Before the hoards of people poured into Zion National Park and the queues for the shuttles wound along the sidewalks, we visited the park. Yes, we were only there a day. We could have spent weeks there, basking in all it’s monumental beauty and exploring all the nooks and crannies of this gorgeous National Park in southern Utah. But we weren’t tackling any huge hikes…the kids weren’t up to it and they were both too tall to be carried any longer in a hiking pack.
We arrived early in the morning, one day in May, and drove into the eastern gate coming from Mt Carmel Junction. Sans the RV. What a gorgeous drive to include a tunnel with peekaboo windows overlooking the canyon. If you’re lucky you may spot some Bighorn Sheep showing off their rock perching skills. Even if your route doesn’t take you this way, allow time to check out this part of the park!!
During peak season, you will only be able to drive to the visitor center and will have to take a shuttle to all parts of the park. Come with extra time, snacks, refillable water bottle, and patience.
5 Things to do at Zion with little kids and only 1 day at the park
1–Pickup Junior Ranger Books from the visitor center. Fun way to learn about the park and the kids can earn a badge.
2–Go to one of the Ranger led talks on the valley floor. Learn about how the Virgin River created this extraordinary place.
3–Walk the Pa’rus Trail that runs along the river, past the campground and leads to the Human History Museum. Plenty of safe space for the kids to run out some energy and enjoy the grandiose views. It’s paved….but I mean, look at that!
4–Take the shuttle to short Weeping Rock Trail: easy trail and you will see water coming out of the rock
5–Drive highway 9 through the park, up & down the switchbacks, through the tunnel and to viewpoints.
**if you are arriving with an RV, check the rules for entering through the tunnel
**if you are driving a dually…you will have to pay extra to go through the tunnel because they stop all traffic and make you drive down the center lane (the kids thought that was cool)
We can’t wait to go back with the kids and spend more time. We feel satisfied with having gotten a taste of everything while here and someday will return to tackle those iconic hikes.
—-Have you been? What was your favorite spot at Zion?—–