Winter in the National Parks: Zion

Cold enthusiasts rejoice, the national parks are open all season

Zion National Park.     Photo: Dean Penalla/Shutterstock

Entrance Fee

$25 per vehicle, $12 per biker/hiker

FOUNDED: 1919
SIZE: 148,733 acres

Renowned for its beautiful colors and sandstone cliffs, Zion exists in four ecological zones. Zion contains deserts, riparian zones, woodland, and coniferous forests. This leads to a huge amount of biodiversity that has startled humans since they first inhabited the region about 8,000 years ago.

HOW TO GET THERE
Zion is far from civilization, but if you fly into Las Vegas you are only about 170 miles from the park. You can also catch a short flight from Salt Lake City to St. George, which is located close to the park.

WHERE TO STAY
Zion has plenty of camping available for $16 per night. Make sure to get a permit. If you want to have a refined experience, stay at the Zion National Park Lodge, which is one of the most ecologically-friendly park lodges in the world. The lodge can fill up quickly; if you can’t find a room, nearby Springdale has plenty of options, including the wonderful Flanigan’s Inn and Spa.

WHAT TO DO
Zion is full of opportunities for every kind of recreation you could imagine. Climbing and rappelling are popular in the canyon and you can also take a tour on horseback. The park has more than 90 miles of trails and backcountry hiking. But one of the park's most popular features is, without a doubt, “The Subway,” a route with a natural tunnel created by a winding river.

THINGS TO REMEMBER
⇢ Zion has an excellent shuttle system that you should consider taking advantage of if you are staying in the park or want to access another part of it.
⇢ Temperatures vary greatly depending on where you are in the park. Plan ahead.
⇢ A winter map is available online.
⇢ Mix a trip here with a trip to Bryce Canyon, which is only 90 miles away.

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