Guide to Zion National Park

The best online resources for planning your trip to Zion National Park, including hiking trails, backpacking, camping, and additional things to do outside the park.

General Information

Zion National Park Overview – Here’s a grab-bag of useful information, including hiking trails in each region of the park, camping and lodging, backpacking permits, weather, shuttle buses, and bringing your dog to the park. By Halvor Tweto for Outdoor Project.

Hiking and Backpacking

two people hiking in a slot canyon
Hiking in a slot canyon. Photo by Edgar Chaparro.

Joe’s Guide to Zion – The best site for Zion hiking trail information in my opinion. Joe has personally hiked all these trails, gives a great first-hand account of each, and throws in pro tips that only a true Zion junkie would know.

I have a few personal favorite hiking trails in Zion National Park that you should definitely check out. Here they are, with links to the description on Joe’s site:

  • Canyon Overlook Trail – Quick and easy, but very scenic, and a great warm up for Angel’s Landing
  • Angels Landing – Of course. Do it. This trail deserves all the hype, and is worth braving the crowds and the heebie jeebies.
  • The Narrows – Also of course, but do The Narrows Top Down if you can!
  • West Rim Trail – Crazy cool views, no crowds, and the best way to get to Angels Landing, in my opinion.
  • Echo Canyon + Observation Point – Concise linkup of some of Zion’s best views, starting from the bottom of the main canyon, heading up through a narrow slot, then topping out with a vantage over it all.

Backpacking Information – This is the official Zion National Park page for backpacking info. Read through it and the linked pages carefully if you want to do an overnight hiking trip. Permits are required and this tells you how to get them.

Backpacking in Zion National Park – Joe’s tips for backpacking and recommendations for trails to do as overnight trips

Campgrounds

yellow and gray dome tent near tree stump with rocky mountain under cloudy sky
Camping in Zion National Park. Photo by Zach Betten.

Campground camping is very limited in Zion, so you need to reserve in advance. There are only two developed campgrounds inside the park, South Campground and Watchman Campground. They are similar and located right next to each other, so reserve a site at whichever one you can.

Lava Point Campground is a small, seasonal campground with primitive sites. It’s located far from the main area of the park, near the West Rim Trailhead. All sites are first come first served. Consider Lava Point if you plan to hike West Rim or if you just want a more secluded camping experience.

There are plenty of nearby camping options outside the national park, however. I’ll add my recommendations on those soon. If you need to find a campground now, look up locations in the town of Springdale, located just outside the main park entrance.

Zion Surrounding Area

There is tons more to do outside the park in this diverse region of southern Utah. Check out my article On the Outskirts of Zion: 10 Can’t-Miss Experiences Outside Park Boundaries for some ideas.