Top Reasons to Visit Zion National Park

In a state filled with dramatic scenery that stretches to the horizon and seemingly endless bucket list adventures, Zion National Park is the crown jewel of Utah’s five iconic national parks. Zion’s landscape is filled with rainbow-colored rock layers chiseled into sharp peaks, high mesas, and deep, twisting canyons. It’s a place so hauntingly beautiful that you will never forget the silence of Zion’s sandstone cathedrals, the light reflecting off the slot canyons, the rushing Virgin River, or the architect of its cliffs and canyons. Everyone should visit Zion at least once in their lifetime to hike its trails, wade through canyon waters, and watch deer graze in open meadows. Named by early settler Isaac Behunin in 1863, Zion remains true to its name—the Promised Land and a place of refuge.

Here are a few of the reasons why it’s such a special destination.

Spectacular Scenic Driving Adventures

The six-mile Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, running north through the national park’s scenic heart, is one of Utah’s most spectacular road adventures. Skyscraping sandstone formations, including the Great White Throne and Temple of Sinawava, soar above the tumbling Virgin River.

The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (Utah 9) drops 2,000 feet from the East Entrance to the visitor center, passing through a 1.1-mile tunnel. On both drives, expect gorgeous scenery along the entire route. Take the free park shuttle to experience the canyon since the road is closed to traffic most of the year.

Iconic Hiking Trails: Hikes from Easy to Strenuous

The hike trail at Zion National Park
The best way to see Zion is to fill a water bottle, strap on your boots, and hit the trail. You’ll find a wide range of options—from easy to strenuous—in the park. For easy romps, take Canyon Overlook, Weeping Rock, and Riverside Walk trails. Hardy hikers ascend the famous but dangerous Angel’s Landing Trail or trek to Observation Point for Zion’s best views, while backpackers follow East Rim and West Rim trails to find wildlife, solitude, and hidden wonders.

World’s Best Canyoneering

Zion is renowned as one of the world’s best places for canyoneering, the sport of descending slender canyons. The national park invites adventurers to lower into fantastic watery slots and river-filled canyons that range from strenuous hiking and wading to technical challenges with swimming and rappelling.

Novices can hire an expert guide service in Springdale to safely navigate the park’s canyons, while experienced canyoneers explore remote crevices with specialized skills and a park permit. Zion’s great canyons include the famed Subway, Zion Narrows, Mystery Canyon, Pine Creek, Orderville Canyon, and Keyhole Canyon.

Desert Waterfalls

Fed by winter snowmelt and dousing thunderstorms, Zion’s waterfalls offer a refreshing respite from the summer heat. The sound of falling water in the desert promises a cool spray and an oasis of ferns and flowers. Many of Zion’s falls are ephemeral so plan to visit during the July and August monsoon season or in early spring to see them.

A couple of the best waterfalls are the dripping springs at Weeping Rock, a trio of falls at Lower Emerald Pools, and a 300-foot plunge at Upper Emerald Pools. Other popular spots include Pine Creek Falls, Archangel Falls below The Subway, and Mystery Canyon Falls in The Narrows. Use caution if it’s raining since flash flooding can occur, watch for slippery rocks below falls, and never stand on top of a waterfall.

Climbing Big Walls

Big walls on Zion National Park
Zion Canyon, lined with towering sandstone cliffs, is a famed rock-climbing area. Home to some of the tallest sandstone walls in the world. Climbers come to jump on big wall routes on airy cliffs like Angel’s Landing, Temple of Sinawava, Red Arch Mountain, and Touchstone Wall, as well as try the shorter crack climbs along the cliff bases. If sandstone peak-bagging is your game, try North and South Guardian Angels, Lady Mountain, or West Temple—if you have the experience, of course, otherwise hire a guide service in Springdale.

Wildlife and Nature Study

Zion National Park’s 232 square miles protect a land of canyons and plateaus with diverse plant and animal habitats including pine forests, lush riversides, and barren slickrock. Zion harbors more than 1,000 plant species that allow a wide variety of wildlife to flourish. The park is birdwatching heaven with 291 species, including peregrine falcons and endangered California condors. Bring binoculars to spot some of Zion’s 78 mammal species. Watch rocky slopes for desert bighorns and canyon meadows for grazing mule deer. At night look for elusive ringtail cats and kangaroo rats along campground trails.

The Remote Kolob Canyons

The Kolob Canyons, hiding in the national park’s northwest corner, offers a glimpse into Zion’s wild heart with solitude, soaring cliffs, and few visitors. The canyon is usually accessed from I-15, but that route is closed through the end of 2018 for infrastructure improvements. Take SR9 to access the canyon during the construction. Kolob is a wonderland of sheer sandstone canyons and peaks, slot canyons, tumbling waterfalls, more than 20 miles of trails, and the 287-foot-long Kolob Arch, the second longest natural arch in the world.

The Kolob Canyons are an hour’s drive from Zion Canyon, and it’s the place to go for wilderness adventures. Take a hike up Taylor Canyon Trail to Double Arch Alcove or carry a backpack up La Verkin Creek Trail to backcountry campsites, Kolob Arch, and technical Beartrap Canyon.

Bike-Friendly Park

Pedal power is one of the best ways to see Zion Canyon, especially during the busy months when the park shuttle ferries visitors into the canyon. Zion, one of the few national parks that encourages bicycling, allows you to avoid packed buses and to enjoy the stunning scenery without looking through a window.

Bring your own bike or rent one in Springdale, then follow the paved Pa’rus Trail for 1.75 miles to Canyon Junction. Continue for 7.5 miles up Zion Canyon, yielding to passing shuttles and enjoy the views. The return trip to the visitor center is all downhill.

If mountain biking is more your style, head west from the park for miles of world-class singletrack at Gooseberry Mesa.

Great Dining and Lodging in Springdale

Zion National Park Lodging
Despite Zion’s rugged landscape, it’s easy to find civilization by heading to Springdale, an old Wild West town on the park’s southwest boundary. If you don’t want to rough it in one of Zion’s spacious campgrounds, book accommodations in Springdale at a wide variety of hotels, lodges, and bed & breakfasts. (Tip: Make reservations in advance to ensure a room during the high season!)

Springdale offers plentiful dining options for hungry Zion hikers, most bordering Zion Park Boulevard, the town’s main street. Popular favorites include Barefoot Taqueria, Oscar’s Café, Spotted Dog Café, Bit & Spur Restaurant, and Café Soleil. Stop at Zion Canyon Brew Pub on the park boundary for a chilled pint of locally brewed beer and pub grub.

So, after you get your fill of Zion, you can find even more outdoor adventures west of Springdale. And that including hiking, mountain biking, slot canyons, off-road driving, and rock climbing.

So, do you feel like visiting the Canyon in January? Then what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with Sweetours today!

Contact us for further information!
Phone: 702.456.9200
Fax – 702.434.7163
Email – info@sweetours.com

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Grand Canyon West: Why You Should Visit The West Rim

If you have seen Grand Canyon in movies, you are most likely looking at the South Rim. As 90% of travelers visit South Rim, it’s easy to forget that there are other rims as well, including West Rim at Grand Canyon.

West Rim

The West Rim, known as Grand Canyon West, is only 121 miles from Las Vegas. Sitting just outside the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park, The West Rim is part of a Native American reservation owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe. It’s best known for the Skywalk, a U-shaped glass walkway that juts out over the Grand Canyon—suspending you 4,000 feet high—providing unparalleled views of the canyon floor below. Other points-of-interest at The West Rim include:

• Guano Point, meaning bat droppings, was named for an old fertilizer mine active in the 1930s
• the West Rim was the film location for movies such as Into the Wild and Next
• a one-day whitewater-rafting trip
• visit an Old West town at Hualapai Ranch, with horseback tours, roping, and axe throwing

There are two locations at Grand Canyon West where you can do activities: The West Rim and Peach Springs. At the West Rim, you’ll find the Skywalk, ziplining, aerial tours, and calm floats down the Colorado River. You can also find Hualapai Ranch, where you can rent a cabin and experience the history and culture of the Canyon.

Peach Springs is the launch point for Colorado River whitewater rafting trips. It’s about a two hour drive from the West Rim, and you can stay at the Hualapai Lodge. Peach Springs is along an unspoiled section of historic Route 66, so in addition to seeing the Canyon, you’ll be able to experience a stretch of this iconic highway.

Who should visit Grand Canyon West?

If you have less time to visit the Grand Canyon, consider visiting the West Rim. It’s much closer to Las Vegas, which means you’ll have more time to explore the Rim and experience the landscape.

You should also opt to visit the West Rim if you’re interested in the Grand Canyon Skywalk. There’s no comparable attraction at the South Rim.

As the Grand Canyon National Park has placed restrictions on group tours to the South Rim due to COVID-19, you should visit the West Rim. Here, we have compiled the reasons why you should go there this holiday season.

There are fewer visitors

The West Rim receives about one million visitors a year, compared to the five million adventurers who visit the South Rim every year. That means you won’t have to fight crowds or wait for people to clear out to take your shots of the Grand Canyon.

It’s way closer to Las Vegas

The West Rim is just a short 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas, compared to the five hour drive to the South Rim. This makes the West Rim especially ideal for day trips or for those who have less time to visit the Grand Canyon.

Since the roads to the West Rim are not as developed as the roads to the South Rim, the Grand Canyon West region does not allow private vehicles inside. For this reason, we recommend you hop on a Grand Canyon West Rim tour.

You can fly there in no time

The West Rim is only 30 minutes away from Las Vegas by airplane, or 45 minutes by helicopter. As you make your way to the Grand Canyon, your flight will pass over the stunning desert and mountain landscapes. Don’t forget your camera!

It’s warmer

Worry about heatstroke? The West Rim sits at a slightly lower elevation than the South Rim, so it’s warmer throughout the year. Summertime temperatures average above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (~38 degrees Celcius), while the fall and winter months average a balmy 64-89 (~18-32) with lows between 38-58 (~3-15) degrees.

If you visit the West Rim in the summer, be sure to bring sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a hat. There’s only limited protection from the sun.

Best Time to Visit Grand Canyon West Rim

The Grand Canyon West Rim is open to visitors the whole year round. The Canyon can accommodate those who wish to see the beauty on any major holiday! Perhaps the best time to see the Grand Canyon is from late fall to early spring. This is the time when the temperatures are their most optimal.

So, do you feel like visiting the Canyon in January? Then what are you waiting for? Plan and Book Your Trip with Sweetours today!

Contact us for further information
Phone: 702.456.9200
Fax – 702.434.7163
Email – info@sweetours.com

sources: maverickhelicopter.com, canyontours.com, grandcanyonwest.com, paradisefoundtours.com