Zion National Park

Standing at the bottom of Zion Canyon, it is easy to mistake the massive canyon walls for towering mountains! The unique and colorful sandstone of the region color the canyons in other-worldly creams, pinks, and reds. Striking rock towers and mesas, steep canyons, and flowing water create a wide variety of habitat at Zion National Park, from large mammals like mountain lions, to hardy desert plant life like cholla and juniper, to rare and threatened birds like the peregrine falcon, California condor, and Mexican spotted owl.

Zion is a rare swath of desert that contains a reliable source of water: the Virgin River. This river, whose flowing waters carved out spectacular gorges over the centuries, also allowed generations of settlers to live in the unusually fertile region. Today's visitors have an opportunity to explore the dramatic scenery and abundant life and learn about the long history of human occupation, from Native Americans to the explorations of John Wesley Powell, from the Mormon settlers to early tourists, and the push to protect and preserve this spectacular place.

The Power of One: Victory at Zion

One of the biggest threats facing Zion National Park is incompatible development on the pockets of private land entirely within the park's boundaries. These private lands within the park are known as inholdings. Already, expanded developments and at least one trophy home have been built on inholdings inside Zion, and other landowners are looking to liquidate private land inside the park. Fortunately, thanks to one anonymous donor, a 30-acre tract at the base of Tabernacle Dome is protected for posterity. Read more about this amazing gift, and how NPCA is working to support funding to incorporate other inholdings into the park, in "The Power of One" on our blog.

NPCA Recommends

A hike in one of the less traveled areas of the park is a truly unique experience, like the Right Fork trail, on the western edge of the park can be awe-inspiring. For experienced hikers with proper gear, we also recommend the Narrows, a 16-mile fork of the Virgin River that can be traveled on foot if the water is calm enough (always check with a Park Ranger before attempting the hike). Read more about the Narrows in NPCA's favorite park trips, on our blog. 

Did You Know?

Visitors to Zion have the opportunity to take it all in without worrying about driving and parking! A free shuttle from the gateway of Springdale offers boundless opportunities to explore the park while minimizing the impact of air pollution on this beautiful place.

Read More in NPCA's Park Advocate Blog

Plan a Desert Getaway to Zion National Park

Zion National Park.This story is part of NPCA’s biweekly Desert Getaway series. Read more stories in the series for tips on visiting other desert parks. One of the most widely visited national parks in the Southwest, Zion is famous for its colorful sandstone rock formations with high cliffs and narrow canyons carved into shape by the power […]

The Power of One

Tabernacle Dome at Zion National Park. Photo © Meg Wheatley.It can be a shock to look out at the vast beauty of Zion National Park and spot a giant home built right in the middle of the scenic canyon landscapes that make this part of the country so iconic and inspirational. Fortunately, one plot of land will be saved from this kind of inappropriate […]

NPCA’s Favorite Trips

DogSleddingAtDenali-JacobWFrankThe summer travel season is here, and all 397 national parks will offer free admission this Saturday, June 9 for National Get Outdoors Day. Many of us are itching to get out into the parks for hiking, bird-watching, boating, and other adventures. Ready to try something different? Here are a few favorite destinations recommended by NPCA staff members around the country that […]








December 26, 2014

Visited the Park in August of 2014 and it was a wonderful visit. He hiked up to the emerald pools and did the river walk for a ways. The views were awe inspiring. The most relaxed way to see the park is by bus as some of the park has restricted traffic. The park is really accessible with the Town of Springdale situated on the boundary, with plenty of accommodation close by. The sheer cliffs and canyon walls are spectacular. We would recommend this Park to everone.


July 19, 2014

I visited the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. All are spectacular, but I enjoyed Zion National Park the most because you are on the canyon floor, the river runs right through, it's cooler, and walking is not so difficult. Plus the view looking up to the huge sandstone cliffs is just amazing. If you are traveling near Zion, don't miss it !!


February 19, 2014

The Place is incredible. I love the view. Angels Landing is a fav of mine.vacation It is a great place to go on


January 4, 2014

This is just so beautiful.


November 18, 2013

I love this place, it's big, and when the sunset rises it "paints" the canyon pink, orange and yellow. It's very beautiful.

mysterious dude

September 9, 2013



July 11, 2013

I hope someday to visit this park


September 24, 2012

I went in June of this year! This was an awesome park! we did the hike to the Temple of Mt. Sinawava and it was soooo much fun! be prepared to swim!!!


September 19, 2012

Zion is one of the most awe-inspiring places I've ever seen, and I have travelled most of the U.S. The drive in from the east is incredible and a "must do". While there, make sure you hike the Narrows Trail. You will need to research it before going because it is wading as much as hiking. There are options for length of hike. We would have done the 16 mile version if more time. Emerald Pools Trail and Angels Landing are great, too. Next time I am there, I plan to explore the scenic drive on the western side.

Mr Bretz

June 10, 2012

I love this place. What is great is you can't drive in the park in summer. You have to take the trams. It makes the place to incredibly lovely and quiet. If you are not up to difficult hikes, do the easy stuff. You will love it. I plan on being there at the end of this summer. Winters are nice here too.


May 31, 2012

Zion..my favorite of all! Must see is the Emerald Pools..well worth the hike. Next trip will attempt Angels Landing.

kreator of the deep

March 19, 2012

i am doing an assignment and i need someone to give me a couple of reasons why this park should become a world heritage site.can somebody help me?


February 13, 2012

what are the flora and fauna for this park?

CA Hiker

November 26, 2011

As Mis-Pittsburgh mentioned above - Angel's Landing is a breathtaking hike, but the last half mile can be a little scary if you don't like heights, but has an anchored chain to assist you. You can always hike through Walter's Wiggles - the lower section of Angel's Landing which also has spectacular views and is a moderate hike.


November 26, 2011

I think this is the most beautiful place in the world. I have been there several times at different times of the year. Each season is different. There are so many things to do at Zion that you could never get bored. I love that they restrict the traffic through the park. It keeps things more pristine and less noisy. This is a totally amazing place...well maintained and well-run.


November 10, 2011

Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen. I fell in love with the land when I took a trip out there this past summer. For a great hike, try Angel's Landing. The hike is a bit more difficult but the views from the top are amazing!


November 10, 2011

You'll know why our Native Americans treated this place as exceptionally spiritual if you get out and about to experience it. The grandeur, the colors, the constantly changing shadows, the awesome heights up the canyon walls, the silence; it's very moving to this persons soul. Clearly the most spiritual experience of my life -- walking down the Virgin River thru canyons so deep that we could (almost) touch both walls but when looking straight up, couldn't see the sky (the canyon "leans" a bit) a thousand feet up above us to the rim. It personifies the southwest and will get you in touch with a part of you that you didn't know existed -- at least, it did for us. A suggestion: Allow 2 days to hike down (and IN) the river -- there is so much to take in that stopping constantly in awe is the high reward for taking the time to soak it up. I shudder to think that I might have never known about Zion. My life would have been a good bit poorer for missing it. Don't let this happen to you!


November 10, 2011

This park was breathtaking. Walking the trails and seeing the waterfalls along the way through the cracks on the trail were beautiful. The trails were maintained. We watched from our hotel a lightning storm hit Watchman one night. It hit a shrub and then burned out. The beautiful rock just lit up the sky. Zion has to be one of my favorite places in the US. We are planning our next trip already to come back.

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