Holidays Lounge knows its members will enjoy the high plateaus, labyrinths of narrow, deep sandstone canyons and impressive rock formations that characterize Zion National Park. All of this was created when the Virgin River made its way through the rocks and left the spectacular canyons 600 to 1,000 meters deep. The earth layers were pushed up, tilted and flushed out.
Holidays Lounge recommends visiting Emerald Pools trail at Zion National Park
The Zion National Park covers an area of approximately 590 square kilometers. The most famous part, which most of the nearly 3 million visitors each year want to see, is the Zion Canyon. Located in southern Utah, the nearest major city is St. George and is about 40 minutes away. Holidays Lounge believes that even a day visit to the park is well worth the trip.
Zion National Park Sign
Zion National Park is located at an elevation of 1128 to 2660 meters above sea level on the edge of the Colorado Plateau and the junction of the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin. This location determines flora and fauna in the park. There are green river banks, barren plateaus and dense forests. On the sandstone slopes bighorn sheep often climb and in the desert climate of the canyons and rattlesnakes and tarantulas can also be found. Chipmunks meet you everywhere.
Since 1919, the Zion Canyon has been protected as a National Park. Previously, it had the status of a National Monument, and in 1973, the Kolob Canyons was also integrated into the park. Ideal travel times are autumn and spring, or May through September. In autumn, the leaves in Zion Canyon light up beautifully and the Narrows are more walkable due to the water level.
The Zion National Park with its red sandstone cliffs and picturesque canyons is one of the most beautiful national parks in the USA. Numerous trails make the park ideal for hiking. This particularly scenic route is closed to private vehicles in the summer months (April to October) and can only be reached on the Zion Shuttle. The buses start at the Visitor Center in Springdale and leave every 10 minutes. The shuttle is free, and you can get on and off as often as you want at the eight stops in the park. There are some paths to traverse in between each of the individual stops. Or if you choose to stay on the shuttle, the round trip takes about 90 minutes.
Shuttle that takes you through the park to see all the sites
From quiet walks to demanding climbing tours, there is something for everyone in this park. Here are the most popular hikes at a glance. Further information and maps are available free of charge at the entrance to the park or in the visitor center. For all walks: sturdy shoes, sunscreen and plenty of water are highly recommended to bring along according to Holidays Lounge.
The Canyon Overlook trail is the 1.6 km long, rocky circular route that starts on Highway 9 just before the tunnel. The path offers some beautiful views and is relatively easy to walk in about an hour. Steep slopes that occur on this trail are usually secured by fences to help make it safer for everyone. The starting point for the Emerald Pools trail is at the Zion Lodge. It is a two-kilometer path to the Lower Pool, a water basin with overhanging rocks and a small waterfall. The paved footpath is easy to walk, even with children. Then the trail is a bit more demanding, and it goes steadily uphill to the Upper Pool. There, too, water flows from a high rock into a deep green basin that has a small beach.
Watchman Trail is one of the busier routes in the park because it is so easily accessible according to Holidays Lounge. The intermediate route is approximately 4.3 km long and starts directly behind the visitor center. In this area, there are also plenty of parking spaces and picnic benches, so it is a favorite spot. Due to the temperatures, it is best to start in the early morning or late afternoon. The path is sometimes very narrow and steep and hardly has any shade. Roundtrip, depending on how often you stop, you can be on this path for 2 to 3 hours.
To get to the Zion Narrows, take the Zion Shuttle to the last stop (Temple of Sinawava), and then walk along the Riverside Walk. The paved road ends after 2 km by the river. Experienced hikers can then wade through the water. The up to 600 meters high sandstone cliffs move up to a few meters together, and behind each bend, there are new fantastic views. Many hikers try to reach Orderville Canyon, a side river about 2 hours upriver, as the Narrows are perhaps the most beautiful there according to Holidays Lounge.
Both Fall and Spring are ideal times to visit the park, although in spring the weather can be changeable. The wildflowers bloom from April to June. The park can be quite hot in the Summer during the day, but it cools off nicely at night. Short afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon in July and August. In the autumn the days are usually bright and mild, the nights cool. The autumn colors in the Canyon are the best at the end of October, but the weather can change quickly so the travelers should be prepared possible snowstorms at this time of the year.