TOP 10: Zion
By Kimberly Crist
Name: Kimberly Crist //
Location: Denver, CO
Occupation: Full-time Bartender & Fun Seeker!
Where to stay
Get ready to call it a night in one of the best places in Zion.
Walkable access to the visitor center and the Zion shuttle that runs through peak season means you don't have to worry about finding parking, and can catch the bus early to avoid the lines!
Where to hike
Sometimes the best views take a bit of work.
Observation Point at 8 miles RT with just over 2,000 feet elevation gain lets you stray from crowds and stay decently shaded for a good portion of the hike. Starting at least an hour before sunrise allows you to see first light on the canyon walls. The middle part of the trail winds through a canyon and then ends with more views of Zion valley, including a view of the crowds on Angels Landing!
Where to enjoy a cold one
Because we both know that you deserve a reward after a strenuous hike.
Swimming in the Virgin River that cuts through Zion Valley is allowed, so cool off in the hot summer months with a beer in hand, and your extra beers stashed in the river with you to keep them cold.
Where to refuel
Eating & drinking is just as important as camping & hiking.
Nothing beats the experience of throwing some food in foil and letting the fire cook for you.
If you're only gonna see one thing while you're here, make it this thing.
The Zion Lodge
Built in 1925, the Zion Lodge is the only site within the park to grab food or drinks. Don't forget to ask the visitor center for a red pass so that you can drive to the lodge for the evening ranger talk.
You didn't actually visit the park if you didn't get a selfie in front of something iconic ;)
Pack a waterproof case for your cellphone and hike up the Narrows for some surreal selfies where you will be waist deep in water!
Where to see sunrise/sunset
If you're gonna visit a park, always make time in your agenda for sunrise & sunset!
Canyon Overlook on the East side of the park is great for both sunrise or sunset.
Every park has somethin' radical to get yourself into.
Biking Through The Canyons
Rent a bike from one of the outfitters in Springdale and ride up through the canyon. Or throw your bike on the front of one of the shuttles, head to the last stop and then bike out of the canyon (all downhill).
Shh! Don't tell too many people, but here's the insider's favorite place.
Pine Creek Waterfall
The lesser known Pine Creek waterfall is a short and easy hike off the East entrance Zion-Mount Carmel road that has deep swimming holes for you to cool off in. As its not on the park map, there will be way fewer people.
Quintessential Scenic Drive
When your legs start to give out from hiking, hop in your car and go for a drive!
East Entrance Road
The drive from the East entrance through the park is breathtaking, especially if its your first view of the park. You pass through the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel that has huge windows cut into it, offering you short views of the park before exiting the tunnel. It really builds the anticipation!
Download the portable version!
Save it to your phone & take it to the park with ya!.