Named for the Hebrew word “refuge,” Zion National Park – nestled in Utah’s southwest corner – is no longer the quiet sanctuary it once was. The park is now one of the most visited in the country, welcoming more than four million visitors per year. It’s as if travelers stumbled upon a secret and can’t get enough of the apricot-colored Zion Canyon, which they can view wading through its Virgin River or ascending Angels Landing, with each bend in the river or turn in the trail affording an even more breathtaking view.
Plus, the blanket of stars that illuminates the night sky is a welcome nightcap to a day filled with active pursuits. And when it’s time to come back from the refuge to reality, the 166-mile drive from Las Vegas or the 308-mile drive from Salt Lake City is just about the right amount of time to process all the beauty you just experienced.
Zion National Park is open year-round.
The park has two visitor centers that are also open throughout the year. Visitors are encouraged to stop and learn how to visit the park with minimum impact on the fragile desert environment. At the visitor centers, you will find maps, brochures, and books available to help you enjoy your visit.
- Angels Landing: The concept for this hike was obviously born in a simpler, less litigious time, when scaling sheer cliffs with the aid of only a chain bolted into rock was considered top-form family fun. Your belly might drop to your toes on the ascent, but the view from the top (and the adrenaline shot) will make everything worth it.
- Observation Point: Take those Angels Landing braggarts down a notch by hoofing it up the eight-mile trail to the iconic summit of Observation Point. Aptly named, the view takes in 270 degrees of the canyon, from the white cliffs and hideaways of Echo Canyon to Angels Landing, which is directly beneath you in every sense of the word.
- Emerald Pools: See the park’s jewel collection with a trip to the Emerald Pools, a series of desert oases separated by lush vegetation, waterfalls and red rock monoliths. The trip to the first pool is quick and easy — great for kids, people in wheelchairs or the elderly.
Check our ZION video (Hungarian language)