- By kevin
- On May 8, 2018
- North America
- Travel Tips
Arrange 1 day itinerary in the Zion National Park for a short weekend with youe family. If you'd rather experience Zion National Park's grandeur from the safety and comfort of your car, then the 57-mile Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is for you. And one of the easiest and most photographed trails in Zion National Park, Canyon Overlook Trail is also one of the busiest. Travel rankings of Zion National Park and nearby as below by Globerouter.com website.
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive
The route takes you past the Virgin River and many of the park's famous landmarks but only from December to February. During peak season, you can catch a free shuttle for the portion that runs through the park. But even the route that extends outside the park is magnificent, traveling through the Grafton ghost town (near Rockville), which was featured in the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and Utah's Quail Creek and Sand Hollow state parks.
Travelers who have traversed this thoroughfare describe it as a "white-knuckle drive" with relatively few guardrails and numerous sheer cliffs. Still, it rewards you with beautiful views of the park and wildlife like bighorn sheep. Reviewers also warn that the drive shouldn't be taken at night or during rain showers, since the hairpin turns can be difficult to maneuver.
To take the portion of the scenic drive that runs through Zion National Park, you'll need to pay the park's $30 entrance fee, but the one fee will be good for seven days. Still, keep in mind that from March to November, the section that runs through the park's canyon will be closed to cars, though you can park your vehicle and hop on the park's free shuttle to experience it. You can start the drive from the intersection of Highway 9 and Highway 15 (near St. George) and then head east toward Mount Carmel Junction. The entire drive will take about 90 minutes.
Canyon Overlook Trail
Only 1-mile round trip, this trail will take hikers 100 feet from the parking lot to the overlook, where expansive views of Zion Canyon can be enjoyed.
Most travelers suggest starting your hike early due to limited on-site parking. Others say that although the trail is relatively short, there are some narrow, rocky sections that might be difficult for young children to manage.
To reach the trailhead, travel along Highway 9 to the east entrance of the Mount Carmel Tunnel. You can park your car on the south side of the road, and you'll access the trail on the north side of the road. The park's free shuttle will also make stops here. Access to the trail is free with park admission (a weekly pass costs $30 per vehicle or $15 for those entering on foot or bike).