Located only 30 minutes away from the Nielson RV in Hurricane (making it the perfect distance of course), rests the soaring beauty of the Zion National Park.
Zion has easily become one of the most popular National Parks in the US, ranking in the top 10 on Travel US News, and Ranking #5 on the National Parks Conservation Association.
The park is known world-wide in fact, on everyone’s bucket list– from the Us to Germany, to Japan!
Between the easy hiking level and significant beauty of the Weeping Rock trail, to the more difficult trails such as Angel’s Landing, there is something for everyone here!
Zion National Park has quickly become the perfect place to take the family for a day, or even travel from Germany to test your skills on the more challenging trails.
Though you will often find that with the rising popularity, comes with a little bit of crowding, so beware!
The officials of the Park have even discussed the possibility of limiting the amount of visitors the park takes in during the more popular hiking/camping seasons, due to the overwhelming amounts of people.
But don’t let that discourage you- do your research! Find out when the best times to go are, where to stay, and what to look for, so as to enjoy the beauty more!
Only one of the many benefits of staying in Hurricane during your visit. Camping near Zion National Park has never been easier.
Simply camp in the peaceful, quaint area of Hurricane, Utah, and escape the beautiful hustle and bustle of Zion’s.
Let’s talk a bit about Zion- Why is it so popular, The best and also worse times to visit, as well as all the activities and trails that can be found here!
Why Zion National Park?
Over the decade, Zion has risen quickly through the ranks as one of the most popular, and busiest National Parks.
Why is that? What’s so great about it?
Well firstly, the park IS gorgeous, there is no denying that. Even in the off season months of winter- there is nothing more mind boggling than fluffy white snow on towering Red Canyons.
Zion’s boasts stunning views from every trail you visit- there is not a single trail in this canyon that does not end with the perfect view of somewhere in the canyon.
But surprisingly, Zion’s was the first to be claimed a National Park in Utah. And with time, came more trails. Zion is a backpacker’s paradise- you can plan a trip of two days or a week, and still have places to see.
Between the colorful sandstone rock, high plateaus, hidden pools, burnt ochre rock towers, silky orange sands, and natural arches and formations, this park has so much to offer.
Other than the park itself, the quaint little tourist town leading up to Zion’s has also risen through the ranks. It is the typical, yet above average, small town we’ve seen in the movies.
Springdale boasts only small, local shops of shopping and eating. You won’t find a McDonald’s here, so don’t even try!
That is the best part of Springdale- local everything, delicious everything, and options for everyone.
Whether you are looking for a coffee to jump start the morning, to finding souvenirs to take home to the kids, burgers and beers for lunch, or a big ol’ juicy steak for dinner (or even a veggie entree?)- Springdale has your best interests at heart.
The Popularity of Zion’s
Zion has seen a 35% increase in visors in the past decade. In 2017, the Park saw more than 4.4 million visitors. The amount of traffic the park saw was not only over-crowded, but overwhelming to the landscape and wildlife there.
Public facilities were not only over-whelmed, but the traffic was also threatening cultural resources and eroding the soil.
After a public meeting, officials came up with the plan to cap the number of daily visitors through a reservation system. Through reserving seats on buses and shuttles, and reserving campsites near the canyon.
Although this plan is not finalized, it should be implemented very soon!
Only the more reason to stay at a campsite or RV park in Hurricane and simply drive to the canyon to spend your day admiring the red rocks!
But don’t be discouraged- for many people, the meeting of so many diverse people in the Canyon is part of the experience. If you are like me, other cultures are fascinating to learn about and be apart of!
Why, just a few months ago, I went to a local Pub in Springdale, and we sat next to a table that held a group of friends who were German. I found it so interesting to just listen and observe.
They were hybrid in their languages- flip-flopping from German to English throughout their entire conversation.
Did you know that 70% of Europeans speak more than one language? But that 75% of American’s speak only ONE language?
They switched up their beer Pitchers every round- It didn’t matter if the beer was light or dark, they just tried it- experienced it, enjoyed it.
I remember them vaguely- one man and woman both had long, dark dread-locks; the woman had flowers and different colors in her hair even. It was beautiful!
I can’t recall the other couple, but they were all diverse, and different even from each other.
They all ordered something different from the menu, and tried each other’s food. I mean it really was so cool to observe.
Don’t be discouraged from meeting new people and being in crowds- Zion’s holds so many different types of people, cultures, opinions, and view points. Crowds are not something to shy from, but learn from!
So this brings us to our main point-
When Should I Visit Zion’s?
Though it would seem like the answer really is never, given that even during the off-season of Winter Zion is still seeing a ton of foot traffic.
And of course, Holidays are going to be a popular time of year as well. Everyone wants to be on a beautiful red rock vacation don’t they?
For Zion’s specifically, the busiest holidays are typically the weekends of Memorial Day, Labor Day, President’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, etc.
Though it’s likely to be busy during these holidays, it is not a guarantee.
Even still, you can avoid the mess of finding a spot, buying a pass, campsite, motel room, by reserving your spots or buying your passes ahead of time.
Summer, of course, is the most popular time of year for this beautiful canyon.
Children are out of school for Summer and the weather is generally nice (but can be blistering hot, so remember that).
In general, Summer is the time everyone wants to be outside and enjoying outdoor activities. So expect a crowd during all the Summer months here.
The park is a beautiful shade of green, the red rocks are sparkling in the sun, the water levels of the Pools are usually at a good level.
But remember that this is Southern Utah, and our weather here naturally fluctuates.
You can find Zion in the summer with the best weather, or the hottest weather, water levels can be high, or soaked up by the sun.
It is best to do your research on the weather before planning a trip. But in general, it is a great place to plan on for the summer.
So in general, Winter will be the slowest at any rate, but still can be crowded as well- maybe just a little bit of a smaller crowd than you would find during the warmer months.
So if you plan on visiting in the Winter, make sure you are prepped and geared up for cold temperatures and snow!
5 Must-See Trails in Zion Canyon
Weeping Rock Trail
Photo by: Bharathram Pattabhiraman
The relatively easiest and shortest trail here at Zion Canyon, at about a 30 minute hiking time.
Great trail for beginners, or even to take the kids on.
This trail is gorgeous, surrounded by green, wet, and mossy life, and moderately broken pavement.
Be prepared to get a little bit wet, as the whole trail is wet and dripping water from above, ending at this beautiful Weeping Rock.
Because of it’s easiness and short time though, it can often be found a little on the crowded side, depending on the time of day and year, of course.
Canyon Overlook Trail
This trail is a crowd pleaser, as it is another gorgeous but easy trail.
Relatively short and moderately easy, at about an hour hiking time, it proves to be a great trail for the whole family.
With carved-in sandstone steps, the winding trail takes you past Mt. Carmel Tunnel and alongside Pine Creek Canyon, guiding you up to the peak to enjoy this beautiful canyon view.
Emerald Pools Trails
This trail is easily a fan favorite in Zion Canyon, and one of the most popular hikes here.
Anywhere from 2 to 4 hours long, the trail begins easily, and can become a bit more difficult if you choose to go higher up.
You will begin through the Lower Emerald Pools, and if you chose to go higher, and accept a little bit of a challenge, you will find yourself on the way to the larger sparkling pool- Upper Emerald Pool.
Remember that this is a popular trail, so expect a little bit of a crowd as you explore this one.
Though it will be worth it, as the end results are stunning!
Yes, this is THE one. The one you’ve seen all over social media- the scary thin trail where you hold onto a single chain for dear life.
Actually it really isn’t THAT scary. Unless you are afraid of heights, in which case you may need to avoid this one.
This hike is about 3 to 5 hours long, 5 miles at extreme difficulty, and not preferred for younger children or older adults.
This thrilling hike, involves a thin trail, scaling the narrow ridge at a high point- towards the end you find a thin trail section with a chain for holding onto, but with incredible views and insane heights.
This one is for the adrenaline junkies- but the end view is one of the best in the country.
This trail’s difficulty competes with Angel’s Landing- towering heights, thin winding trails, and a longer distance even.
This trail doesn’t get as much social media spotlight as Angel’s Landing, but it perhaps more beautiful and challenging.
This trail not only leads to a jaw-dropping view, at about 4 to 6 hour and 8 miles long, but provides incredible sights throughout the entire journey.
The views include that of Angel’s Landing, the Canyon, but the entire Park itself.
This is one to see my friends.
So, how do we feel about visiting Zion’s?
Are you ready to take your courageous leap forward and visit this park and its stunning views?
Take the family on your next vacation, back to the roots of nature.
Stay with us in Hurricane, Utah to avoid those crowds, and be at peace while you are away from the Canyon.
You wont regret it!
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Written by: Leah Roberts