The Complete Zion Trip
Discover a less crowded Zion by visiting during the shoulder season
Exploring The Zion Region
Tucked into the southwest corner of Utah, Zion National Park is the centerpiece for a 6-day red-rock vacation that includes a little bit of everything that makes the state such a marvel to experience. Whether you’re flying into Salt Lake, Las Vegas, or nearby St. George, most visitors will enter the park through Springdale, a growing town that’s equipped to offer plenty of creature comforts in this otherwise wild region.
The Zion region exists at the intersection of many different ecosystems, each with their own treasures to uncover. From the red sands of the Mojave desert to the west, to the high alpine forests to the north, to the narrow slot canyons to the south, no matter where you turn, the classic red rock vacation you may have in mind will end up being more diverse than you’d ever expect.
Because of this region’s close proximity to I-15, you’re never too far away from a city or town full of knowledgeable locals happy to help you get the most out of your vacation. This itinerary is full of suggestions that aren’t quite on the radar of the average visitor, but nonetheless offer memorable moments that rival a scramble up Angel’s Landing. For certain experiences we recommend taking advantage of guides that can help you explore like a local and find views rarely found in brochures or Instagram feeds, as well as make as little an impact on the fragile ecosystem as possible. This is a region that rewards taking the path less traveled, sure to leave you feeling like that one overlook was made just for you.
Prepare for your trip with these how-to visit Zion tips.
- Start: From Salt Lake City drive roughly five hours south west to Springdale
- End: From Kanab head back to Salt Lake City or extend your trip by visiting the Bryce Canyon region
- Hours of Driving: 21+ hours, including travel between the region and Salt Lake City
A Quick and Dirty Guide to Brian Head Area Mountain Biking
Whether you’re visiting the area for Brian Head’s seemingly endless bike options or making it part of a multi-stop Southern Utah adventure (Cedar Breaks National Monument is just five miles away), it’s a must-see for bikers of all abilities. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Coral Pink Sand Dunes are open for hiking and kid-friendly playing. About 90-percent of the dunes are open for ATV riders, an attraction for which this state park has become ever popular.
Cycling Zion: Earning the Descent
Watch Utah cyclist TJ Eisenhart climb Zion National Park’s Kolob Terrace Road. It’s a one-of-a-kind ride that transitions from red rock desert to green valley plateaus.
The approach to Canyonlands National Park’s Gooseberry Trail is a short stroll across pock-marked slickrock dotted with various shades of desert brush and gnarled juniper. The distant La Sal Mountains peek through the atmosphere.
Kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard Lake Powell
Slip into the mighty Lake Powell with a personal, self-propelled watercraft and have a whole different experience than the boats flying down the lake.
Summer In Brian Head
Things to Do in Zion National Park
Whether it's hiking, camping, canyoneering, or simply driving, there's a lot to do in Zion. Start planning your next trip with these things to do today.
Touring Dixie's Parklands and Natural Wonders
As you’re mapping out your winter trip to Utah's Southeastern Dixie region, consider adding the following parks and natural wonders to your itinerary.
Zion Canyon Overlook Trail
This short but scenic trail runs to a high overlook immediately above the Great Arch, commanding vistas of the lower reaches of Zion Canyon. Interpretive brochures found at the trailhead explain the plants, animals, and geological features found along the route.
Zion-Mt. Carmel Scenic Drive and Historic Tunnel
The scenic drive from Zion National Park to Mount Carmel passes through the long narrow Zion Mt Carmel Tunnel – as impressive today as in the 1920s.