Your neighbor told you about Zion National Park, and you’re finally ready to look into it.  You think, “It might be just the getaway my wife and I need right now.” But, born and raised in New Jersey, you know as much about Southern Utah as you do about an ocean’s bottom dwellers.  So, the enthusiasm of your neighbors after their vacation to Zion got you to read this article, which presents some of the best adventures that should be included in your trip.

Springdale, Utah

The charming, little town of Springdale, Utah is a good fit for “home base.”  Springdale stands conveniently just outside the entrance to Zion National Park, which is the third most visited of all the US national parks.  Besides easy access to Zion, Springdale features some classy and unique hotels, gift shops, and restaurants. These local businesses have plenty of traditional local flavor, as well as talents and skills brought in from out-of-staters.  From most of the hotels, you can take a shuttle to and from the Park all day long so you can venture out on some of the country’s most beloved hiking trails. Not only are the hikes at Zion fantastic, but also there are other fascinating adventures within one to two-hours driving distance from Springdale.  You may want to include these in your vacation to Zion Canyon.

Zion’s Best Hikes For Regulars, Families, and Athletes

The Canyon Overlook Trail is a family favorite; it’s short, passes through a natural cave, and provides a stunning view of Zion Park, below.  About one mile of walking takes you to an amazing scene, memorable for your vacation to Zion. The Emerald Pools trails are known as family-friendly, short hikes.  From one mile to three, you’ll see colorful pools, waterfalls, and greenery on the Emerald Pools hikes. Some say that a vacation to Zion would not be complete without a hike through the Narrows.  Zion’s Narrows hike runs with the Virgin River, three to eight miles, depending on where you decide to turn back.  You’ll walk much of it in the Virgin River, which is shallow enough for most folks, but can get fatiguing due to water resistance.  Wear good water shoes. The Narrows is considered moderate to strenuous. This hike will feel refreshing on a hot, summer day until it begins to rain.  Then you’ll feel like being chased by a Grizzly. On occasion, a flash flood has washed away some folks, from children to Boy Scouts to adults. Always recheck the forecast for rain before wandering up or down the Narrows. Of all Zion’s hikes, Angel’s Landing is the most iconic because it’s scarier than the others, and it offers spectacular views.  Toward its climax, you’ll grab onto chains, attached to a narrow ridge, to keep you from becoming buzzard scraps, down below. Do not tackle Angel’s Landing if you are afraid of heights.  Angel’s Landing runs five miles there and back.

Bryce Canyon National Park

From Zion, drive 90 minutes to one of the country’s most popular national parks—Bryce Canyon.  Bryce shines with vibrant colors: greens, whites, reds, oranges. It is commonly included in a vacation to Zion.  Perhaps the most memorable parts of Bryce are the reddish Hoodoos.  These other-worldly creatures stand like guards over the serene canyons and valleys of Bryce.  Stop at one of the many viewpoints along the highway, or hike down a trail to get up close to the Hoodoos.  The Hoodoos were sculpted by erosion of sandstone from wind and water over many millennia years.

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

One of America’s top-rated adventure resorts is Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, which is about 45 minutes’ drive north of Zion Canyon.  Zion Ponderosa is nestled amid mountains with green pines and rustic panorama. Your vacation to Zion will possess some happy memories if you spend some time at the Ponderosa.  Activities include paint-balling, horse-back riding, zip-lining, rappelling, shotgun shooting, Jeep touring, swimming, and camping in rustic, Cowboy Cabins.


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