Prepare for Zion National Park
So you want to plan for Zion? Awesome! Here is everything we know to get you thinking about your trip. By the end, you will learn what you need to Get Started.
Later we are going to share with you our three favorite hikes but, right now here is a brief overview.
Zion National Park is home to almost 1,000 different plants through desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest life zones. As you watch this video you will notice all the different plants and start to see the variety. The Anasazi, created petroglyphs and cliff dwellings that are between 800-1500 years old and are still viewable today in Zion Canyon. Additionally the park is home to mule deer, coyotes, big horn sheep, ringtail cats, California Condor, cougars, gray fox, many birds, and just a few squirrels. For these reasons, Zion Canyon was established as Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909 by President Taft and a National Park in 1919 by Woodrow Wilson.
Now that you know why Zion was protected as a National Park let’s get to the hikes. Later we will let you know the one animal that is most dangerous in the park.
The Narrows area of Zion might be the most popular hike in the park. We started at Shuttle stop 9 Temple of Sinawava and hiked almost to the Big Spring and back which is about 10 miles, 340 feet of elevation gain and mostly in the water. We spent about 4-5 hours in the Narrows and made it to Wall Street and other amazing sections of the Canyon. The gap between the canyon walls in the Narrows is only 20 feet wide in some spots and the canyon walls rise more than 800 feet tall. Make sure you pack the proper gear, plan to get wet, and check the weather to make sure the hike is safe. Stay until the end for a playlist with a planning guide of the Narrows. Here is more detail on The Narrows: Hiking The Narrows-Complete Guide Zion National Park (campbrood.com)
Zion Canyon is being carved by the Virgin River and has been growing deeper for over 2 million years
Our second hike started at Shuttle Stop 6 The Grotto and took us to Walter’s Wiggles, the base of Angels Landing, and Scout Lookout. The West Rim trail goes for miles. The Grotto to Scout Lookout Hike on the West Rim Trail is almost 1,500 feet of elevation gain, 4 miles round trip and takes 3-4 hours to complete. To hike Zion National Park from the Grotto to Scout Lookout and the start of Angels Landing you have to Climb Higher than New York’s Empire State Building. Here is more detail on the West Rim: Prepare for the West Rim Trail at Zion National Park (campbrood.com)
Zion National Park was named by Mormon pioneers in the 1800s which is Hebrew and means Refuge or Sanctuary. Here are some items we used during our Hikes at Zion National Park. These are Amazon Affiliate Links and if you click these and purchase from Amazon in the same session we may earn a commission.
One more hike to go, and stay tuned for the 3-day Itineraries we recommend.
The third hike we would like to share is the Canyon Overlook Trail. To do that we have to tell you it is located at the East Entrance of the Mount Carmel Tunnel. The Highway Tunnel was the longest tunnel of its kind when it opened in 1930 and is a must see. It provides a better connection between Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks. The canyon overlook trail is 1.1 miles, 200 ft of elevation gain, and takes about an hour to hike and enjoy. The payoff of some of the best panoramic views of the canyon are worth it. Further east is a great Zion park sign for selfies and family photos.
Still wondering what the most dangerous animal in the park is. We’ll tell you next. But first here are 2, 3-day Itineraries we thought would be helpful for beginner hikers.
Example Itinerary 1.
Day 1 The Narrows,
Day 2 Angels Landing and West Rim,
Day 3 Mt Carmel Tunnel, Canyon Overlook, Zion National Park sign photo op, Moqui Cave, and Belly of the Dragon which are outside the park and fun little hikes.
Example Itinerary 2.
Day 1 The Narrows,
Day 2, Mt Carmel Tunnel, Canyon Overlook, Zion National Park sign photo op, Kayenta Trail and Emerald Pools
Day 3 Angels Landing and West Rim
Beginner hikers, littles, or those with physical restrictions may find the West Rim from the Grotto may be too much. Mix and match the above to your liking. Subscribe to our YouTube channel as we are posting shorts daily and longer videos like this one weekly and you don’t want to miss what’s next. It’s also a good way to find this video if you want to replay it later.
Ok, the most dangerous animal in the park is the squirrel. They are opportunistic, will seek out food, bite you to get it, and carry rabies and the plague. We watched someone get bit and We even watched a squirrel open an unattended backpack. Pretty dangerous animal in a small, cute, innocent looking package.
The Shuttle Service at Zion National Park was used full time for the first time in the year 2000 and other than bicycle or hiking is the only access to Zion Canyon During the busy season. We thought the shuttle was the best mode of transportation. Also, staying in the park, or as close to the Springdale entrance as you can, worked really well for us.