Zion National Park: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

Zion National Park: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

– Ten things to know before you go to Zion National Park in Utah. I’m Chris, this is Topher,
this is Yellow Productions. We do travel guides that are
fun, informative, entertaining and in this video we’re
going to tell you everything you need to know if you’re
considering visiting this national park. And the first thing you
should know if you’re visiting this national park is something
that makes it different from a lot of other national parks, maybe like the Grand Canyon, where you see the park
from the Canyon Ridge. In Zion National Park, you see the canyon from within the canyon. These cliffs are over 3000 feet tall. So that’s not to say that
like the Grand Canyon, you can’t view Zion from the top. Actually most of the hikes
will take you to the top. For the truly lazy, who
don’t want to go thousands of feet of elevation, climbing
the canyon overlook trail, this one’s on route nine
just outside of the tunnel and you can get some
pretty impressive views of the canyon down below
and it’s only about a mile roundtrip hike
from the parking lot. The other thing you should
know where this is located. Zion National Park is in southwest Utah. It’s 223 square miles,
the park is really big. If you love natural parks
and you love nature, you are sure to love Zion. Because Zion National Park is in a canyon, some of it gets a lot
of sun like right here. This is the park’s hallmark. It’s the Temple of Sinawava. It’s where the river has
made the canyon pretty wide but some parts of it are pretty narrow and actually this leads up to the narrows, which some parts of this
canyon are so narrow, it only gets minutes of sunshine a day. Well, hey, every scene I
do in this video will be in a different part of the
park so you’ll get to see a little bit of the park as you watch. The second thing to know
before you go to Zion is about getting into Zion. Zion National Park, being
a big national park, you can imagine, it’s in
the middle of nowhere. The two closest cities it’s closest to are Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. It’s about two, three hours
driving from Las Vegas if you fly into there. It’s about four or five hours driving from Salt Lake City if you fly into there. Drive into LAX, Los Angeles,
seven hours driving from there. So pretty much, that’s
how you get into the park. You fly to one of those airports and then you drive it and you rent a car. We’ll talk about getting
around get when you get here, the main entrance is in
this town called Springdale. There’s a few other
entrances around the park but most people come in on Springdale and come in through the
main part of the canyon so that’s what this video
is primarily gonna focus on. The third thing you need to know before you get to Zion National Park is about getting around Zion National Park. Most of the year from
March, maybe all the way up through November, they run
shuttles to get through the park. This is a shuttle stop back here. There are nine shuttle
stops within the park. They stop at the visitor’s center, that’s the entrance to the canyon drive, and the last one’s right here
at the Temple to Sinawava. The stops it makes in between are things to other hiking trails, other lookouts, and the Zion Lodge in the middle. The shuttles run about
every 10 to 15 minutes. They start morning, they
go until about sunset. There can be a little
wait to get on the shuttle in the morning from the main shuttle stop so do be prepared to add a
little bit of extra time. The length of the shuttle, it
takes 40 minutes to go from the visitors center stop number one to stop number nine here at the end. So if you’re coming to Zion National Park when the shuttles are not in operation, you basically got two
places where you can park. You can either park at the
visitor’s center right at the front of the park or you park
in the town of Springdale. There is no free parking
at Zion National Park. All throughout Springdale,
you’ll find paid parking lots. The private parking lots
are paid, the street parking is paid, everything is paid
so grab a parking shot. There’s a shuttle that
runs within Springdale that’ll then take you to the park. And then you can take
another shuttle from there to actually go into the park. If you’re staying at
a hotel in Springdale, then just park your car at your hotel, take the shuttle from your hotel. First thing you’ll want to do,
come to Zion National Park, start your visit at the visitor center and you’ll be wondering
where do you get the maps. You’ll see people with maps. We went inside, we couldn’t find the maps, there was a long line. You don’t have to wait in line. The maps, they keep them right here, between the doors on the outside. You can pick that up
when the visitor’s center open or closed. The map will give you
lots of great information about the different
shuttles that are operated and so you’ll definitely
want this with you. So once you’re here in
Zion, what is there to do? There is a lot to do in Zion. Actually most people come here to hike. There are hiking trails for
all different skill levels. This trail, it’s entirely
paved, the Temple of Sinawava but if you want, over
there, right next to it, there’s a trail that’s not paved. Or you can climb up the rock
face, you can ride a horse, you can do river activities. There are tons of things to do in Zion. So if the Temple of Sinawava
trail is not difficult enough for you because that is just
a sidewalk and that’s too easy and you want to see the narrows, what the park is famous for,
the really, really narrow spot, well, you gotta go that way. There’s no trail. You got to go in the water. There’s actually a bunch of
people, I’ve seen them do it. And they get these dry
suits, these dry shoes. There’s a place that rents
them right in front of the park and you just basically walk
right through the river. Maybe a warmer day for me. What’s really cool
about Zion National Park is just how varied everything is. You go from trails that have
bridges and then it comes into what almost looks like a sea cave. I mean this isn’t moss but
it kind of looks like moss. This could look like
something by the ocean. By the way, this is the
canyon overlook trail. It’s on route nine,
just outside the tunnel if you want to check this out. And it has sweeping views
with the canyon just this way. Well, until we get to the top, there’s even more sweeping
views of the canyon. Before you go to Zion, you
should know about what to bring with you for your trip and for
your experience in the park. But first, what am I standing in front of? This is the Angel’s Landing,
one of the most popular and famous hikes in the
park, though they do caution it is steep and there’s steep
drops and people have died climbing that so be careful
if you’re doing that. So what should you bring. Well, first of all,
you should bring water. You’ll be thirsty,
particularly in the summer so bring a couple bottles of water. You can fill up water pretty
much any of the shuttle stops. They have drinking fountains. You should bring some sunscreen
because in the summer, sun is bright, in the
winter, it’s bright, too. There’s snow on the ground
and we’re in kind of a high elevation, 3500 to like 8000 feet. The elevations high which
makes the sun even stronger. Finally, you should
probably bring some snacks because there aren’t
many places to buy food within the park. Actually, there’s only one place to eat but we’re going to talk about
that in the food section. Okay, let’s talk about food. What is there to eat in the park. Well, you’ve got one,
maybe two options depending upon the time of year. If you’re here when it’s not
busy, then there’s one option. It’s this one. It’s the Red Rock Grill. It’s on the second floor
of the Zion Lounge. It’s a full service restaurant. I will warn you, though, it can be busy. We stopped in here for
lunch on December 27th, we got here about one, we had to wait an hour
and a half to be seated. Burgers, fish and chips,
salads, that sort of stuff is what they serve. There’s a seasonal cafe
that opens when it’s busy. Other than that, you are on your own. So I would suggest if you’re really hungry and you’re hiking the
trails, pack in a snack. Some snacks, power bars, some
energy bars, this and that, then you don’t have to be
victim to an hour and a half wait for lunch, we are
really hungry now by the way so I hope those burgers are good. I’ll let you know. So speaking of the Zion Lodge,
let’s talk about lodging now. To find a place to sleep at
night in Zion National Park if you want to sleep on a
bed, you only have one option. The Zion Lodge. It is the only hotel in the actual park. If you want to stay here, you need to book about 13 months in advance. Rooms are about $220 in 2019
so you can book the first of the month for 13 months from now. So plan ahead if you wanna do that. Your other options in the park,
there are three campgrounds. The one that’s open all year round, in the Watchmen Campground
right by the visitor’s center. If these are all booked up
and you don’t want to camp, well your other options is
hotel in Springdale, the town. Just right outside the entrance, there’s a ton of hotels there. If those are all booked out,
you can go 45 minutes out, driving to St. George,
you’ll probably find a lot more hotels out there
but if you are considering staying in Springdale, you might want to consider the Springhill Suites. We have a video review on
it, that’s where we stayed for our trip, we pretty much enjoyed it, it was close by, free breakfast, and there’s a shuttle stop right there that brings you into the park. Link in the description below or at the end of this video to watch that. But even if you’re booking
those hotels in Springdale, you should book them early. Why? Because Zion National Park
is the third most visited park in the United States
with four and three quarter million tourists that came
to this park just last year. So even if you’re staying
in town, might be worthwhile to book those hotels six months out. They’ll book up. I guarantee it. So if you’re planning a trip to Zion, you’ll probably want to
know when’s the best time to come to Zion National Park. Well, most visitors
come in spring and fall. That’s probably the best
weather time to come. Summer, a lot of people
come in the summer, too, but it can be oppressively
hot in the summer. You might want to visit in
the winter when we’re visiting because the shuttle buses
don’t run which might be a good thing because you
can like drive into the park and it’s a whole different experience. Though they’ve actually
just started running the shuttles December so
they were running them when we were here and a
nice thing about coming in the winter, it’s not hot
and because it’s not hot, you can hike and walk a lot, lot more, though you do have to bundle yourself up. And if you’re walking that
narrowest trail in the water, well, that might not be a winter activity. That’s definitely summer activity if you’re trying to get in the water. Before you go to Zion National Park, you should know about safety. One of the things they
warn visitors of most about in the park is about flash floods. Because there’s this river that
runs through the whole park and a lot of the trails
actually run through it, it’s really important
that you pay attention to the flash flood warning levels. In California, if you hiked there, you’ll be used to seeing signs
about fire potential danger. But here, they give you signs
about flash flood potential. So where’s all the water
in this river come from? Well a lot of it comes from the rocks. How does the water come out
of the rocks and the cliffs? Behind me look, this rock right here, there’s water coming out of it. And you can actually see
the stream right here of the water seeping out from that rock. The term the national park
service uses is weeping. They call the rocks weeping. But there was a little kid
over here and he was saying mommy, look, that rock is peeing. He is pretty accurate. So speaking of those weeping rocks, when it’s cold in December,
it actually turns into ice. You can see the icicles up
there and it actually ices as it falls into that pool right there. So on the note of
safety, because it’s cold and it’s wet, things get pretty slippery. I’ve seen some people doing
some pretty gnarly slides down this hill so make sure
you’re using the railing and have a firm grip. Oh, that’s cold, maybe put on some gloves when you hold that railing. You should know that
although Zion National Park is open 355 days a year, when it isn’t, is when there’s a federal
government shut down. When the federal government
doesn’t pass a budget, Zion National Park doesn’t have any staff. And the park doesn’t close
but a lot of the people aren’t here like people
to clean the bathrooms, people to take your tickets
and so just plan ahead if the government is shut
down, make sure what you wanna do is actually open and available. When we were here in December
2018, the state of Utah provided some funds to keep
like the visitor’s center open and the visitor’s center
bathrooms maintained but not this bathroom. And by the way, it’s not
just the government shut down that closes things, actually
the weather and construction can close things too. When we were here, maybe a third of the major trails were closed. They were due to rock slides,
weather, or construction so again, don’t just check
for the government shut down. Check that the conditions
are actually good for the trail or activity
that you wanna do. And the last thing to know is
that we’ve got more videos, more videos from around the world and if you’re considering
staying at a hotel here by Zion, check out review of the
Springhill Suites in Zion. Well, we hope you enjoyed this video. We won’t say goodbye because we’ll see you in the next one or maybe this one.

100 thoughts on “Zion National Park: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

  1. Going to Zion? You might enjoy my video review of the Springhill Suites Zion Hotel: https://youtu.be/ZevvkLXGZJg
    Las Vegas is the closest big city – Check out my videos on Las Vegas: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOVadUHX1B-JzE5fiVleugu6HTYLsr2sk

  2. I didn't hear you mention the town of hurricane. It's not too far away and I'm sure it has a motel or two and it's closer than St George

  3. Stay away from the weekends. The best time to go is midweek in the month of April and May or, in the fall like September or October. Best time to do Angles Landing is late afternoon.

  4. I visited Zion 3 years ago with some friends to hike the Narrows trail. Instead of staying at a smelly cigarette hotel in Las Vegas which I don't like, we rented a cabin in one of the small towns called Tropic near Bryce Canyon in which we also hiked. Inside the park we just parked along the main road and it's free, we did not pay a parking fee. The best way to visit Utah is by driving around on a road trip.

  5. Nice. May I suggest you do a little bit more on the weather and its effects? For instance my son and I were at the park 2nd week of August 2018. We were scheduled to do East Rim Trail for an overnight. While at the Narrows it started to drizzle rain. By the time we made it back to Springdale, it was raining hard. But the time we went to dinner (really nice restaurant called Bit and Spur) we were watching rain of epic proportions. Our table looked north to the entrance of the park, those huge cliffs. Sheets of rain like you would not believe. Next morning the streets of Springdale are covered in red mud. We go to the visitors center to let the ranger know about our hike. Before I open my mouth he shuts me down. Everything is cancelled in the canyon. I ask him about travelling east through the tunnel, to do some of the hikes there. Sorry, a bolder got dislodged from the canyon wall and came crashing down on the road just before the tunnel. So that was out as well. Yes, Zion is a desert, but even deserts get ridiculous amounts of rain on occasion.

  6. Zion is a great park. I usually get a 10 day package deal to Vegas for about $900 and use it as a homebase. I hate casinos so I'm usually out the door by 5:00 AM in my rental car and hitting all of the State and Federal Parks during the day. Zion Park officials are very accommodating and allowed me access to the park after the buses stopped running. They gave me a special photography permit to roam the park at night which was awesome. They do discourage any night hikes which is totally understandable, still driving the park at 2:00 AM during clear skies is a sight to behold. There are plenty of pull offs for night Photography. Two thumbs up for Zion.

  7. Very informative. Please do a video on how to do all the parks in the area like the Bryce, the Arches and the others in an effective way.

  8. I would like to thank you sir, for dedicating your life for my personal amusement. I feel the last few videos on vegas, and now this, is helping my planning go far more smoothly. As part of my trip to Vegas, I was going to Zion National Park, and this video works perfectly. The only thing that will help out even more is if there is a video on Death Valley National Park.

  9. We locals love seeing the excitement visitors have when experiencing the beauty and sense of peace of the park. Be sure to visit the other attractions outside of the park as there are many. Also you may not want to mispronounce Zions as non locals pronounce it Zi-Ons while locals pronounce it as Zi-Uns. There's much to see and enjoy!

  10. Parking in Springdale is $20-25. And the visitors lot in the park can fill up fast. Summer weather can hit the 90-100’s. Be careful of the Narrows hike, I have hear of broken legs and being life flight out.

  11. Welcome to my neck of the woods! We love Zion (locals pronounce it Zi-un…or for some reason we ad an S on the end…Zi-uns) Does get a bit crazy at certain times of the year…love that people love Zion, but it can be a bit overwhelming…especially in late Spring early Summer. Plenty to see and do, even around and outside of Zion…great hikes, state parks, and adventure all found within an hour or so of Zion. St. George is the biggest city near Zion and has a ton of food, entertainment, golf and lodging! https://www.visitstgeorge.com/

    If you can make it happen, and you're a big hiker and want to do a 50-70 mile hike permit only (depending on side hikes and where you decide to end)…do the Trans Zion Hike…did it back in 2017 and made a little video of my adventure. https://youtu.be/CLbbjocxSno

  12. Canyon Overlook is easy to miss. Trailhead is on the north side of the road, parking is on the south side. In other words, you park and cross the street unlike your usual turnout. The tunnel entrance/exit and traffic stop all come together there too. I was paying attention to the rangers and the tunnel and missed the sign for Canyon Overlook trail, then had to go all the way through the tunnel and turn around.
    You can drive through the park and see a lot without riding the shuttle.

  13. As a native Utahn I strongly suggest you DO NOT go to Zion during the summer. It's too crowded and HOT!!! I would recommend going in the off season months. Also don't forget to check out the other National Parks as well. Arches, Canyonlands, and Bryce Canyon. Southern Utah has some of the most beautiful and breathtaking scenery.

  14. Zion is beautiful, but for anyone who wants to get away from the crowds another option might be to consider Capitol Reef instead. Less than a tenth the people usually, and every bit as beautiful in my humble estimation. But it is quite a bit farther from Las Vegas and St. George.

  15. Bonus tip: If you stumble upon some Legionaries don't ask about the name Joshua Graham.

  16. They give you a map on entrance….like all national parks. Also, we entered 4th of March and you could park as far as the museum (normally farther in, but because of a landslide) for the farseeable future.

  17. Another thing to mention is that, like many national parks, dogs aren't allowed on the hiking trails. They might not be allowed on the shuttle either (I can't remember). We camped at that first camp ground where dogs were allowed but someone always had to stay at the campground with him so we hiked in shifts. There is a kennel in Springdale but you have to have reservations and all the normal vet papers (we didn't have a reservation and couldn't get our dog in).

  18. Here’s a tip. Bring water. Lots of water that’s it. You’ll be ok but just pack water. Please do yourself a favor

  19. Fallout New Vegas:Honest Hearts
    Zion is a main location of this DLC,and in the game Zion is very beautiful,but in 2281

  20. Cedar City. I live here. If you are going to Zion and/or Bryce, it’s a large town. Yes, Zion is 45 min away but you can also go to Bryce and have all the amenities needed – hotels, restaurants, etc. This is where people from SLC stay, not Springdale. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  21. Very helpful video. The video is so clear, I could feel the cold air. The sound is movie quality. Thank you. Thumbs up!

  22. Good info- thank you. As a professional speaker, I give lessons for on-camera performances. I suggest trying to decrease your hand guestures. It takes away from your commentary, and although it may seem natural to you, these can be very distracting to your viewing audience. Your vocal energy and nice editing is all you need to convey your enthusiasm and knowledge. Just for future reference.

  23. Funny how a video game made me want to visit another country to visit Zion National Park. A handful of beauty and nature

  24. Hi, I wonder if we can get to the Canyon Overlook Trail by car and if not, does the shuttle go to the trailhead?

  25. Visited Zion in October on my first trip to America…. absolutely loved it!!! Can't wait to go back to the USA

  26. The Bureau of Land Mgmt office 345 E. Riverside Dr is a great place to get info and maps on the SW Utah area. Sadly, the County supervisors don't believe in the beauty of Washington County, UT. Look At how they desecrated St. George by allowing the building of houses on the mesa top right of off exit 8 St George Blvd, in St. George, an abomination. building on the valley would be acceptable.

  27. An easy way to get there is to take a vacation to Las Vegas and then go to Zion by riding a shuttle that goes from one of the Vegas tour companies to Zion. The one I went on also took me to Bryce Canyon National Park. You just have to be prepared to spend the whole day in Utah.

  28. Awesome video,perfectly done. U get right to the point,its broken down well,and its very applicable right away.thumbs up

  29. I can't even get six minutes into the video… it's just driving me absolutely crazy that you're somehow mispronouncing Zion! It's not Zigh-on. It's Zigh-ihn.

  30. Number one thing you need to know is there are going to 10,000 people making their own top 10 "look at me" videos everyplace you look.

  31. Nice… the touch of snow looks good too. I got lucky and tent camped there not knowing the issues of parking/camping/lodging….. Someone was a NO SHOW, so I got in and stayed 2 nights!!! Hey, you forgot the two parts worthy of a drive and some hiking…. which are not inside the ticket gates. I forgot the names right now, but one enters from the south on a road west of the Zion valley and the other is off Route 15?….. which is a road entering on the west side going to the east… a real nice DRIVE with photo opportunities. I had no time for hiking there though, but imagine one can hike East to the Zion Canyon West rim.

  32. The first rule for visiting Zion NP is pronouncing the name correctly. Its Zi-un like the "sun'" (in nearly one syllable), NOT zi-aun (in 2 distinct syllables ).

  33. Omgsh, u have become my FAVORITE travel vlogger on Youtube! We are heading out West in the summer and it'll be 1/2 my family's first time past the Ohio Valley. So, to say we're stoked is an understatement! But none of us have been to Zion ever so this was SUPER helpful. Thank u SO MUCH! Also, your series on Vegas was AMAZING! and now I feel totally prepared for our trip. Thanks again for doing the prepping and planning for all of us. You're the best!

  34. Great video! Really enjoyed watching your videos as I prepare to edit my adventure in the park! Nice narrative and cool shots, keep up the nice work👍🌄

  35. These premier American national parks in this age of mass tourism have become insanely overcrowded. If you are looking for peace, quiet and solitude to commune with nature, don't come here. Las Vegas, the next day, seemed less congested and hectic than Zion.

  36. We stayed at the Arrowhead Cabins at Mt Carmel, UT. Lovely cabins and a great breakfast and nice and close to Zion and Bryce Canyon. A great location right in the middle of the Utah parks area.

  37. This is NOT helpful at all. But thanks for letting me know how I can book a room thirteen mo that in advance and what state the park is actually in. I always wanted to know that and could never figure it out!

  38. I think viewers should know the plank shelf bridge you were on in the Canyon Overlook trail looks super rickety and if you have a fear of heights, be warned!!

  39. Also, if you do The Narrows Top Down in one day, expect to be out of commission for a day or two (as well possibly losing toenails due to getting your feet smashed repeatedly among the slippery rocks). Great video 😃

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