Zion National Park Tour
1 Day Sample Itinerary
The following is a suggested itinerary, further customizable based on guests’ priorities:
Zion National Park Tour – Overview
If you want to pick one spectacular park to visit, it’s tough to find anything better than Zion. Truly one of this country’s Crown Jewels, there are few better examples of why the national parks have been called “America’s best idea”. Zion park can tend to get crowded, so we’ll start the Zion National Park tour early to avoid the crowds. Zion is also one of the few parks that requires shuttle reservations to be able to visit the main canyon area, so please try to make reservations as early as possible so that ECA can secure passes.
Our goal will be to get there as early as possible to either hike Angel’s Landing or the Emerald Pools loop. On either hike, we’ll be treated to the first rays of sunlight making their way down the red walls and hitting the canyon floor. Zion has a “golden hour” that seems to go on for for longer than an hour.
Angel’s Landing is not for the feint of heart. It it involves a long hike, a steep climb of switchbacks, and a final ascent along a narrow ledge with extreme exposure on both sides. But if you’re fit, adventurous, and not afraid of heights, the 360 degree views of the entire valley is a payoff 100% worth the effort.
The Emerald Pools look is a much more reasonable hike along the West rim of the canyon. The hike itself starts with stunning views of the Virgin River stretching down the canyon floor, while we’ll have the opportunity to visit both the Upper and Lower Emerald Pools, fed by a steady runoff of water from the walls above. While there is some elevation, this option has significantly less climbing and almost no exposure when compared to Angel’s Landing.
After a lunch and rest at the Zion Lodge, our Zion National Park tour will continue as we work our way up the rest of the canyon. Highlights include the Court of the Patriarchs, The Grotto, and the Big Bend viewpoint. If guests have a high level of fitness and are willing to skip The Narrows, we can culminate the Zion National Park tour with a hike all the way up the east rim to the Zion Observation Point for a stunning sunset and headlamp hike back into the canyon.
The vast majority of Zion National Park tours will culminate at the Temple of Sinawava at the top of the valley and a hike of The Narrows. The Narrows involves hiking in the Virgin River, which depending on the time of year can be a bit chilly. Guests interested in hiking as far as the famous Subway will have to book far enough ahead of time to be able to secure permits through the park.
Should the Narrows not be open due to flooding or expected rain, the Zion National Park tour can include numerous options across the less visited East and West portions of the park, including roads going through giant holes in the mountain and overlooks of Zion from above the canyon. The East section offer alternate access to Zion Observation Point, while the West section is home to the famous Kolob slot canyons.
Heading home, we can grab a quick bite to eat in St. George, any may even be treated to the Milky Way if there is no moon and no clouds between St. George and Las Vegas.