Do you love being outdoors, enjoying the natural beauty around you. What about sleeping under the stars, going on breath taking hikes for all fitness levels? Zion National Forest is filled with many streams, plateaus,buttes, and the beautiful Zion Canyon. Located close to Springdale,Utah, Zion National Forest boasts 229 square miles to be explored and hiked through. Are you not a fan of sleeping in nature? Well there is accomodations for all types of nature lovers. Not only is there a lodge to stay at, you may also enjoy Glamping! What exactly is glamping? It is camping and luxury combined. You have a personal tent set upon a wooden platform. The guests are able to stand up with in the tent, which boasts a queen size bed, couch and lamps and tables. When you awake in the morning you can walk nearby to the restaurant on site and enjoy a freshly cooked country breakfast.
But what about you nature enthusiasts that prefer the real outdoors style camping?
There are three different campgrounds available throughout Zion, however the camps usually fill up very quickly between mid March thru November. You may call to make a reservation or choose to take your chances in first come first serve. Both the South and Watchman campsites are located within Zion Canyon. These two sites are like that of desert style camping. Not much shade which can be hard to bear during the summer months when temperatures spike in the 100s. The third and final campground is that of Lava Point. This site is located about an hours drive from Zion Canyon, on Kolob Terrace Road. Every individual camp site has its own grill and picnic table. There are metal trash cans and public restrooms but no showers. Another thing to look out for when camping is the Western Tent caterpillar. They are found in excess throughout the park, living on leaves and trees. Every 8-10 years they over infest and can be annoying pests.
If you prefer a little less rugged, we recommend Paria Sage Casitas, located in Paria Valley. About an hour from Zion, but close to many other natural wonders.
Now that we know that there is lodging what are some of the activities that can be done while visiting this National Park? With many to choose from the list of activities is pretty long:
- BackPacking- You are able to backpack throughout Zion National Forest upon having a backpacking permit. There are maps provided that show campsites and a guide to assist you as well
- Birding- Zion National Forest is home to 207 species of birds. The visitors center provides a bird checklist to help guide you along your bird watching adventure.
- Bicycling- Shuttles are available with bike racks to take you to either Pa’rus Trail or Zion Canyon Scenic Drive where bikes are permitted.
- Canyoneering- This sport that combines hiking and swimming, propels you down into holes within the Canyon. There is a permit required before trying this sport. Also there are specific places for the beginners all the way to the experienced and advanced.
- Climbing- For the rock climbers out there. This activity does require a permit.
- Horseback Riding- A tour guided horseback ride through Zion Canyon. Only available to enjoy March thru October.
- Hiking- For every kind of hiker, there are trails available from a short breezy walk, to those who enjoy a strenuous and challenging trail.
- Kolob Canyons- These unique and breathtaking Canyons are left to be explored.
- Hiking The Narrows- The Narrows are named for being the narrowest part of Zion Canyon. With gorges that have walls rising 1000 feet and rivers only 20-30 feet wide. They can be explored via a tour guide and are meant for those who don’t mind getting their feet wet.
- Ranger-led Activities/Talks- With meet ups at different locations throughout Zion Canyon This Ranger led activity will give you information on the specifics of the chosen location,. Learn a little more about Zion National Forest and all of its inner beauty found throughout.
- River Trips- River trips include boating down the Virgin River
- Stock Use- For those with Stock animals, zion permits you to bring them if they include a horse, mule or burro.
With many activities and sights to see, Canyons and trails to explore Zion National Forest is a fabulous Vacation Destination. Start planning your trip today. With early reservations and planning ahead you may experience one of the most beautiful, fun and exciting vacations yet!