TOP 10: Zion // By Kimberly Crist – Parks Project

TOP 10: Zion
By Kimberly Crist

Name: Kimberly Crist // @kimberlycrist
Age: 27
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.

South Campground

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

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.

Virgin River

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.

Your Campground

Nothing beats the experience of throwing some food in foil and letting the fire cook for you.


Must-see landmark

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.

Selfie spot

You didn't actually visit the park if you didn't get a selfie in front of something iconic ;)

The Narrows

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

Canyon Overlook on the East side of the park is great for both sunrise or sunset.

Radical Activity

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).

Secret Spot

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!.

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