When to Go
Open all year, but main season is March through October. Mild spring and fall temperatures are ideal for hiking. Summer rains can bring spectacular clouds and numerous waterfalls. Rock colors are heightened by contrast with winter snows, green summer foliage, deep blue fall skies.
How to Get There
From Cedar City to the Kolob Canyons Entrance, take I-15 about 17 miles south. To Zion Canyon, take I-15 to Utah 17 then Utah 9 to the South Entrance (about 60 miles). From Kanab, take US 89 to Utah 9 (at the Mt. Carmel junction) to the East Entrance. From Las Vegas and St. George, take I-15 and Utah 9 to the South Entrance. Airports: Las Vegas, Nevada, and St. George, Utah.
How to Visit
On a one-day visit, take the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (free shuttle only April to October) for the best overview of the park. For longer stays, begin with one of the classic walks in Zion Canyon, then take a road tour of the Kolob Canyons in late afternoon.
Where to Stay
Zion National Park provides a variety of lodging and camping options both inside and outside the park.
Zion Lodge, which sits within the park, offers guest rooms, suites, and individual cabins.
Campgrounds include Watchman (open year-round), South (open March-Oct.), and Lava Point (primitive, open June-Oct.). Watchman requires reservations, the others are offered on a first come, first served basis. Visit: www.recreation.gov
Those with a fear of heights should be wary of trails climbing out of the canyon; most are exposed to precipitous drop-offs. Summer temperatures in the park can exceed 105°F. Temperatures in the park can vary by 30°F depending on the elevation and time of day. Be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions. Check at the visitors center for current weather reports and flash flood potential before entering narrow canyons.
National Parks Photos
Some of the most dramatic scenery in the U.S. rises—and falls—from Utah's high plateau country.
Subscribe to Nat Geo Traveler
Available in print and for iPad®! See destinations come alive with 360-degree photos, videos, and more!