September 25, 2023

Insider Tips for Planning the Best Visit to Zion National Park

Millions of people make their way to Zion National Park each year. Besides the incredible views, one of the things that makes this park so popular is that it truly has something for everyone. There are kid-friendly and beginner-friendly hiking trails. The Zion Canyon Shuttle makes it easy to hop from one viewing spot to another to see the park’s sights, no hiking required. Challenging Angels Landing and The Narrows make for unique experiences that you won’t find anywhere else.

Many first-time visitors to the park don’t do a lot of pre-planning. After all, unlike many vacations, you don’t need reservations to get into the park or to hike most of the trails. But if you want to make the most of your time in Zion during your next visit to Cliffrose Lodge, there are a few tips you should know. Keep reading to learn the insider tips you need for your next visit to Zion. 

Stay Close to the Park

Our first insider tip to make the most of your visit to Zion is to think twice about where you plan to stay. There is one lodge, called the Zion Lodge, as well as two campgrounds inside of the park. This means that most guests stay outside of the park during their visit. 

Staying at the Zion Lodge can make it difficult to enjoy other parts of Southern Utah during your visit. But staying too far from the town of Springdale can make getting to and from Zion during your visit a challenge. Each day, you’ll need to get to the entrance of the park early enough to grab one of the very limited parking spaces or spend time sitting in traffic in Springdale trying to find a spot to park. The next day, you’ll have to do it all over again. 

This can seriously cut into the time you have to enjoy Zion. Whether you have a hike planned or simply want to enjoy a relaxing visit to one of the most beautiful spots in the country, the last thing you want to do is start your day in a traffic jam. 

Do yourself a favor and book a stay in a resort that’s close to the park. You’ll be able to get a better night’s rest when you don’t have to be up before dawn to drive into Springdale. In the morning, simply walk to the Springdale Shuttle stop that’s conveniently located on the property, and ride straight to the park, leaving your car parked at your Zion hotel. At the end of the day, you’ll have a short drive or shuttle ride back to your comfortable room, a hot shower, or a nice nap. 

Make the Most of the Zion Canyon Shuttle

Our first insider tip for your visit to Zion is to stay close to the park. This means less time sitting in traffic and more time enjoying the park. But in order to take full advantage of this perk, you also need to make the most of the Springdale and Zion Canyon Shuttles.

Insiders know that to make the most of the shuttle, it’s important to know which stop you’re headed to. On busy days, the shuttles can sometimes get crowded. To avoid waiting in line more than you need to, consider walking between some stops and trailheads instead of riding the shuttle each time. Hopping on the shuttle early in the day can also help you get a headstart on hiking before crowds arrive for the day.

Visit Through the Week

If your plans are flexible, aim to visit Zion throughout the week to avoid the worst of the crowds. The majority of visitors make their way into the park on the weekends. Not only will you see an influx of tourists, but locals will enjoy their weekend as well.

If your visit to the area is more than a few days and includes a weekend, the next tip can help you fill-up the remainder of your itinerary.

Don’t Forget You Can Re-enter the Park

Most visitors to the park enter early in the day, stay for a few hours or even most of the day, and then leave. While this may seem like a great way to get the most time in the park, it usually means getting stuck in the most crowds as well.

If you’ve got an annual pass for the national parks, you already know that you can go in and out of the park as often as you’d like, all year long. But even with a regular entrance ticket, you can still enter the park as many times as you’d like in a 7-day span.

This also means that you can visit more than once during a single day. If you want to avoid crowds and the heat, consider visiting the park as soon as the shuttles start running for the day. Stay for a few hours, then head back to your resort during the heat of the afternoon. You can then revisit the park in the early evening when most of the day visitors will have already left for dinner.

Don’t Forget to Relax

If you’re someone who loves hiking and nature, a day in Zion might be relaxing and rejuvenating for you. But even the most avid outdoorsman will want to unwind after battling the heat and sore feet all day long.

Book your stay at Cliffrose Lodge, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to unwind during your visit to Springdale. Take a dip in the pool or soak in the hot tub. Take a stroll through the resort’s beautiful grounds. Or simply relax in your beautiful room. However you choose to enjoy your stay, you’re sure to return home feeling like a whole new person.

Ready to put these insider’s tips to work? Now is a great time to start planning your visit to Zion. Start by booking your stay at Cliffrose Lodge today!

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