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 with the Virgin River and over 1,000 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 adventurers.
Zion National Park is a beautiful place to visit all year round, but there are certain things that make summer the best time to go. For one, the weather is usually perfect for hiking and being outdoors.
The temperatures are warm but not too hot, and there is usually very little rain. Additionally, the longer days mean that you have more time to enjoy all that the park has to offer.
Why Summer is the Best Time to Visit Zion National Park
The best time to visit Zion National Park is in the summer when the weather is warm and there are plenty of activities to do. Some of the things you can do while at the park include hiking, cycling, and taking scenic drives. To get there, you can fly into Las Vegas or Salt Lake City and then drive to the park.
There are plenty of hotels and campgrounds in the area, so finding a place to stay should not be a problem. When packing for your trip, make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, hats, and water bottles.
Things to Do While at the Park
There are plenty of things to do while at Zion National Park in the summer. Hiking is obviously a popular choice, and there are plenty of trails to choose from depending on your level of experience.
Hikes range from 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 trail is strenuous, but the views from the top are more than worth it.
Another popular activity in the summer is canyoneering. This involves rappelling down into canyons and exploring them – something that is best done when it’s not too hot outside. 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.
How to Get There and Where to Stay
Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah, about a 4-hour drive from Las Vegas and a 5-hour drive from Salt Lake City.
There are plenty of hotels and campgrounds in the area, so finding a place to stay should not be a problem. Some of the best places to stay near Zion National Park include Springdale, Hurricane, and Kanab.
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 National Park, also offers hotels for your staying pleasure and a convenient shuttle to take you into the park.
Tips for Having a Great Time in Zion National Park
Here are some of our favorite travel tips to make the most out of your time in Zion National Park:
- Get there early – The earlier you get to the park, the more time you will have to explore.
- Bring a map – A map will help you navigate your way around the park and find all the best hiking trails.
- Pack a lunch – There are plenty of picnic spots in Zion National Park, so be sure to pack a lunch to enjoy the great outdoors.
- Stay hydrated – With all the hiking and walking you’ll be doing, it’s important to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water and bring along a few snacks and drinks for the day.
- Have fun – Most importantly, remember to have fun! Zion National Park is a beautiful place and there is plenty to see and do. Take your time and enjoy all that the park has to offer.
What to Pack for Your Trip
If you’re planning on visiting Zion National Park in the summer, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First of all, it’s important to book your accommodations in advance. The park is very popular during this time of year and hotels fill up quickly.
Secondly, be sure to pack appropriate clothing and gear. Hiking boots, sunscreen, and a hat are all essential. And finally, remember to bring plenty of water. It’s important to stay hydrated when hiking in the heat.
By following these tips, you’re sure to have a great time visiting Zion National Park in the summer. Just remember to take it slow and enjoy all that this beautiful place has to offer.
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.