Protected within Zion National Park's 229 square miles (593.1
km) is a spectacular
cliff-and-canyon landscape and wilderness full of the unexpected including the world's largest arch - Kolob Arch - with a span that measures 310 feet (94.5 m).Wildlife such as mule deer, golden eagles, and mountain lions, also inhabit the Park. Mukuntuweap National Monument proclaimed July 31, 1909; incorporated in Zion National Monument March 18, 1918; established as national park Nov. 19, 1919.
for Zion National Park
Operating Hours, Seasons
During summer months, the visitor centers are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m . Spring, fall and winter hours are shortened. Some visitor centers are closed on some federal holidays.
PLANE - The nearest major airport is Las Vegas McCarran International
CAR - The Visitor Center at the Kolob Canyons entrance is accessible from I-15, exit 40. I-15 passes west of the Park and connects with UT-9 and 17 to the Park. US-89 passes east and connects with UT-9 to the Park. The Zion Canyon Visitor Center is a short distance from the Park's South Entrance adjacent to Springdale.
Weather & Climate
Be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions. Temperatures vary with changes in elevation and seasons. Day/night temperatures may differ by over 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Spring weather is very unpredictable. Stormy, wet days are common, but warm, sunny weather may occur too. Precipitation peaks in March and September. Spring wildflowers bloom from April through June, peaking in May. Summer days are hot (95-100 degrees F.), but overnight lows are usually comfortable (65-70 degrees F.) Afternoon thunderstorms are common from mid-July through mid-September. Storms may produce waterfalls as well as flash floods. Fall days are usually clear and mild; nights are often cool. Autumn color displays begin in September in the high country, and in Zion Canyon in early November.
Winters in Zion Canyon are fairly mild. Winter storms bring rain or light snow to Zion Canyon, but heavier snow to the higher elevations. Clear days may become quite warm, reaching 60 degrees F.; nights are often in the 20s and 30s. Winter storms can last several days and cause roads to be icy, especially on the east side of Zion. Zion roads are plowed, except the Kolob Terrace Road, which is closed in winter. Be prepared for winter driving conditions from November through March.
Most visitor centers, gift shops, and hotels are accessible.
First come first serve no hookups no showers $14.00 per/night ($7.00 w/G. Age - Access)
Tent: $14.00 night ($7.00 w/G. Age - Access) Elec.: $16.00 night ($8.00 w/G. Age - Access) Group: $3.00 per/person, per/night no showers
The Zion National Park Lodge located inside the park is a great way to stay within the park and enjoy the beauty of Zion at all hours of the day. There are also numerous hotels and motels just outside the park.
*Free Local and 800 Calls, Free Wireless Internet Access, Complimentary Morning Coffee, Pets welcome, HBO and ESPN, Guest Laundry, 17 and Under Stay Free, Newly Remodeled Rooms, Convenient Location off I-15
Nearby Attractions: Utah Shakespearean Festival 1/2 mile, Zion National Park 62 Miles, Bryce Canyon National Park 85 Miles
Cedar Breaks 25 Miles, Brian Head Ski Resort 30 Miles, Southern Utah University 1/2 Mile
Activities and More Information
Overlooks and trails abound along scenic drives through Zion, and there are ranger programs at most developed areas year round. Zion provides wonderful opportunities for: Hiking - Zion offers many trails ranging from short "leg-stretcher" walks to the strenuous adventures.
Wildflowers & Fall Colors - The variety of mountain and canyon environments makes Zion an excellent location for wildflower walks in the spring and summer and brilliant leaf color in the autumn.
Photography - Zion offers the photographer many opportunities to explore color, texture, and light.
Birdwatching - Zion is home to 271 species of birds. A bird checklist can be obtained at the visitor centers.
Bicycling - The Pa'rus Trail offers a paved, car-free alternative for bicyclists, pedestrians, and people with strollers or wheelchairs to visit lower Zion Canyon and access the Scenic Drive.
Ranger-led activities - During the summer, join a Park Ranger to learn more about Zion National Park. Topics include geology, plants, animals, human history and other features. Programs include guided walks, short talks at the visitor centers and evening programs at the campground amphitheaters and Zion Lodge. All programs are free. Check the weekly schedules posted at visitor centers and bulletin boards throughout the park for times, places, and subjects.
Weeping Rock - Easy - 1/2 Mile; 1/2 Hour
Pave trail ends at a rock with dripping springs.
Riverside Walk - Easy - 2 Miles; 1 1/2 hours
Paved Trail follows the Virgin River along the a narrow canyon.
Middle Emerald Pools - Moderate - 2 Miles; 2 hours
Loop trail accross from the Zion Lodge that goes to the lower and middle pools. Please keep in mind that there is NO swimming, wading, or bathing in the pools.
Watchman - Moderate - 2 Miles; 2 hours
This is a moderage trail with minor drop-offs. This is best in the morning and late-afternoon, so as to avoid the heat during the middle of the day. The trail ends at a viewpoint of Zion Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon and Springdale.
Zion is located in a valley just to the East of Interstate
15 and several major towns. Due to its location just off the highway,
Zion National Park is a popular stop along with visits to other National
Parks and major cities. Many people will visit Zion National Park tied
with a trip to Las Vegas, which is only three hours drive south.
While you are visiting Zion National Park, you should definitely plan on visiting other parks in the area such as Arches National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park. Each one of these parks offer great opportunities for hiking, camping, photography, and enjoying nature.
Springdale was originally founded by Mormom (Church of Latter Day Saints) settlers as a farming community in Southern Utah. With the incorporation of Zion as a National Park, Springdale transformed itself from a farming community to a community based almost completely around tourism.
Springdale today is found within Washington County and is home to roughly 500 year round residents. The economy now revolves almost completely around tourism and Zion National Park. It is located just outside the gates of Zion National Park, and is therefore where the vast majority of the visitors stay when visiting the park.
Cedar City, Utah
Known as the "Festival City", Cedar City is a town built up along the I-15 corridor, but it does contain some quaintness not associated with many towns found along Interstates. Cedar City is a "Major City" for this area of Utah, offering all of the modern conveniences that you find in your hometown, including the wholly grail, a Super Walmart. This comes in quite handy for those that are looking to stock up for a week or camping in Bryce Canyon, Zion, or Cedar Breaks, and do not want to break the bank at a smaller store.
Cedar City also has a plethora of options for lodging, restaurants and shopping. For those of you that are trying to find the closest airport to Bryce Canyon, Zion and Cedar Breaks, you will find it here in Cedar City. The Cedar City Regional Airport is one of the most picturesque small airports that you will find anywhere in the country. The new passenger Terminal was built in 2004 and is modelled after many of the historic National Park lodges. The Terminal has a 3 story tall main atrium with Floor to Ceiling windows and a beautiful fireplace. The only scheduled service to the airport is by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines, and offers daily service to the Salt Lake City International Airport.
St George, Utah
St George is the largest city in Southern Utah, and you can therefore find many of the at home conveniences that you can not find even in Cedar City. St George is located only an hour from Zion National Park. St George is located at a substantially lower altitude than Cedar City and Zion, so you will notice a markedly higher temperature year round. St George has become a home to many retired people, with the mild winters and cooler summers than Las Vegas.
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