Park Three | Zion
Zion is the most famous of the national parks in Utah. Which makes it a great finale to your trip.
Day five – Zion National Park:
Drive from Bryce Canyon to Zion
This is another amazingly beautiful section of highway, so take some pictures along the way. Enter Zion at the East Entrance. A $30 dollar fee is required for each entering vehicle.
Drive through Checkerboard Mesa on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway
Keep your eyes peeled for wild mountain goats. Also you get to drive through some very cool tunnels, which is a bonus if you’ve got kids with you.
Stop by the visitor center for a quick overview of the park
There is a lot of cool information about the park to be found here. Take the time to check out the short educational film about the park.
Take the shuttle up Zion Canyon
Dibs on the window seat!
Stop by Zion Lodge for lunch and ice cream
This historic lodge has a little restaurant. Grab some food – don’t forget the ice cream – admire the view, and get ready for one of the best hikes in the park.
Hike to Upper Emerald Pools (Easy | 3-miles roundtrip)
Emerald pools is a pretty easy hike, in fact it’s so easy that the first part is paved. There are three consecutive pools, aptly named Lower, Middle and Upper Emerald Pools. Hike to the top, you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t want to backtrack, take the Kayenta Trail back down. This will add another mile to the hike, but the views are worth it.
Take the shuttle back down Zion Canyon
Look at all the cool shops and galleries at the South Entrance
After you get back to your car, exit to the south. There are a bunch of boutiques near the entrance. Walk through a gallery or two. You can also watch a film at the nearby IMAX theatre. Plus there are a lot of restaurants, in case you’ve worked up an appetite.
Check into your accommodations
Day six – Zion National Park:
Reenter the park
Try to get there early. Today you’re going to tackle Angel’s Landing, the most iconic hike in Zion. It can be pretty strenuous, so an early start will make it more enjoyable. (Some people even recommend watching the sunrise from the top.)
Take the shuttle to Angles Landing
Hike Angels Landing (Strenuous | 10-miles roundtrip)
The trail starts out relatively easy, with the first section being paved. However, by the time you make it to the last half mile, you will be on a narrow path, close to the edge of the canyon ridge. (Don’t worry. There are anchored chains to keep you from falling off.) The trail’s elevation change is pretty dramatic, so take your time. But you will never forgot the view form the top.
Time for lunch!
You can stop by the Zion Lodge again, or go to one of the many places near the front entrance.
Take it easy, you’ve earned it
Go for a swim, take a nap, or buy some art at a gallery. Just relax for the rest of the day.
Day seven – On your way:
Time to head home
Pack up and head out. But don’t worry, these three awesome parks will be here for you the next time you come this way.