As one of the largest countries on Earth, the United States is home to incredibly diverse landscapes. From the sun-kissed beaches of the Gulf Coast to the rocky shores of New England, the imposing mountains of Colorado, the fairy tale forests of the Pacific Northwest, the desserts of Arizona, and so much more, America is filled with all kinds of scenery to admire and appreciate.
The country's national parks help to highlight this vast and varied spectrum of landscapes, with the likes of Yosemite and Yellowstone standing out as a couple of the most popular and impressive. Another beautiful national park can be found in Utah in the form of Zion National Park. Situated in the southwestern part of the state right by the town of Springdale, Zion National Park stretches out across 229 square miles, featuring canyons, mountains, rivers, fascinating rock formations, and so much more.
Zion National Park has thousands of years of human history behind it, with Native Americans living in the area so many years ago, and it was made a national park in 1919. It's a popular place at all times of year, drawing in many visitors for hiking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding, and other exciting outdoor activities. If you’re planning a day trip to Zion National Park from Las Vegas, here’s all you need to know.
Next read: Where to Stay in Zion National Park
Getting To Zion National Park From Las Vegas
Despite being known for its flashy casinos and crazy hotels, Las Vegas is actually a great location for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts too, as it's the perfect starting point for many day trips to national parks and beautiful natural areas like the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon,Red Rock Canyon, and Zion National Park.
Zion National Park is around 168 miles away from Las Vegas, so it's perfectly possible to do a day trip to this park from Sin City, and the drive to get there is a very pleasant and scenic one, passing by a lot of canyons and stunning scenes along the way.
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Getting to Zion National Park from Las Vegas is as simple as following Interstate 15 all the way over the state border, first into Arizona and then over into Utah, and then turning off for the park towards Springdale. The drive will take between two and three hours depending on the traffic, conditions, and how fast you actually go or if you make any stops along the way.
Important Information And Things To Do At Zion National Park
- Buy A Pass - It's important to note that if you're visiting Zion National Park, you'll need to buy a recreational use pass before entry. The pass lasts for a week, so you'll potentially be able to come back again for another day trip or extend your stay if you fall in love with the park, which is open all year long, 24 hours a day.
- Getting Around - Zion National Park actually has its own shuttle bus system. This system is totally free and it's the best way to get around the park. In fact, the shuttle bus almost acts like your own free tour of Zion National Park, as it travels around some of the prettiest spots in the park and stops off at the best hiking trails, photoshoot locations, vistas, and more. Be sure to take advantage of this service, rather than simply walking around the place on your own.
- Pack And Prepare - One of the golden rules when preparing for any kind of day trip is to put a lot of time and effort into planning and preparation, and this is especially true when visiting a national park. You’ll want to make the most of every single second you get at Zion National Park, so it’s vital to plan out every aspect of the day and make sure you don’t forget to pack any of your essential items. Be sure to take along lots of bottled water to stay hydrated. Some healthy snacks and protein bars are good options too if you want to stay energized and keep moving around without getting tired.
- Enjoy The Scenery - When taking a day trip, many people feel that they need to be rushing around and don't want to stand still in any one spot for too long, but part of the experience at Zion National Park is actually taking time to enjoy, admire, and appreciate the beauty of nature all around you. The park features some truly awe-inspiring locations and rock formations, so there will be many moments where you should simply stop, stare, and enjoy the view.