14 Places To Visit In Zion National Park

Zion National Park is the most visited park in Utah and it is located in southern Utah near the city of Springdale. It is about 229 square miles with the Virgin River, high plateaus, and canyons. The best time to visit this park is during Spring and Fall. It is the world’s best place for canyoneering. You can go by car, by plane, and in large vehicles to reach Zion National Park.

It’s all about sightseeing and outdoor activities in Zion National Park. There are some highlights you must see, regardless of whether you only have a few hours to drive through the park or several days to explore it in greater detail. The locations along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway are the main draws in Zion. For those looking for activities, there are hiking trails for all skill levels, riding opportunities, and, for the more daring, canyoneering and rock climbing.

Zion Canyon Scenic Drive

Zion Canyon is the area of Zion National Park that is most beautiful. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive provides access to the canyon, and you can see a road running alongside the canyon floor with cliff walls on either side. Amazing views of a few well-known areas of the park, including Angels Landing, can be found from this road. This road comes to an end at the beginning of the Narrows, a stunning area. The Great White Throne and the Grotto, two of the park’s most popular attractions, are visible from the road leading from the visitor centre to the Temple of Sinawava. Due to the high volume of visitors, you can only drive to this park during the winter; the rest of the year, shuttle buses are available. A hassle-free way to explore and enjoy this park is by using the shuttle buses.

Drive the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway

While Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is just as beautiful landscape, the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, located in the park’s southern entrance to the east, offers breathtaking views from one side of the valley to the other from a different vantage point. As you ascend to the mountainside, the road that is in this area hugs the cliff wall. Following the ascent, the road travels through a brief, 1.1-mile tunnel. Because the tunnel is too narrow for RVs to pass through, traffic will only flow in one direction when RVs enter it. In order to enter the tunnel, RV drivers must have their pass and pay a fee.

When you emerge from the tunnel, you will see a parking area for the Canyon Overlook Trail on the east side of the park. You can take a one-mile roundtrip hike to enjoy the stunning views of the valley from this trail. Beyond this, the surrounding scenery transforms into ridged, cream- and orange-colored mountains. Large pine trees can be found here, and this area of the park is cooler. This route does not have shuttle service.

The Narrows

The Narrows is the northwest part of the Zion Canyon. This has walls that are a thousand feet tall and the river is sometimes twenty to thirty feet wide and this is one of the most popular areas in this park. To see The Narrows you can hike along the paved and wheelchair-accessible Riverside Walk for almost one mile from the Temple of Sinawava. If you plan to see more, you will have to walk in the Virgin River. If you hike through the Virgin River, your feet get wet since there is no trail. Most of the visitors start their hike from the Temple of Sinawava Through the Riverside Walk and then they walk upstream without turning around and getting back to the Temple of Sinawava. 

Weeping Rock

Weeping Rock is the major part along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. This is an easy trail that leads you to an unusual sandstone cliff which is covered with a tiny stream of water. The rocky wall offers a close-up look at the hanging gardens that hold the sheer cliff wall. 

According to the season, the amount of water coming from the rock differs. It can be in the form of drips, a stream, or a waterfall. If you stand at the base of the Weeping Rock, you can see a different perspective of the valley. Weeping Rock is at stop #6 on the Zion shuttle bus via the canyon. You will have to take a half-mile round trip walk to reach the rock. 

Riverside Walk

Riverside Walk is almost a 2.2 mile round road trip area, but you don’t have to complete the whole trail because it seems to be the same. This trail runs along the Virgin River and it is the last stop of the Zion shuttle bus. You can see hugging a rock wall in a few places, spurs that lead down to the water edge, and the trails that pass hanging gardens. You can also view a huge waterfall that pours over the cliff wall which is across the valley and on the opposite side of the river. This is especially good during Spring. This part is really good for spotting birds and wildlife. 

Lower Emerald Pools

Lower Emerald Pools are similar to the Weeping Rock because it features pools at the base and a weeping wall. If you leave from the Zion Lodge shuttle bus stop #5, you will have to take a .6 mile round trip via a paved trail to reach the spot. The wheelchairs and strollers can be taken through this trail to reach the oasis. It will be better during the Spring season where you can see leaves all over and even the water flows over the wall. The water from the Middle Emerald Pool drips down to the Lower Emerald Pool that contains lush hanging gardens and it turns into a waterfall during spring. 

Canyon Overlook Trail

Canyon Overlook Trail leads you to the lookout which is a perfect place for photography. Since there are some cliff edges, you will have to think about taking your kids but otherwise, everyone can go through this trail. This trailhead is at the east entrance of the Mt.Carmel Tunnel

Angel’s Landing

The delightful views of Zion Canyon from Angel’s Landing are worth and it also offers you not to have fear of heights. Hogsback is a rocky ridge that comes along with sheer drops which are on both sides and make you feel dangerous. It is the final stretch up to Angel’s Landing. But if you make it up, you will be able to see stunning views of Angel’s Landing. 

Checkboard Mesa and the East Side of Zion National Park

There is a parking lot and an informational plaque at Checkerboard Mesa, but there are several other nearby mountainsides that beckon exploration. Small pullouts on this side of the park can only fit a few cars at once, but if you can find a spot, it’s worth stopping so you can take in the unusual surroundings.

The first stop after entering the park through the East Entrance is this white-colored mesa, which gets its name from the way it has a distinctive checkerboard pattern. Beyond this, the scenery reveals ridges of stone that appear to swirl up the mountain sides and are a mixture of white and amber in colour. The hillside is covered in big pine trees. The appearance of the park on this side is very different from Zion Canyon on the west side.

Visit the Kolob Canyons

Zion’s popularity undoubtedly draws large crowds, which may be a bit much for some. Travel to the far side of the park and the Kolob Canyons for a relaxing diversion from the hustle and bustle. Some people contend that this less well-known region of the park is almost as breathtaking as its main attraction. Awe-inspiring scenery and deep canyons await you. The five-mile Kolob Canyons Road is the most well-liked activity and the one that offers the most reward for the least amount of effort. Amazing views of the surrounding countryside are available from viewpoints that are carefully positioned.

There are several excellent options for those looking to set out on a hiking trail. The Timber Creek Overlook is a must-do hike out of the more than ten that are offered. There are beautiful views all along the way, but especially at the end, of this short one-mile hike. About an hour separates Kolob Canyons from the main park entrances. You must return to Interstate 15, then turn north and take exit 40. National Park signs clearly mark the exit.

Human History Museum

Visit the Human History Museum, the first stop on the shuttle bus, to learn more about Zion’s cultural past. The museum has expansive, simple-to-read exhibits as well as a sizable scale model of the park and its surroundings. Information about American Indian culture, early settlements, and park development can be found in the permanent collection. Additionally, there are a number of topic-specific temporary exhibits on display. Every half-hour a video is shown, and rangers are on hand to answer any queries.


It would be worth trying to spend a night amidst the stars and canyon walls of Zion National Park. Although there are campgrounds outside the park’s entrance, camping inside the park offers a completely unique experience. A different set of memories are made when exploring Zion at night rather than during the day by sitting around a fire ring in the evening after it has grown dark and gazing up at the night sky.

The two primary camping areas in the park, Watchman Campground and South Campground, both provide lovely natural settings and generously spaced sites. The West Gate entrance to the park is not far from these two campgrounds. You can still quickly visit the nearby town of Springdale to get anything you need because it is close by. At almost 8,000 feet, a third campground that is much smaller and more remote is situated in a different area of the park. On Kolob Terrace Road, about 50 minutes from the park’s Zion Canyon region, is Lava Point Campground.

Canyoneering and Rock Climbing

Canyoneering is a well-liked activity in Zion due to the slot canyons and distinctive topography of the area. Numerous outfitters in the neighbouring town of Springdale provide instruction, equipment rentals, and general information about canyoneering in the region. There are classes available for beginners as well as experts. These outfitters are good places to start even if you are not interested in lessons, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. You might spot rock climbers on some of the sheer walls high above if you look up as you drive through the park. Outlet stores in Springdale can also arrange climbing excursions.

Canyon Trail Rides

From March to October, horseback riding excursions take visitors on a picturesque hour-long ride through one of the park’s most stunning regions along the Virgin River. For riders with more experience, longer tours are additionally offered.

This can serve as a pleasant diversion from or replacement for hiking and sightseeing. It’s a well-liked family activity as well. To guarantee a spot, it is advisable to reserve tours in advance. All tours are led by a National Park Services-approved concessionaire.

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