Zion National Park is one of my favorite National Parks in the USA! It is incredibly beautiful and there is so much to do and see. If you’re planning a trip, here are the top 10 things NOT to miss in Zion Canyon:
Best Things to Do in Zion National Park
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Angel’s Landing Hike
The other most popular hike in Zion is Angel’s Landing… and possibly the most dangerous. I personally have not done it, however I have read that it is fairly strenuous but anyone in decent shape should be fine. The real kicker is the steep switchbacks and sheer drop-offs. If you have a fear of heights, this is NOT the hike in Zion for you.
It’s a 5 mile round trip hike and takes between 4 and 5 hours. There are several parts of the hike where you hold on to a chain to hike with steep drop offs on either side. While the view at the end is worth it, there is another option if you want an easier hike with an incredible view (read on below).
Canyon Overlook Trail
The Canyon Overlook trail is a less popular hike than Angel’s Landing, and I can’t understand why!? It’s an easy 1-mile round trip that leads you to the most incredible canyon view in Zion National Park (in my opinion). If you’re not keen on the difficulty/risk of Angel’s Landing, I highly highly HIGHLY recommend Canyon Overlook!
Check out this post: Best View in Zion: Canyon Overlook Trail
Zion Mount Carmel Highway
The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway is an incredibly scenic roadway that stretches 25 miles long through the park. The best place to start is at the East Entrance to the national park.
The road takes you through the infamous Zion MT Carmel tunnel and snakes along many switchbacks through the canyon. It’s a beautiful drive and definitely something not to miss in Zion Canyon!
Court of the Patriarchs
One of the most famous landmarks on Zion, the Court of the Patriarchs is not to be missed! Literally… if you go to Zion there is no way you’d miss these towering rock formations 😉
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive
This 57-mile Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is a great way to see the area. The part of the drive that is specifically in Zion National Park takes you past some of the most famous landmarks in the park! You can only drive it in your own vehicle from December through February. During the peak tourist months, a shuttle runs through the park on the same route. Even if you don’t get off anywhere, it’s worth it to ride the shuttle just for the views!
Horseback Riding in Zion Canyon
Seeing Zion Canyon by horseback is a lot of fun! I personally have done it twice, once in the park, and the other just outside at Zion Mountain Ranch. There are several different companies that offer horseback riding through the canyons:
Check out this post: Zion Horseback Riding in Zion
Weeping Rock Trail
This is another popular, easy trail in Zion! It’s only half a mile on a paved trail and takes about 30 minutes. You can get there via the Zion National Park Shuttle, get off at stop 7.
Canyoneering is a fun activity in Zion that involves hiking, route finding, rappelling, sometimes swimming! While that may sound intense, if you go with a knowledgeable guide it’s actually a ton of fun and something not to be missed in Zion!
I did it with my family when I was 13 or 14! Here’s a little throwback photo 😉
Emerald Pools at The Subway
The Subway Hike is for the serious hiker/canyoneer-er only. This 9-mile hike is very strenuous. If you go from the bottom up, it can require “route finding, creek crossing, and scrambling over boulders.” If you choose to hike from the top down, it requires “rappelling skills, 60 feet of rope, and extensive route finding experience. The route also requires swimming through several deep pools of very cold debris-filled water.”
Permits are required to do this hike, and visitors are encouraged to have a detailed route description and travel with someone that has successfully completed the Subway in the past.
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