We stayed in Zion National Park for 4 days, and it was nowhere near enough time to hike, explore, and enjoy all this park has to offer. This canyon just captures you somehow. It’s certainly one we’ll keep returning to throughout the years.
I highlighted some of the transportation, sleeping, and shopping details of Zion National Park in my Visitor’s Guide – Part I. Now let’s get to the good stuff!
Zion National Park probably has the most versatile hiking options than any national park I’ve been to thus far. We’re talking strenuous hike, relaxing hikes, steep and flat hikes, hikes up the canyon, hikes along the river, hikes through the river…so many options!
While there’s not enough time to discuss each of the hikes available in Zion, I’ll highlight a few of the ones I’m most familiar with.
Angel’s Landing is probably the most famous hike in Zion National Park. This is a 5 mile, strenuous and steep hike. The last .5 mile trail is narrow with mile high drop-offs on each side. Chains are provided to help you climb, but it’s not for the faint of heart!
Take a look at this video of the last .5 mile of the hike. Scary, am I right? I hiked up to this point and waited for Lorianne to hike the rest. I tried a little bit of it, but my fear of heights took over!
The Narrows is another incredible hike in Zion. On this trail you are hiking through the Virgin River. While a lot of it is only knee or thigh deep, some spots are chest deep or may require swimming, so pack light!
There are several places in Springdale that offer gear rentals needed for this hike at reasonable prices, Zion Outfitters included!
Lori and I were planning on hiking the Narrows during our visit, and we were so excited! Unfortunately, there were flash flood warnings at the time we were there, so we had to postpone the hike until another time. Always stay safe!
Because we weren’t able to hike the Narrows, Lorianne and I spent the day hiking Observation Point. This is an 8 mile, steep hike up to a beautiful view looking down on Angel’s Landing. This hike was tough for me. It was steep, full of switch-backs, and at time high drop-offs, but the view at the top is incredible.
If you start in the morning, you should make it to the top by lunch time and its such a great lunch view!
Lastly, we were able to spend some time on the Pa’rus Trail. This is about 3.5 miles long and it runs along the beautiful Virgin River. You can walk, jog, or bike it. Many stop along the wait and go for a quick swim in the refreshing river.
This is a paved trail, with quaint footbridges taking you to beautiful vistas and views. This trail also runs through both the South and Watchman campground all the way to the Visitor’s Center. This is how Lorianne and I walked to the shuttle stop each morning. A beautiful trail!
While there are only a couple restaurant options in Zion National Park, they’re good, and if you don’t find something you like, Springdale is filled with great eateries.
The Red Rock Grill, located inside the Zion lodge is the main dining option in the park. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have a beautiful outdoor seating area right about the lodge lawn.
If you’d like something a little quicker, and cheaper, the Castle Dome Cafe is a seasonal snack bar attached to the lodge. They’ve got sandwiches, pizza, burgers, coffee, and probably most importantly soft serve ice cream!
I got the ice cream each day we were there and it was amazing. 🙂
If you’re looking for more options, there are some great places located right outside the park in Springdale, Utah.
Lori and I ate at Casa De Amigos, a tasty Mexican restaurant in town. It was really good, but packed, so plan to get there early.
There’s also a nice restaurant at the Bumbleberry Inn in Springdale as well. We’ve eaten there before and enjoyed it. These options only scratch the surface of what’s available to eat around Zion.
If you’re trying to travel on the cheap (like Lori and I were) you can opt to cook at your campsite or rental place. We made lots of PB&J, grilled cheese, and baked potatoes. The meals of budget travelers!
They tasted better than they looked!
I hope this answers some of your questions about Zion National Park. If you’re still wondering whether or not to take the leap and visit, the answer is YES.
Check out my Visitor’s Guide to Zion National Park – Part I if you didn’t catch it before!
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