Situated in the southwestern corner of Utah near the Nevada and Arizona borders, Zion National Park is a convenient stop for those visiting Salt Lake City, Las Vegas or Grand Canyon National Park. Accessible from State Route 9 or Interstate 15, Zion offers visitors a variety of activities across several geographic regions. It started out as Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909, but was granted national park status by the U.S. Congress in 1919.
The highlight of Zion National Park is an expansive canyon. Averaging 2,000 feet deep, Zion Canyon offers hiking opportunities along its floor in the 20 to 30 foot wide area known as The Narrows and the challenging area known as The Subway. Swimming is also permitted in this area of the Virgin River.
Other spectacular features of Zion include natural rock arches. Two of the most prominent are the Crawford and Kolob. One thousand feet above the canyon floor, Crawford Arch can be seen from the patio of the park's Human History Museum. Kolob Arch is visible by those hiking within the area of the park's Kolob Canyon. Other stone arches at Zion include Double Pine, Jughandle, Chinle Trail, and Hidden Arch.
Zion National Park Weather
As with many other parks in the West, Zion National Park weather is dependent on season and elevation. In the summer, temperatures reach 100 degrees or more on the canyon floor and top out in the nineties at higher elevations. Fast moving thunderstorms can cause flash floods during this period. Spring and fall normally feature warm days and cool nights; however, there's always a chance of a late spring or early summer snowstorm. Zion sees most of its precipitation in the winter with temperatures ranging from 50 degrees during the day to below freezing at night.
Zion National Park Tours and Camping
Zion National Park camping, hiking and backpacking are available to park guests. Other outdoor adventures include biking along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and rafting along the Virgin River. Guests in search of more leisurely activities can partake in Zion park ranger-led events, join a guided horseback tour or watch for one of the 285 bird species recorded in the park. Park guests can stop by the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to pick up a Zion National Park Map.
Zion Park is open 24 hours a day, year round. However, some attractions may be closed during inclement weather or colder seasons. A weekly admission pass is $25 per vehicle or $12 for individuals. Zion National Park camping is available at three developed, frontcountry sites for a fee and reservations are required. Guests looking for more luxurious accommodations within the park can stay at Zion Lodge. While there is no additional booking fee, it’s recommended that reservations are made should you wish to stay at the lodge's cabins.