Prep for our summer Coast to Coast road trip began way back in the spring. We took a quick trip to meet family for a week in Utah’s Zion National Park & Las Vegas (we'll call it road trip practice). The trip is a piece of cake - a quick and affordable plane ticket from Seattle to Vegas, rent a car, drive to Springdale Utah (home of Zion National Park) and play around for a few days. After some hiking adventures we’d drive back to Vegas, say farewell to the fam, and spend an extra day eating fancy Japanese food in Sin City before heading back ourselves.
After a slight delay due to construction between Vegas and Springdale, we arrived at our condo - right on the river and in walking distance to the main gate of Zion. Amber and I have been to other parks in Utah - Arches, Canyonlands - but this was our first trip to the big Z. Staying near the front gate and Zion Canyon Visitor Center was nice as the park is essentially one big canyon (with essentially one road in and out near town). Shuttle service runs all day (link to service) because cars are not allowed in most of the park during the high season. This is very different to parks like Arches where you drive your car to the trailhead and hike. During the Park's busy times it’s pretty much bus only.
The great thing about the bus service, besides limiting traffic, noise, and frustration, is that not only does it take you through the park, it continues through the main drag of town. Since most accommodations are on the main drag, it makes getting around easy. Want to head in to eat dinner? Go for it. Breakfast and then into the park - sure.
During our week in the area, we completed two and half hikes in the park - the Emerald Pools Trail, Angel’s Landing (only one of us made it to the top:), and the easy beginning part of the Narrows - we stopped before you get wet:) We also took a day trip to nearby Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park & another to Bryce Canyon.
The lush canyon of Zion is a nice change from the dry Utah parks we are used to. The town of Springdale had plenty of good eateries and shopping to complement a day of hiking in the park. The short distance to Las Vegas makes catching a flight more doable as US flights to Vegas tend to be cheaper. We had a great time - we’ll share pictures, videos, and stories from hiking (and avoiding death on the trail) this Thursday and into next week. Thanks for reading!
~Paul, Amber, Dad, Susan, Sis
Map of Zion
Things to Do in Zion