4 Zion Itinerary Items for the Uninitiated

4 Zion Itinerary Items for the Uninitiated

Of all the national parks in Utah, Zion National Park was the first to be officially created and to this day remains the state’s most popular. 1919 was the year it was established and since then has become one of the nation’s most treasured locations, welcoming over 4 million visitors every year. 146,000 acres of beautiful red rock, multi-colored cliffs, clear flowing water, and majestic forests that provide a seemingly endless amount of adventure. It would be quite a daunting task to try and list everything there is to do in the park, but for those who are mostly unfamiliar with the Springdale area or are staying in Zion Park accommodations for the first time, here are four things to definitely put on your itinerary to give you a taste of what Zion National Park is all about.

Emerald Pools

This is one of the most straightforward hikes in the park while also being a wonderful choice for visitors who want to familiarize themselves with Zion’s landscapes. There are three levels (lower, middle, and upper) and the hike gets a bit more strenuous the further up you decide to go. The pools along the are beautiful to see, as is the small waterfall that pours down from a cliff near the upper pool which you can see by simply going as far as the lower pool. The scenery on display even just going as far as the lower pool is gorgeous and gives Zion amateurs a wonderful portrait of the park and a taste of what to expect as you explore trails and locations. Just take a shuttle from your Zion Park accommodations and get off at the Zion Lodge as the trailhead for Emerald Pools is accused just across from it.

Riverside Walk

Other than Weeping Rock (which is a great beginner’s itinerary item as well), this is probably the most simple and non-strenuous official trail in the park. It leads directly to the beginning of the bottom-up Narrows hike, an area where you and the kids can play and wade in the flowing water. The hike is only two miles round trip and is acceptable for little ones. The Virgin River flows alongside the Riverside Walk trail providing awesome views and a serene experience. You’ll see a lot of fern and moss-covered ground and walls as well as walk under the canopy of many trees. This is one of the best year-round hikes in the park as the alternating seasons offer new colors and new sights. There’s a very good chance that you’ll see wildlife. This is a must-see location while staying at your Zion Park accommodations at Cable Mountain Lodge.

Angel’s Landing

Surely the park’s most iconic experience, Angel’s Landing is one of those things that you have to experience at least once in your lifetime. The trail is strenuous but incredibly rewarding as you elevate from the floor of the canyon almost 1,500 ft to the peak which sits above sea level at 5,785. The views are unforgettable and the hike up to the top is one of the most memorable trails you’ll ever do. You’ll see what all the fuss is about once you experience it for yourself, and you’ll be forever grateful that you did.

Mt. Carmel Tunnel

On your way to Springdale, as your heading to your Zion Park accommodations at Cable Mountain Lodge, or as you’re leaving when your trip is over, make sure to drive your car through the Mt. Carmel Tunnel. It’s a very famous engineering landmark that is over a mile long and, at the time it was finished 1930, was the longest through-mountain tunnel in existence. It was conceived and constructed for the specific purpose of providing passage between the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon and took ten years to complete. The tunnel has many neat features, one of which are ventilation “windows” that were cut into the rock. As you’re driving through, you can quickly look out these “windows” and glimpse the beauty of the cliffs outside.

zion park accommodations

4 Zion Itinerary Items for the Uninitiated

Zion Park Accommodations

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