Planning a Family Vacation to Zion National Park

Location: Springdale, UT

Hours: Daylight hours, 365 days a year

Fee: $35 7 day pass (per vehicle)

         $70 Bryce Canyon annual pass

         $80 America the Beautiful Pass

Website: https://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm

Planning a family vacation to Zion National Park is a bucket list item for many parents. A scenic 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas makes it easiest of the Utah parks to visit, and it’s red rocks, slot canyons and sweeping vistas give visitors the full southern Utah experience.  

Weather

With elevations from 3666 feet to 8726 feet, expect variable temperatures with dry desert air. Winter lows are around 30, but highs are in the 50s, and while summer daytime temperatures can reach 100, nighttime temps generally get below 70. Although this area receives some snow in the winter it melts quickly. Rain is light in the spring with occasionally afternoon thunderstorms in the summer.

Activities

Visit viewpoints: Many of the best viewpoints are on hikes, but if you are looking for views from your vehicle there is none stop beauty along highway 9 between the East and South entrances. 

Take a hike: Zion has hikes for every skill level, the most popular of which are in the Zion Canyon area. The Pa’rus, Archeology, and Watchman trails are accessible from the visitors center, but most Zion hikes require taking a shuttle to the trail head from March through November. There are other more remote areas of the park that have additional opportunities for hikes.

Learn: Zion National Park has two visitor centers – Zion Canyon Visitor Center near the south entrance, and Kolob Canyons in the northwest corner, off Interstate 15. There is also a Human History Museum near the south entrance. Another great option if you want to avoid the crowded buildings is the print out a Junior Ranger book and explore the learning section of the website before your visit.

Tips

Vehicles that are over 7’10” wide and/or 11’4” tall must pay an additional $15 to go through the tunnel, and must do so at specific times. You can find more information here.

Currently everyone who would like to ride the shuttle must purchase a timed ticket in advance at recreation.gov. For more information, click here.

Parking at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center is limited. If there are no spaces available, there is paid parking in Springdale, the town just outside the south entrance, and a shuttle to bring you into the park. 

Watch this helpful video before your family vacation to Zion National Park https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/zion-park-introduction-video.htm


If you can’t wait to visit but want to make the most of your time, join Family RV Caravan on one of our trips to Zion National Park and southern Utah. You will get to visit this vibrant part of the country without the stress of planning – we do that for you! And our guides are experts in RVing, so you will have the opportunity to get all your RV and travel questions answered, while making friends with families with similar interests. What other vacation offers all of that?