On my drive out to California I had the opportunity to check off another National Park from my list. This time it was Zion National Park located in southwest Utah. I’ve visited a lot of National Parks and I have to say Zion is one of the most organized and efficient of any of them. For example, cars are not allowed inside the park from April to October, which makes for a much quieter, safe, and less congested experience. I was able to leave my car parked all day and travel by foot or bus to wherever I wanted to go – both inside and out of the park. Everything was clearly marked and buses came by every 5-10 minutes without fail.
I happened to arrive on a national holiday, so perhaps that is the reason why the park was extremely crowded and noisy, but some weeks later I did hear that all national parks are becoming increasingly popular and overcrowded and that one day soon a visitor may need to plan ahead and secure a ticket to visit. That doesn’t sound so good for this spur-of-the-moment gal, but after seeing the crowds first hand, I can completely understand this necessity.
The town of Springdale is located right at the entrance of Zion. With cute coffee shops, a variety of restaurants, gift shops, art stores, and hotels, there is a plethora of things to do and a beautiful setting to do it in. See below!
Now let’s venture inside the park. Everything is so organized, quaint, and immaculate:
Now let’s get to the hikes! In just one day and a little bit of hustle, I was able to hit all the best spots on the map.
Lower Emerald and Upper Emerald Pool Trails:
I had no desire to wade in the freezing cold water of this very popular trail, but did enjoy sitting on the bank and watching others have at it!
Weeping Rock Trail:
Court of the Patriarchs:
Angel’s Landing via West Rim Trail:
This is a strenuous trail that six people have actually died on since 2004. The trail weaves uphill most of the way, and then it narrows out and becomes absolutely frightening. I chose not to complete the scariest part, but stayed for some time observing other’s attempts at it. While a few young guys made it look effortless, the multiple women and girls who returned in tears was all I needed to be certain it was an experience I didn’t care to have. Check out a hiker’s video of the most treacherous part of the trail here.
I asked a fellow hiker who had been waiting nearly 3 hours for his friends to complete the most treacherous part of the trail to snap a photo of me. Hello!
Making my way back down:
By the end of the day I was so tired from all that hiking that I almost remained on the bus for the ride back to the entrance instead of taking the opportunity to walk back on the peaceful Pa’rus Trail. I’m glad my curiosity kicked in and decided to get off the bus, as not only was the trail mostly quiet and empty, but I also had a gorgeous view of the sunset to boot. After such a noisy day of overcrowded bus rides and hikes, ending the day on a peaceful note was much appreciated:
The trail passes by the campground:
Goodbye Zion! Another successful visit to America’s beautiful National Parks.