07 July, 2023

Zion National Park adventure for families with kids - Day #1 itinerary to make the most of your trip!

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Zion National Park in Southwest Utah is one of the most popular national parks in USA. Zion Canyon averaging 2000 feet deep offers numerous hiking trails with astonishing views. While Narrows and Angels Landing are the most popular trails, The Subway is considered the most challenging.

With this trip, we completed visiting all the Mighty 5 parks in Utah. Yay ! 

The following parks are considered mighty 5 and take us on an exclusive experience of the rugged beauty of Utah.

Arches National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Zion National Park

Bryce Canyon National park and

Capitol Reef National Park

My previous travelogues are linked above. 

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How to Reach Zion National Park?

The economical option is to fly to Las Vegas and drive 2.5 hrs to Zion. You can rent a car for cheaper rates here

Here are some flight options:

Where to Stay?

Springdale, UT is the nearest town with all facilities which can be your base camp to Zion. There is a free shuttle to Zion if you are staying in Springdale.

But, we stayed in Hurricane, which is 30 mins away from Zion and is affordable. 

Here are some hotel / airbnb options around:

Park Entrance:

Entrance fee is $35 per vehicle. 

We have our America the beautiful  Annual Pass which costed around $80. This is a lot of saving so far as we visited Big Bend , Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef National parks already. There are 5 more months in this year and you never know how many we get to visit this year. :-)

During Summers, which is the peak time for visitors, Shuttle is the only option to travel inside the park. Please check this link for shuttle info. You can drive shuttle for free with park pass. There is no reservation required.

Don't forget summer essentials!

Hydration Backpack 


UV protecting Hat

Healthy Trail mix Snacks

Our Day #1 Itinerary:

We flew from Austin to Las Vegas on Saturday morning, reached by 9am, rented a car , drove to Hurricane having our lunch on the way.

We reached Hurricane by afternoon, checked in at our hotel , refreshed and started with our Zion trip in the evening.

Since this is summer and the day light is till 8.30 Pm or so, it is very helpful to spend a lot of time in the park with less crowd. 

Hiking Trails:

Weeping rock trail:

We entered the National park through Zion Canyon Visitor center , took the shuttle to reach stop #7 Weeping Rock trail stop.

The drive through shuttle is great where we saw the Virgin river on the right side and canyon walls narrowing as we reach the end of the scenic drive. We also could watch the people hiking to Angel's landing.

Weeping rock

Weeping rock trail is 0.4 mile roundtrip short but a steep trail. It takes around 30 mins. This takes us to a rock with dripping springs. The view point from there is great with canyons and greenery.

Canyon Overlook Trail:

We drove through the east side of the park passing through Zion - Mt Carmel tunnel. Zion Mount Carmel highway is a very scenic winding road. 

Canyon overlook trail is 1 mile round trip trail with an elevation of 163 ft. The trail has a lot of drop offs, and it ends at a view point of Pine creek canyon and lower Zion canyon. The initial incline is a little tough, but later, the rocky trail is mostly flat.

Canyon Overlook Trail

This is a very good introduction trail and since we did it in the evening, there are not much crowds. The sweeping views of canyon make this trail as a must for families visiting with kids.

Canyon Overlook Trail

Canyon Overlook Trail

My kids aged 8 and 12 years could do it without any problem, but if you have kids still younger, please watch-out and hold them where there are drop offs. 

Dinner in Springdale:

We had awesome Mexican dinner from Whiptail Grill in Springdale, which is very close to the park entrance. The views surrounding our restaurant are worthy a mention. The food is tasty , but it is a little expensive. 

At Whiptail Grill, Springdale

Thus, we completed our Day #1 at Zion. On Day #2 , we hiked the Riverwalk trail, Court of Patriarchs, had lunch at Zion lodge, and visited the Kolob canyon area. Unfortunately, Emerald pools trail was closed during that time.

More details on Day #2 itinerary in the next post. Meanwhile, don't forget to follow me on social media to get latest updates from my blog:

Until next time,

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