Things to Do at Zion National Park

Looking for a bucket-list worthy place to visit? You should put a Zion National Park vacation on your list!

If you love the outdoors, you’ll find a variety of things to do at Zion National Park.

Located in the southwest corner of Utah, Zion has become one go-to spots for adventure-seekers who enjoy hiking, biking, canyoneering and more!

Learn more about the exciting activities you can do at Zion National Park.

National Park Planner free download

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Read the full Disclosure Policy.

Things to Do at Zion National Park

Learn more about the hiking trails, photography spots and other things to do at Zion.

1. Bicycling

Cycling is a fun way to explore Zion National Park. If you want to avoid the shuttle, riding a bike is a great alternative to shuttle buses for accessing the Zion Canyon scenic drive. (You can rent bicycles in Springdale).

Be aware of the rules for riding your bike at Zion:

  • Bicycling is permitted on the park roadways and the Pa’rus Trail. The areas closed to bikes: all other park trails, off-trail routes, and the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. 
  • Bikes must be ridden single file on the right side of the park roads and Pa’rus Trail.
  • And don’t forget to wear your helmet.

There is a limit of 6 bicycles or less for every cycling group. Anything that exceeds this number may pose a safety risk to other travelers due to narrow park roads.

On the Pa’rus Trail, there are several unexpected turns, frequent wildlife, and blind corners so always be aware of your surroundings. Cyclists must make it a habit to warn the pedestrians before passing. All traffic rules and regulations must also be obeyed and observed. 

For your convenience, Zion National Park has installed bike racks located at major shuttle stops and trailheads. You may also take your bicycle on the shuttle bus as long as you can get the bikes on and off the front racks.

Read all bicycling rules for Zion!

2. Hiking

Zion National Park hikes are some of the best in the entire world. This park is the most visited in all of Utah due to the magnificent hiking trails!

There are a variety of easy and moderate day hikes in Zion to choose from. Enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences like sloshing through the Virgin River in the Narrows or braving exposed cliffs on Angel’s Landing.

And there are more strenuous hikes and backpacking trails as well. Some of the trails and more remote wilderness areas require a permit so plan ahead.

3. Canyoneering

Zion National Park is globally recognized for being a premier place that offers canyoneering adventures. It’s an activity that involves route finding, rappelling, hiking, and swimming. 

Since there are plenty of unique canyons to explore in Zion, visitors have ample opportunities with both beginner skills and advanced skills in canyoneering.

The two famous trails that require technical canyoneering skill are The Subway and The Narrows from the top-down. Both hikes require a permit, and all overnight trips in these areas also require a permit.

4. Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is not an everyday activity in national parks. Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon are the only two parks in Utah that offer this activity.

This activity will give you a view of Zion many don’t see as you explore the iconic red canyons and cliffs that make this park unforgettable. 

For those who have their own stock animals, read more about the guidelines for riding your own horse into the park.

Zion Horseback Riding Tours

Check out other Zion Tours

5. Photography

When you photograph Zion, you capture towering red rocks, the majestic Virgin River, intricate canyons, and views from above after a hike.

Here are the photo spots at Zion where you’ll catch the reflected light on the canyon walls at sunrise and sunset.

  • Towers of the Virgin at sunrise on the Museum patio in the back
  • Canyon Overlook trail at sunrise
  • Zion-Mt. Carmel Scenic Highway
  • The Three Patriarchs
  • Riverwalk along the Virgin River
  • Views from Angel’s Landing and Observation Point
  • Pa’rus Trail at sunset (great time for wildlife as well)
  • The Watchman with the Virgin River near sunset
  • Kolob Canyon

6. Stargazing

The vast and dark sky in Zion National Park is something you have to see to believe!

Remember to take time to enjoy the park after dark! If you’re there during a new moon (no moon in the sky) you might experience your first encounter with the Milky Way!

When stargazing at Zion, be sure to carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp with a red light. You don’t want to shine a white light into someone’s eyes!

Don’t stop or stand in the roadway. Use pullouts and parking lots. This is a good safety tip in daylight or at night!

Check the astronomical viewing forecast to determine when it is best to view the night sky.

7. Camping 

Zion National Park has three campgrounds: the South Campground, Watchman Campground, and Lava Point Campground. Both the South and Watchman Campground are in Zion Canyon, while the Lava Point Campground is on Kolob Terrace Road.

These campgrounds are busy from March to November so be sure to plan ahead and make reservations!

All campsites are drive-up and allow a maximum of two vehicles. Only one RV or trailer is allowed. Each campsite allows a maximum of six people and two tents. Hammocks are allowed but are limited to the footprint of the campsite.

There are flush toilets, cold running drinkable water, and trash containers, but no showers or electrical outlets. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire pit with attached grill.

national park packing lists

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *