Full transparency: This is really just a Zion appreciation post.
George and I embarked on a road trip from Los Angeles to Zion National Park last June. I’d seen pictures of Zion but didn’t really know what to expect. Boy was I blown away at the beauty of the park–red rock majesties, green oases, desert swamps. We saw it all and live to preach the Zion gospel to anyone and everyone.
I mean … the pictures speak for themselves.
We stayed in St. George, a little town about 30 minutes from the entrance of the park. It’s cheaper to stay there–from what we’ve found. The closer you get to the park entrance, the steeper the hotel prices.
The best part about visiting Zion is how easy it is to get from one part of the park to another. When compared with other national parks, Zion’s main points of interest are relatively close to one another, which makes it easy to do multiple hikes in a day.
Another fantastic perk is that both Springdale and Zion National Park are made accessible by free shuttle services–which come often and are reliable.
Main Highlights of Day One:
I recommend hiking the Watchman trail first–it’s right near the entrance and it’s a moderate hike with great views from the top. The exercise gets your heart pumping and it is the perfect intro to visiting this gorgeous park.
Honestly, this was my favorite stop in all of Zion. The hike itself is extremely short (if you even want to call it a ‘hike’), but the destination is 100% worth it.
When you reach the top, you are standing underneath an overhanging rock with water dripping down. It feels like a different climate–moist and humid, compared to the dry heat climate you feel in the rest of the park.
There was some sort of spiritual feeling I immediately experienced standing there looking out at the view. The sunlight hit the water dripping from the rock just so–it looked like it was glowing. It was heavenly and if it wasn’t for the crowd of people, I would’ve never left.
Main Highlights of Day Two:
We woke up day two eager and ready to take on Angel’s Landing. It is one of the most iconic hikes in all of Zion. If you search for images and videos of it, you’ll see why–it’s steep, strenuous and as they say “not for the faint of heart”.
Yikes. When researching this, I thought to myself that this sounded like a bit much for my leisurely hiker’s soul. But George loves a difficult hike and I was cautiously willing to try it with him.
So we started on the West Rim Trail and hiked up, up, up!
The West Rim Trail is loooonnggg. You can spend multiple days hiking and camping on it. It also connects to the Angel’s Landing trail.
As we got further up the trail, the more anxious we both got. Yes, spectacular views, but a steep climb and no railing? With rain in the forecast? No thanks. We had had enough. We took a few pictures and headed down.
After feeling slightly defeated from not conquering Angel’s Landing, we decided to take our ambitions to the Riverside Walk trail, aka the ‘desert swamp’. I loved it because, after two full strenuous days of hiking, I was craving something paved and flat. And like all of the other trails, it’s beauty did not disappoint. But also, who isn’t interested in exploring a ‘desert swamp’?
And those were our adventures in Zion National Park! Let me know below if you’ve been to Zion and which hikes you recommend!