Zion National Park is one of the greatest places on earth. We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch recommend that anyone who comes to Utah (especially if you’re coming from overseas) check out Zion. But since Zion is so huge, and so crowded in summer, it pays to do a little planning ahead. Here are our recommendations for the first time visitor in Zion National Park.
Angels Landing is a particularly beautiful hiking trail. The trail takes you above Zion Canyon and provides views of the entire park. Angels Landing is not to be missed. The trail itself is strenuous in places, but definitely worth the climb.
Emerald Pools is a fantastic fairly easy hike. In fact, part of the way is paved, so you could potentially take a stroller. If you can, hike all the way to Upper Emerald Pool. It is one of the most peaceful spots we’ve ever found. It is customary to talk in hushed voices when at Upper Emerald Pool.
Of course, every visitor must drive through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. The tunnel connects Zion Canyon to the Mesa on the other side. The Mesa is much less visited, so if you want a little backcountry adventure, head in that direction. But even if you don’t plan to spend anytime in the Mesa, drive the Zion- Mount Carmel Tunnel anyway. Try to hold your breath.
Check out the artist galleries and boutique shops that border the entrance. (This is a great option if you aren’t especially “outdoorsy.”) There are some great art pieces to found in this “village.” At the very least go window shopping and stop for ice-cream.
We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch love Zion. You will too. For more information visit the Zion homepage here.