- Plan. Visit www.nps.gov/zion to preview Zion National Park. The main page has a section,“Plan Your Visit”, that gives visitors answers to the most common questions. It’s also a good idea to search for visitor tips or blogs about Zion.
- Go early or late to avoid the longest lines and largest crowds. Getting to the park by 8 a.m. not only will save you time, but also ensure cooler weather for the biggest walks of the day. Around 4 p.m. many visitors begin to vacate the park for dinner plans and rest. Unfortunately, the heat of the day doesn’t really fade until dark.
- Make reservations for lodging or camping now. Really. Spring and summer dates fill up to 6 months ahead.
- Take a picnic lunch and large refillable water bottle per person. The cafe often has long lines that will take up precious exploring time. Disposable water bottles are not sold in Zion at all. The park is equipped with water refill stations at many shuttle stops. This pure water comes straight from a spring within the mountains.
- Download the park newspaper and activity guide to your phone or tablet before arriving. This will give you a chance to plan hikes and ranger programs ahead of time.
- Plan to see the east side of Zion National Park which is located outside of the main canyon area. The shuttle doesn’t serve this area. In your car follow Route 9 through the Zion – Mt. Carmel Tunnel to a totally different park experience.
- Make reservations ahead of time for any extra activities you’d like to participate in. Local outfitters provide guided horseback rides, rock climbing trips, specialized hiking gear for The Narrows, etc.
- Read books or blogs about Zion. The area is rich in geological, biological, and cultural diversity. The more you know, the more you’ll get out of the experience.
- Pack and wear appropriate clothing. April – October has the potential for very hot temperatures up to the 100’s. The mornings are normally rather cool, so a light jacket is essential.
1. Prepare for long, exhausting days spent playing in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Enjoy.