doing the same hike with no spikes, but we wouldn’t have. This is a mile-long hike to an amazing canyon. Once there, you can hike a half mile back to an arch. Try to enjoy the breathtaking views as you climb, even though its difficult while concentrating on the chains. Zion Adventure Company, located just outside the park, rents the strap on spikes for ($7/day).

    rent some Yaktrax Chain section
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    The Narrows-in March-can be done with kids!

    by Lukeoline Written May 4, 2014

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    Family hike-kids aged 8 & 11
    In March; with dry suits
    If the water level allows, doing this trip is a must!
    Zion Adventure Company (located just outside the park) can tell you the river flow trend and advise you on what to expect. We wanted to take our kids (ages 8 & 11), but were concerned about water depth. They told us what to expect and were very knowledgable. Because it was March, we rented dry suits and all that goes along with it-fleece pants, gloves, neoprene socks, booties, boots, poles. My biggest concern was still being cold, but nothing got cold. Even my feet in 40 degree water for 3 hours were not cold. Half the hike was along the banks and half was in the water. Most of the time the water was knee depth or lower (thigh for 8yr old daughter). It rarely got to our waist, and when it did, it was fun. Of course, all that varies with the flow rate. My son sought out the deeper water, so he could puff air into his drysuit and float in the water. While our daughter was more cautious going upriver, she too, was trying to float on the way back. The current was very mild. The views were spectacular. But more than that, was the experience of hiking in a river. Its a 2 hour hike to the Wall Street section and less than that on the way back.

    Heading upriver in drysuits Wall Street section Blow air into suit and float downriver
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    Zion Canyon Visitor Center

    by blueskyjohn Written Mar 20, 2013

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    Zion has one of the better visitor centers in the National Park system. Very informative displays and a very large book store. One down side is the number of Rangers working the back country desk. Only one that was answering questions. There were two at the information desk but only knew general front country information. This may change after April 1st.

    The visitor center is open at 8am and closes at 5pm.

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    Riverside Walk

    by blueskyjohn Written Mar 19, 2013

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    The Riverside Walk starts from the parking area of Temple of Sinawava. There is a restroom facility and it is the final stop on the shuttle. The walk is completely paved all the way to the Virgin River Narrows access. The trail is little over 1 mile long one way. It is a nice easy walk along the river. The sound of the river running by is very relaxing. It could be a bit crowded. Don't expect much privacy or peace and quite with the groups, tours and children. Still a nice walk.

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    See the beauty of each turn of the road

    by travelgourmet Updated Mar 12, 2013

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    Zion National Park has many wonders around every turn of the road. You don't have to walk the trails or hike the climbs to see the beauty of Nature that is Zion. Driving the road from the Zion-Mt. Carmel hwy down to the Visitors Center and you will look for turnouts to stop and gaze at the amazing formations of cliffs, mesas, and mountains.

    One of the most fascinating features appears on Rock Candy Mountain, known today as the Checkerboard Mesa. It looks as if nature has built a mountain of blocks. Actually, the rock is called slick rock, a mixture of white and varied tints of brown or orange, that over time, lots of time like millions of years, shows the effects caused by erosion. In this case, the crisscross pattern like a checker board. It is truly a geological wonder.

    Checkerboard Mesa
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    Hike the famous Subway hike

    by go2see Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The hike is beautiful but make sure you are prepared. The hike will probable be a minimum of 8 1/2 hours, you will get wet because there are parts you need to swim and wade through water, and you need to feel comfortable with lowering yourself down with rapelling ropes. Vigourous hike but worth doing atleast once.

    Don't forget if you want to do this hike you need to get (I guess it is called) a permit to hike it and you will need to try to get this about 3-6 months in advance. Also when you get there register with the rangers before you start. this is no joke

    Subway Amazing Start getting wet Time to dry off WOW, time to rappel Near the end
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    The Court of the Patriarchs

    by GuthrieColin Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Court of the Patriarchs is the name given to three side by side peaks. They were named in 1916 by Methodist minister Frederick Fisher after the three patriarchs of the Old Testament, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There is a shuttle stop and short trail for visitors to stop and look up at these peaks. It is a short switchback trail uphill that takes less than 15 minutes.
    The cliffs are made of very old rock formations as are many of the structures in the park. The upper layers of the peaks are of a white color and almost make the peaks look snow capped. We were told that it was a very popular hike during sunset because the views were excellent. I was not entirely impressed with their speculation.

    The Court of the Patriarchs
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    The Narrows

    by GuthrieColin Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Narrows are like no other place I have ever been. The canyons in this area of the park are, as one would expect, extremely narrow. At times you can look up and due to the shape of the canyon, only see a sliver of sky above you.
    Hiking up this canyon is very strenuous. You will have to wade your way across the river and basically will only find yourself out of the water at a few wide spots. You will have to bring some shoes you do not mind destroying or get some that are water ready. Shoes can be rented but I would not want to put my feet in a pair of shoes that had been worn by several other people walking up and down this canyon. Be sure also to be aware of the dangers of flash floods while hiking the narrows. A flash flood here would easily take your life.
    A pass must be acquired to hike down the narrows but you will need to catch a taxi or another shuttle bus to get dropped off at the top. You can also start hiking from the end of the Riverside Walk, a 2 mile (3.2 km) hike with minimal elevation changes from the shuttle stop. Your hike from either location can be as long or as short as you want. To fully explore this canyon would take a lifetime. To appreciate its beauty takes only a few minutes.

    Not My Picture But I Did See that Waterfall.
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    Zion Museum

    by GuthrieColin Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    When you arrive in Zion National Park a good first thing to do would be a stop by the Zion Museum. There is a short movie that is played I believe every 15 minutes. It gives you a good idea of what to see in the park and it's free. It also talks a little bit about the geology in the area and history.
    The Musurm is open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.

    Zion Museum
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  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    Zion Canyon

    by mikelisaanna Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Zion Canyon is the centerpiece of Zion National Park. It is a 2000+ foot deep canyon that has been carved out of the sandstone over the millenia by the Virgin River. What is fascinating about Zion Canyon is the colors of the rock in its cliffs and the wat they contrast against the green of the nearby vegetation.

    You can drive part way into Zion Canyon and then you have to take a shuttle bus the rest of the way in. You pick up the shuttle bus at the lodge. Eventually, the canyon narrows and you have to get off the bus and hike the rest of the way in.

    Zion Canyon Zion Canyon Zion Canyon Zion Canyon
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    GATEWAY TO THE NARROWS

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The hike of the Narrows is Zion's most popular backcountry outing. Covering 16 miles one-way - and you normally only go one-way down - the way requires hiking permits from the Visitor Center even for dayhikes. You first have to find your way to Chamberlain's Ranch - at the end of an 18 mile dirt road off UT 9 east of the East Entrance. To hike the Narrows you have to be well-prepared - much of your hike will be in the water - up to chest deep. Flash floods are a major hazard so be well attuned to weather conditions. All-in-all, this is what Crete's Samaria Gorge hopes to be, only here you won't have to share the experience with thousands of others off the bus! http://www.nps.gov/zion/ZionNarrows.htm

    If you don't have time or desire to do the Narrows, you can get a taste by hiking the Gateway to the Narrows trail. This is an easy flat 1.6 mile trail going along the riverside from the Zion Canyon road end at the Temple of Sinawava. Springs abound along the route as you meander to where the canyon walls come ever-closer together.

    Along the Gateway to the Narrows trail
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    ANGEL'S LANDING

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    From the Grotto Picnic area along the Zion Canyon road - just north of Zion Lodge - the West Rim trail takes off. In just under 2 miles you ascend 1000 feet to Scout Lookout. Here is where the rougher trail to Angel's Landing takes off - another mile out and 500 feet up, grabbing cables anchored intothe ground as you go. This part of the trail is not for the acrophobic as you are 1500 feet straight up from the North Fork of the Virgin River, you are center stage in Zion's glory! This is not a trail to try if the weather is wet or icy. The visual rewards are great, but not that great.

    Angels Landing looms high above the Virgin South down Zion Canyon from atop Angels Landing
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Zion National Park Things to Do

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