"STOP NUMBER TWO ON THE GREAT CIRCLE TOUR" Zion National Park by mtncorg

Zion National Park Travel Guide: 619 reviews and 1,462 photos

An old Mormon hymn intones, ?Come to Zion, Come to Zion!? And once you have been here you might know what all of the singing is about. Zion is more than Zion Canyon, but he Canyon is truly at the heart of matters. Rock walls tower almost four thousand feet above the valley floor. Many of the formations reveal the religious nature of the pioneers who named the rocks - the Three Patriarchs, West and Easst Temples, the Pulpit, Mount Moroni, Angels Landing, and my favorite, the Great White Throne.

Zion Canyon is a narrow affair and overcrowding is a fact of life. The Park allows entrance into the Park for much of the year only by shuttle buses which make there way up and down the Valley from the visitor center - there is a separate system of shuttles that go south to the neighbor town of Springdale. If you have a car, you should try and be at the large visitor center parking lot before 10 am as it fills up fast. Having been to the Park earlier when you could still drive into the Canyon - which you still can in late fall through early spring - I must say that the shuttle is a great way to restore some of the serenity to the Park. Before it was always a question of whether you could park at the next turnout and now you can even walk along the Canyon Road in relative peace. Take heed Bryce, Grand Canyon and Yosemite Valley!!

There is a lodge within the Canyon and two campgrounds near the visitor center. There are several trails - both day and overnight varieties, though for overnight excursions, you will need to pick up backcountry permits from the Backcountry Desk at the visitor center. The best day trails for me are the East Rim trail to Observation Point (early in the morning), the Angels Landing trail and the trail to the Narrows from the end of Zion Canyon road. The Narrows trail - much of the time is spent in the waters of the East Virgin River - along with the West Rim and the Kolob Arch trails are more geared towards the backpacker.

In Mormon theology, Zion is Heaven on Earth and a visit here can show you why early setlers so-named the area this. Beyond the Canyon, UT 9 provides a grand road with plenty more to see off its twists and tunnels. To the northeast, off I-15, Kolob - "the brightest Star next to the Seat of God" - offers wonderous backcountry hiking and the World's largest rock arch.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Amazing canyons, fantastic hiking, grandeur that changes with the seasons
  • Cons:Amazing crowds, hot summer weather, potential flash floods
  • In a nutshell:A True World Wonder
  • Intro Updated Oct 3, 2005
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Reviews (9)

Comments (15)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    Happy Birthday, Mark. I always enjoy reading about your travels.

  • DPando's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2007 at 1:18 PM

    thats a page !! mate !! great intro great pictures and explanations really usefull for me man !! thanks

  • kiuks's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2006 at 11:12 AM

    You have very great travel pages and the excellent photos!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2005 at 10:38 PM

    Did you go the Narrows ? I always wanted to, but none wanted to join me ;-( These chimneys look quite dangerous - did you climb up as well ?

  • windsorgirl's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2004 at 2:40 PM

    fabulous photos from Zion. I wish now that I had made it up the East Rim Trail, but I enjoyed my visit all the same!

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Oct 4, 2004 at 11:35 PM

    We don't have scenery like that in the real Zion...

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2004 at 1:52 PM

    Looks like another wonderful Utah park!

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2004 at 7:45 AM

    Amazing scenery. Wow, your pictures are eye-catchers. Thanks also for the useful information - the bnb looks very nice!

  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2004 at 5:31 PM

    Awesome pictures of my favorite national park! Angel's Landing really is amazing - I still have the Narrows to do for next time...

  • aussiedoug's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2004 at 1:04 AM

    Bet your faithful companion would have loved 2 do this trip & hikes with you. A pleasure to read your usual high standard of tips. Warning is particularly relevant to me being scared of heights without a nice wide patch of solid ground under my feet.


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