Explore Zion National Park in Comfort

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Curated By

Norma Jean Kuhr

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  • Utah

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Hiking

  • Outdoors

  • National Park

A rocky hill on a sunny day.
Curator’s statement

As a Utah girl through and through, Zion will always be a special place for me. I came here as a kid and was mesmerized by its beauty and spectacular views. As I grew as a traveler and hiker, the trails changed with me, in challenges, skills and they still manage to amaze me every time I go back. It has something for everyone, beginners to serious climbers.

The Fora Difference

Book with Norma Jean to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

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Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Zion National Park

Amangiri Hotel Canyon Point

Nestled in the heart of the Mojave Desert, Amangiri is a luxurious retreat that blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. The hotel's architecture is inspired by the region's geology, with organic shapes and textures that mimic the canyons and mesas of Canyon Point. The interiors are equally stunning, with clean lines and natural materials that create a serene and calming atmosphere. The rooms are spacious and private, with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer breathtaking views of the desert. The hotel's amenities are equally impressive, with a world-class spa, an infinity pool overlooking the canyon, and a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and hot air balloon rides. Amangiri is a true oasis in the desert, offering guests a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature in a truly unique way.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Zion Mountain Ranch

Your rustic oasis near Zion National Park, offering a blend of natural beauty and comfortable accommodations for an authentic Western experience.

Cliffrose Springdale, Curio Collection by Hilton

Sophisticated riverfront hotel located on five acres with contemporary rooms and suites.

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Things to do in Zion National Park

Bighorn sheep on rocky hills.
  • Angels Landing Trail: Permits are required. There are two ways to get permits and both are lottery's. You can apply for a permit in advance, or you can apply at the visitors center for walk-in permits. It's a random draw, not everyone gets a permit who submits an application.

  • Scouts Overlook: If Angels Landing permits are not won, Scouts overlook is great alternative. The hike up to the overlook switchbacks with the stunning view of the canyon that just get's better the higher up you go.

  • The Narrows: This is the most popular hike in Zion, no permit required. It's a slot canyon a thousand feet high, with a river walk through it. It's ten miles long, and you can go as far in as you'd like then turn around. Walking through the river is part of the fun, but depending on water levels, there are areas of dry land to hike along as well.

  • Emerald Pools Trail: This hike has two loops, you can hike them as one or you can choose upper or lower falls if you don't want to hike the entire thing. Part of the trail curves under the falls, and offers a unique view of the waterfall.

  • Overlook Trail: The trailhead is located near the tunnel, it's a short hike to the overlook view point that puts the canyon entrance and the mountain range that Zion is famous for.

  • Wildlife spotting: Wildlife is abundant in Zion National Park. The California Condor has been spotted several times in the Zion area, as well as mountain goats, Peregrin Falcons, and Mexican Spotted Owls. Mountain lions do live in the area but it's very rare to see one in person.

  • Horseback Riding: Guided trail rides are available to explore the area on horseback. 1 and 3 hour options are available to take the trails along the virgin river or ride up to a viewpoint of the Southside of the canyon.

  • Float The River: Permits for floating the virgin river are free and available at the visitors centers when the river is flowing at 150 cubic feet per second. Crafts must be whitewater capable. Inner tubes bought at the gas station will not be allowed.

  • Canyoneering: Canyoneering classes and tours are available as well. Schedule a time to take a course, and work with a guide to plan a route and explore some of the more difficult canyons to access in the park.

  • Rock Climbing: Climbing classes and guides are also available in the area. Climbing the sheer cliffs along the main canyon require permits that can be booked in advance for specific days, and require experience.

Day Trips

  • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park: Give your thighs a break and rent atvs for the day to go explore this amazing pink park.

  • Best Friends Animal Sanctuary: Volunteer for a day and cuddle up with the cutest dogs and cats, or help comfort rescue horses.

  • The Dragons Belly: A manmade tunnel that looks exactly like entering the belly of a dragon. Kids love this site.

Places to eat & drink in Zion National Park

A bowl of food on a wooden table
  • Switchback Grill: This Steak and Fish house is one the best rated restaurants in Springdale.

  • Dulivia: The best Italian restaurant in the area, getting a reservation in advance is highly recommended. The wait list can get well over an hour and a half.

  • Anthera: This Mediterranean restaurants has the best Gluten free, Vegetarian, and Vegan options in Springdale.

  • Balcony One: This is my favorite, it provides southwest inspired meals to compliment the views and keep that Southern Utah atmosphere going.

  • Stagecoach Grill: A Texas style road house offers huge portions, reservations are recommended, though not require. There just might be a wait in the evenings.

  • Zion Canyon Brewpub: The brew house is a bit more laid back then some of the other options. Beer menu is great, with local options, and a kid friendly menu.

  • Cafe Soleil: Soleil is great for a quick light midday meal, to take a break in between hikes without bogging down your energy.

  • Oscars Cafe: This is my go-to pizza place. It's quick and delicious.

  • Bit & Spur: When one person wants tacos, another wants pasta, and the kids are starving, Bit & Spur is a great restaurant for different tastes. Mexican inspired but with a twist. The sweet potato tamales are amazing, and the cocktail menu is perfect after a long day of hiking.

Need to Know

Utah has five national parks and eight national monuments. If you'd like to plan a trip with all or any of the other parks, I can create an itinerary from two weeks to a month.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my itinerary, Key West to Dry Tortugas National Park.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Utah.

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Travel Advisor

Norma Jean Kuhr

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