Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Quick Facts

Zion National Park


(435) 772-3256

Map Directions

Things To Do


Zion National Park is an ancient Hebrew word meaning a place of refuge or sanctuary. Protected within the park's 229 square miles is a dramatic landscape of sculptured canyons and soaring cliffs. Zion National Park is located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and Mojave Desert provinces. This unique geography and the variety of life zones within the park make Zion significant as a place of unusual plant and animal diversity. Massive canyon walls ascend toward a brilliant blue sky. To experience Zion, you need to walk among the towering cliffs, or challenge your courage in a small narrow canyon. These unique sandstone cliffs range in color from cream, to pink, to red. They could be described as sand castles crowning desert canyons.

Map of Zion

Latitude, Longitude: 37.199890, -112.983348



  • Bird Watching

    Zion is home to 207 species of birds. Bird checklists are available at the visitor centers. What's great about visiting Zion National Park is that the park has always been an important part of a vital recovery effort. The Peregrine falcon, the California condor, and the bald eagle are all found here. This place of protection and sanctuary harbored these birds with a safe haven where their needs for food, nesting, and habitat never changed.

  • Bicycling

    Bicycles may travel on roadways and on the Pa'rus Trail. The Pa'rus Trail offers a paved, car-free alternative for bicyclists to connect with the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Shuttle buses are equipped with bike racks.

  • Camping

    Zion National Park has three campgrounds. South and Watchman Campgrounds are in Zion Canyon. The Lava Point Campground is about a 1-hour drive from Zion Canyon on the Kolob Terrace Road. There are no campgrounds in Kolob Canyons. Camping is permitted in designated campsites, but not in pullouts or parking lots. Camping is popular; all campgrounds are often full by early afternoon on weekends and holidays. During June, July, and August, the campgrounds are full every night. Reservations at Watchman Campground are recommended. If you are unable to make a reservation, the earlier in the day you arrive, the better your chance of getting a campsite.

    Several private campgrounds are a short drive from the park.

  • Climbing

    Zion's 2,000-foot cliffs are world renowned for their big wall climbs. Zion is not a place for inexperienced climbers. There are few top roping areas, and no sport climbs. Permits are not required for day climbs, but they are required for all overnight bivouacs.

  • Hiking

    There are a wide variety of trail sizes and shapes in the park ranging from a half an hour to eight hours long. Hiking in canyons, even short hikes, requires advance planning. Many hikes involve walking in water, and the rivers and creeks are subject to flash flooding. River flows vary greatly depending on time of year and weather conditions.

  • Horseback Riding

    Canyon Trail Rides offers one hour and half day horseback rides in Zion Canyon. Most people who ride the trails in Zion have never been on horseback before!

  • Picnicking

    Visitor Center Picnic Area: Located 0.3 miles from the South Entrance on the outer edge of the visitor center parking lot. Picnic sites are level but unpaved. Most tables are extended. Accessible unisex restroom is available near the visitor center.

    Grotto Picnic Area: Located 3.5 miles up the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and accessible only by shuttle bus from April through October. Reserved parking spaces in the off months. Picnic grounds are level but unpaved. Accessible, unisex bathroom.

    Kolob Canyons Picnic Area: Located at the end of the 5-mile scenic drive. Restrooms accessible. Tables located up steep unpaved path.

  • Wildlife Watching

    As the sun rises in the sky, plateau lizards scurry frantically about over sandy trails, soaking up the heat of a desert day to keep their bodies warm. Mule deer and wild turkeys coexist up canyon where they graze the surface of an ancient lake bed for forage. A Western rattlesnake coils up in the shade of sagebrush, avoiding the sun's unforgiving rays. Afternoon gives way to evening and gray foxes emerge to hunt for rodents for their young. Canyon tree frogs begin to call as dusk approaches, leaving swifts and Western pipistrelles to play in the dimming light. It is only after the sun has sunk in the west, leaving the canyon walls dark and silent, that the chores and mischief of the ringtail begins, to be accompanied by the mountain lions, red spotted toads, porcupines and other nocturnal creatures of Zion Canyon.

  • Winter Sports

    Please contact the park for information on seasonal activities.


Be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions. Temperatures vary with changes in elevation, day and evening temperatures may vary by over 30-degrees Fahrenheit.

Park Partners

Zion National Park Foundation

The Zion Natural History Association is a non-profit organization in support of education, research, and publication programs in Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Pipe Springs National Monument. In addition to ZNHA, the Zion Park Field Institute provides multiple education seminars each year that last from one to three days. The Zion National Park Foundation is in charge of the fund raising activities in Zion. Together, these three separate but whole organizations help to support interpretive programs in the park such as the Junior Ranger Program, maintain NPS facilities, and provide members with a connection to this one-of-a-kind national park.

(800) 635-3959

Zion National Park Lodge

Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates Zion Lodge, which features historic western-style cabins, motel rooms, the Red Rock Grill Restaurant and a gift shop. Designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood in the 1920s, the Zion Lodge was destroyed by fire in 1966. That same year, the lodge was rebuilt in 100 days, quickly restoring the influx of visitors to Zion, but sacrificing the hotel's rustic design. In 1990, the exterior was restored to its original classic appearance. The lodge is open year-round.

(303) 297-2757



The Visitor Center at the Kolob Canyons entrance is accessible from I-15, exit 40. I-15 passes west of the Park and connects with UT-9 and 17 to the Park. US-89 passes east and connects with UT-9 to the Park. The Zion Canyon Visitor Center is a short distance from the Park's South Entrance adjacent to Springdale.


The closest major airport is Las Vegas International, 150 miles from the park. There is a smaller airport in St. George, UT, 46 miles (74.1 km) from the park.

Phone Numbers


(435) 772-3256