After visiting Zion National Park in November, we decided there was a lot of hard to find information that would be helpful to any first time visitor. Regardless of your plans, you’re sure to find the information you’ll need to make your upcoming trip to Zion a success.
Tips For Your Adventures in Zion National Park
This is a Zion must do! If there is only one thing you have time to do or see, this is it. It is probably one of my favorite day hikes of all time. That being said, make sure you’re prepared. The water can be cold, and the water levels can range in depth. I highly recommend visiting one of the outfitters in Springdale and renting gear just for this hike. We rented dry pants, canyoneering shoes, and walking sticks and it really made our entire trek so much more pleasant. Learn more details about Hiking the Narrows.
If you’re trying to decide where to stay, Springdale is by far the best town. Located just outside the park entrance of Zion, Springdale is a small town with a lot going on. There are a lot of good hotels in Springdale, many of which are located within walking distance to the park entrance. For the hotels that aren’t, there’s a free tram that will pick you up and take you to the park entrance. There are a few other places near Zion to stay at, but trust me, Springdale is the place to stay. With hotels, restaurants, and adventure outfitters, everything you need is in this town.
During peak travel season (and during certain holidays) you are not allowed to drive through the main area of Zion National Park – this is to prevent traffic congestion. Instead, they offer a free shuttle service that’ll stop at all the main points of interest, allowing you to get on and off as you’d like. It’s an incredibly efficient service and we really didn’t have any problems using it. It was also nice not having to worry about parking.
Be sure to check if this mandatory service is running during your visit and plan accordingly.
*Note* if you’re staying at the Zion Lodge (inside the park) during this mandatory season, you are given special access to drive down the main road and into the lodge area only.
Keep in mind, this is the desert. It can get very hot during the summer, but it can also get extremely cold during the winter. While summer seems like a great time to visit, do keep in mind, it can be both hot and crowded.In November we found the weather was perfect – not too hot, not too cold and the crowds nearly non-existent.
Whatever time of the year you choose to visit, be sure to bring appropriate clothing. For November long pants and a jacket was a must, but in the summer you’ll likely want shorts and t-shirt.