If you love hiking, then this is one of the best national parks you can visit – and it’s located in Utah.

This beautiful national park has made an already popular destination into a must-see for any biker, hiker, camper or traveler. Zion National Park is a truly unique place made up of cliffs, plateaus, trails and more. Just read these Zion National Park facts so you can start planning your next trip!

History

Zion was first explored by Mormon pioneers in the mid-1800s. The canyons that make up the park are a product of water erosion, which means they are constantly changing and growing. Visitors to Zion National Park will find themselves surrounded by an abundance of wildlife, including deer, elk, mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats.

Zion National Park is part of the National Parks Service—a government agency dedicated to protecting public lands for everyone to enjoy.

Tips and Facts

  • The best time to visit ZION National Park is spring or fall. Summer is the busiest time of year, with many people visiting the park.
  • There are limited parking spaces at ZION National Park so be sure to carpool with a friend or family member if possible.
  • There are shuttles that take visitors around the park, which can save time and money while you’re there!
  • Photography is popular at ZION National Park, so be sure to bring your camera!

The best way to explore Zion National Park is on foot!

Hiking is one of the most popular things people do when visiting this area, but if hiking isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options available as well:

  • horseback riding trails
  • rock climbing routes
  • bike rentals
  • guided tours

The name of the area was first referred to as the Zion Canyon by Mormon pioneers in the 1860s.

The name of the area was first referred to as the Zion Canyon by Mormon pioneers in the 1860s. According to tradition, this name was inspired by their initial reaction to seeing it for the first time.

The Mormons, who were traveling through Utah on their way westward from Nauvoo, Illinois, described it as “the most beautiful place on earth” and said that it provoked a feeling of awe and reverence among them.

Their original name for this canyon was Mukuntuweap (meaning “straight canyon”), but after hearing about how wonderful it was from other settlers who had passed through previously, they decided that this new name would better suit its beauty.

In 1919, a group of local civic leaders began their crusade to create a national park in the area, but it didn’t happen until much later.

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In 1919, a group of local civic leaders began their crusade to create a national park in the area, but it didn’t happen until much later.

The first people to settle in the area were Mormon pioneers and missionaries who settled in Cedar City, Utah and then expanded southward toward Virgin, Utah.

They were amazed by the beauty of the area, naming it Zion after Mount Zion near Jerusalem; they believed that it was like heaven on earth. The area was inhabited by southern Paiute Indians until they were forced off their land by white settlers between 1852 and 1857.

Today, we are able to enjoy one of America’s most beautiful national parks.

Today, we are able to enjoy one of America’s most beautiful national parks. Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah and includes Zion Canyon, which is often referred to as a “canyon within a canyon.”

The park protects several thousand natural sandstone formations that have been carved into intricate patterns by wind and water erosion over millions of years. These features include canyons, mesas, buttes and slot canyons.

Zion Canyon was first discovered by Mormons who were exploring the area in 1858 in search of an ideal place to settle down permanently. The site was first referred to as Zion Canyon in the 1860s after members from this religious group named their settlement on Mount Carmel “Zion.” They believed they had found their version of heaven here on earth!

FAQ

Does Zion National Park Require Reservations?

Yes, Zion National Park does require reservations.

Zion National Park is a United States National Park located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. The park protects the incredible Majestic and Broken Arch rock formations, as well as the Virgin River that flows through the center of the park.

Reservations are required for all Zion National Park campgrounds including:

Campsites are available on a first-come first-served basis at Watchman Campground and South Campground. Reservations are not accepted for these campsites.

Does Zion National Park Allow Dogs?

Zion National Park does allow pets on trails, but not in the backcountry. Pets are allowed in Zion Canyon, close to the visitor center and campgrounds and on several short walks such as Weeping Rock and Canyon Overlook.

Pets are also allowed on some of the shorter trails near the visitor center, such as Riverside Walk. Pets are not allowed on shuttle buses or any other public transportation.

The only pets that are allowed on the trails are dogs and they must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. Pets must also be licensed, vaccinated against rabies and have proof of current vaccinations with them at all times while in the park.

Pets may not be left unattended at any time while in or around the park or they will be impounded by park rangers.

When Does Zion National Park Open?

Zion National Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. The Visitor Center is open from 8:00AM to 5:00PM daily. The Springdale entrance station is open from 6:00AM to 10:00PM daily.

The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is open 24 hours a day. All other park roads are open from 5:00AM to 8:00PM daily (except during the winter season).

Can You Drive Zion National Park?

Yes, you can drive Zion National Park. There are two roads that go through the park: The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (Highway 9) and the Kolob Terrace Road (Highway 56). Both roads are open year round and are free to use. However, there are some important things you should know about driving in Zion.

The main road through Zion National Park is Highway 9 (the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway). This road is open to cars year round and is free to use.

It runs from Springdale to Rockville and passes through most of the main attractions in the park, including Canyon Junction, Angel’s Landing and The Narrows.

The other road in the park is Kolob Terrace Road (Highway 56), which begins at Bryce Canyon National Park and travels westward towards Cedar Breaks National Monument before entering Zion National Park near Lava Point Visitor Center. This road is also open year round but is not plowed during winter months when snow covers it completely (usually November through March).

Do You Have to Pay to Get Into Zion National Park?

All visitors to Zion National Park are required to purchase a recreation pass upon entering the park. Passes can be purchased at all fee collection areas, which accept credit cards.

Weekly passes are valid for seven consecutive days from the date of purchase. You may upgrade your weekly pass to an annual pass within seven days of purchase. This are some passes available and their prices:

  • Private Vehicle: $35. Valid for 7 days
  • Motorcycle: $30. Valid for 7 days.
  • Per Person: $20. Valid for 7 days.
  • Non-Commercial Organized Groups: Valid for 7 days.
  • Interagency Annual Pass – $80.00. Admission to all Federal fee areas for one year from date of purchase.
  • Zion Annual Pass – $70.00. Admission to Zion National Park for one year from date of purchase.
  • Military Annual Pass – Free. Active duty military admission to all federal fee areas for one year.
  • Senior Annual Pass – $20.00. Admission to all federal fee areas for one year from date of purchase.
  • Lifetime Passes
    Lifetime Senior Pass – $80.00. Admission to all federal fee areas for life, U.S. citizens 62 years or older.
  • Lifetime Access Pass – Free. Admission to all federal fee areas for life, permanently disabled U.S. citizens

For more info visit: https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/fees.htm