Zion National Park is one of our nation’s most amazing treasures. If you are ever in southern Utah, it is a stop that your family will remember for the rest of your lives.
We had the privilege of visiting Zion one day last spring. We didn’t have much time, so we wanted to maximize the things we could see and do while we were there. Fortunately, Zion has a fantastic shuttle system for its visitors. We paid $25 (a per car fee) for our family to enter the park. After you enter and park, you can hop on the shuttle system and catch a free ride to any point in the park. A round trip on the shuttle takes about 80 minutes, and we never had to wait more than 15 minutes for a shuttle to arrive. Not only is the shuttle practical, it’s also a great way to get an overview of the park.
We hopped on the shuttle and took it out to the Temple of Sinawava. From there, we took the Riverside Walk alongside the Virgin River. This is a great hike for families and it was relatively easy – we even saw families with strollers along the path.
The surroundings are dazzling and it quickly becomes clear why early religious explorers named this place Zion, a reference to the Biblical city of God. The beauty of the canyons and colors of the plant life are truly awe-inspiring.
After our hike, we took the shuttle to the Zion Lodge. We grabbed lunch at the lodge and then walked across the street to Canyon Trail Rides. This independent company works with national parks to provide rides in several different locations. We took a 1-hour trail ride along the Virgin River, while the guides pointed out landmarks like the Beehive and the Three Patriarchs.
The kids loved the chance to explore the park on horseback. This unique opportunity was the most expensive part of our day, but still reasonable at $40 per person. They loved being able to ride through the park, not just because of the fun of riding a horse, but because they were able to see more than they would have on foot.
Our day at Zion National Park ended just before sunset. We took the shuttle back to the car at the Visitor’s Center and made our way out of the park. We promised each other on the way out, though, that we would definitely be coming back to Zion.
Have you ever been to Zion? What is your favorite National Park?